by Matt Dye
As the holiday season grows ever closer, there are few things better than to gather with family and friends, and SWLA knows the best way is around the dinner table. With that in mind, there are several quality meat markets around the area ready to help your kitchen smell fantastic, with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Down Country Club Road is Lake Charles’ own slice of heaven, Hebert’s Specialty Meats. They set to help you with your spread, offering a wide assortment of meats and sides for your entire Thanksgiving weekend. One of their hidden gems is the Corn Casserole Stuffed Chicken, which is quite divine when you throw it on your smoker at home. And if you like Crawfish Etouffee, you’ve found your jam! They’re also one of the few places around offering Turduckens this year.
Sonnier’s Sausage and Boudin, located off Enterprise on Mill Street, is your go to place to get sausage and boudin, especially if you live around the downtown Lake Charles area. With over seven varieties of boudin for sale, from regular to smoked to spicy, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. And be sure to get a couple pounds of their Spicy Garlic Sausage to put on the table and watch disappear.
If you wish to forgo the traditional turkey dinner, the next best bet is a smoked/glazed ham, and let’s be real, it’s best to go to the place proud enough to put it in their name. Honey B Ham on Prien Lake Rd. offers not only the best ham money can buy, but also a variety of holiday sides to help round out your table offerings.
Those of you in the Moss Bluff/Gillis area should be sure to check out the Gillis Meat Market just down Hwy 171. Owner Steve Gaudet runs one of the friendliest shops around, and while he’s not doing turkeys for Thanksgiving, he’s quick to note that his stuffed chickens are big sellers as the holidays roll closer. While you’re there, try one of their Boudin Balls – bigger than a baby’s head!
Over in Iowa are two of the finest meat markets in SWLA. Rabideaux’s Sausage Kitchen, just off I-10, has been delivering excellence for many years. Most patrons get a couple pounds of smoked sausage along with their regular order. Rabideaux’s also offers hard-to-find delicacies like Seasoned Quail and nearly every meat cut stuffed full and ready for your smoker.
Also in Iowa, you’ll find Roy’s Meat Market, also right off I-10. They sell some of the best ribeye’s around, though the friendly staff was quick to point out that Oxtails might be their best kept secret. They also offer wholesale meat deals at highly affordable prices if you’re looking to get your holiday shopping done in bulk. And be sure to ask about their specialty beef and pork roasts for the holidays.
Insane Sausages in Vinton off Exit 4 is a shop that truly lives up to its name. Owner Derek Gaspard knows how to craft your traditional green onion sausage and boudin, but he’s also got section to show off his mad scientist skills. With upwards of 30 varieties at a time, you’ll find such creations as their Pork Enchilada Boudin and Southern Country Breakfast Boudin. The 4-Cheese Explosion Sausage combines gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, and pepper jack, while the Steen’s Smoked Syrup Sausage is best seller that will have you coming back. Only open Friday-Sunday, it’s a perfect weekend destination.
Finally, if you’re still avoiding crowds because of COVID-19, or you simply enjoy the convenience of online ordering, Big Easy Foods has got you covered. They offer stuffed chickens, smoked sausage, boudin, and a variety of dinner entrees that can be delivered. Perfect if you’re looking to give a friend or family member out of state a taste of Louisiana. Just be sure to check their shipping schedule on their website to ensure you’re getting your delivery when you want it.
These are just a few of fantastic choices we’ve got here in the greater SWLA area, and no matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong. So, this holiday season, be sure your spread is top notch by hitting up one of these places, and let’s keep it local!