Creole Lunch House
"We want to give tourists an opportunity to experience a different kind of eating that’s good for the soul, that’s good for the heart."
Merline Herbert, Creole Lunch House
As the oldest girl in the family, Merline Herbert did most of the cooking, an arrangement that her siblings never complained about. And as a woman who reads cookbooks like novels, Merline didn’t mind either; she loves cooking and feeding people. Retired from teaching, Merline now satisfies her nurturing instincts on the food line in her restaurant, the place she opened 25 years ago. For her, eating is more than a biological necessity; it is an emotional and sensory experience that she seeks out when she travels. It’s also an experience that she wants to share with her customers.
What better place to eat a home-cooked meal than in a home? The Creole Lunch House is just that. Replete with a porch, lace curtains, and a television, Merline achieves her goal of making her customers feel like they’ve gone home or to grandma’s for lunch. The setting, the rookie plate, and Merline’s smile ease the stress of deciding whether to eat her signature dish, the Creole Stuffed Bread, or one of the display items like the smothered pork chops or chicken fricassee. Some people surrender and just get both.
If you grew up in a big family, then you already know that a little name-calling is just part of life at home. If you don’t visit often enough for her to know your proper name (or even if you do), then you should expect a little name-calling from Merline—either “honey,” “sweetie,” or “bebe,” and if you’re really special, “cher bebe.” If you know a little French, or want to learn, the Creole Lunch House is the place to practice. On any given day, you’re likely to hear conversations between customers and kitchen staff spoken en français. It’s all part of making you feel at home at the Creole Lunch House.
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