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Best Food & Dining Options in Morgan City, LA

January 14, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

Sitting on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, Morgan City is renowned for its fresh and saltwater fishing and epic Cajun cuisine. Visitors to this charming town will find numerous options to whet their appetites, and a wide selection of dining options, where fresh shellfish and Louisiana comfort foods take center stage.

If there’s a single event that encapsulates the cuisine and culture of Morgan City, it’s the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, which takes place every Labor Day weekend. The festival, now in its 84th year, celebrates the two industries that helped make Morgan City what it is today. The celebration takes place at 305 Everett Street, in the heart of downtown, and features five days of unbeatable food, arts and crafts, music, carnival games and more.

Rest assured, there are plenty of dining options in St. Mary Parish. Here are some of the most popular and well-loved restaurants and eateries in Morgan City.

Morgan’s Restaurant

Morgan’s Restaurant, situated on Roderick Street, is a favorite haunt when it comes to down-home Louisiana cuisine. The menu is extensive and features tasty dishes like Creole gumbo, Louisiana crab cakes, fresh oysters, fish and drunken shrimp. The restaurant is also notable for its juicy porterhouse steaks, grilled redfish and baby back ribs. Save room for dessert! The crème brulée cheesecake is amazing, as is their bourbon pecan pie and bananas foster cheesecake.

Rita Mae’s Kitchen

It doesn’t get much better than the étouffée at Rita Mae’s Kitchen, but their smoked sausage with red beans and rice is a close runner-up! Located at 711 Federal Avenue, this cozy spot is one of Morgan City’s most beloved eateries for good reason. Stop in for lunch or dinner, where you can dine on a crab po’boy with homemade onion rings for less than $13. The seafood is always cooked to perfection and the gumbo (packed with shrimp, sausage and chicken) is out of this world. We recommend their peach cobbler or buttery bread pudding for dessert.

Bayou Lagniappe

If you only get one shot at some authentic Cajun food, cross the river to Bayou Lagniappe, where the shrimp, crawdads and catfish are sublime. This family-owned restaurant is always packed with locals who know where to find the best crab cakes, royal reds and boudin balls. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, and the po’boy sandwiches can’t be beat. Fill up your belly with a lunch of shrimp stew, potato salad, peas and French bread!

Atchafalaya Café

This café is always crowded and is consistently rated among the top 5 restaurants in Morgan City. Enjoy a true taste of the Bayou, great views and friendly service. The menu is eclectic and features everything from chicken fried steak with white gravy and Cajun-fried oysters to alligator bites and giant burgers. The portions are generous, the salads are fresh, and the po’boys (filled with your choice of catfish, roast beef, or shrimp) are unbelievably delectable.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love needs expert legal guidance after a car accident or another type of personal injury, contact us at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. As a Lafayette native, Bart Bernard is an award-winning attorney who considers it a privilege to serve residents throughout Morgan City, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Acadiana.

A Brief History of Morgan City

January 13, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

Morgan City’s rich history centers around the Atchafalaya, the Attakapas Indian word for “long river.” The 135-mile river made this geographic region a desirable place to live. Today, Morgan City encompasses more than 12,000 residents but retains a quaint feel rooted in family, faith, and tradition. 

The 1800s: a strategic riverside stronghold

Early surveyors appointed by U.S. Secretary of War John Calhoun called the region “Tiger Island” after spotting an unknown cat here. The attention attracted Kentucky planter and surgeon Walter Brashear who was renowned for performing the first successful hip-joint amputation. He subdivided a sugar cane plantation and started the town of Brashear, which formally incorporated in 1860.

The strategic location next to a major waterway put the town of Brashear on the map during the Civil War (1861-1865). Federal troops occupied the land for three years, plotting the destruction of the Avery Island salt mines, cutting off rebel supply roads from Texas, and annihilating the Confederate resistance in southwest Louisiana. You can still see the remains of the Union-held Fort Star– where they captured 700 enemy combatants, with a meager three casualties and 18 injuries.

After the war, steamship and railroad baron Charles Morgan dredged the Atchafalaya Bay to create a port and transformed the town of Brashear into an epicenter of trade for animal fur, cypress timber boats, and seafood. The town was renamed Morgan City in his honor. With business booming, iconic structures like Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Norman-Schreier House, and Turn-of-the-Century House were built around this time.

The 1900s: a hotbed of industry and seafood

By 1910, Morgan City boasted several movie theaters. The filming of the first Tarzan movie, Tarzan of the Apes starring Elmo Lincoln in 1917, showcased the Atchafalaya Basin’s jungle-like landscape with mossy trees and untamed riverbanks. The 800,000 acres of the basin covers one-third of Louisiana and represents the largest overflow swamp in America. Part of the sequel, The Romance of Tarzan was filmed here that same year.

During the First World War, the city earned a government contract to build warships, supplying the area with hundreds of jobs and significant prosperity. The population reached 6,000 in 1925.

The demand for cypress plummeted along with the Stock Market crash, and the area’s oyster beds had dried up, but all was not lost. By 1937, Morgan City developed a leading reputation as the “jumbo shrimp capital of the world.” The petroleum industry again put the city in the national spotlight when Kerr-McGee produced the first offshore oil rig off the coast. These two industries led to explosions in profit and population.

The region experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Juan in 1985 and more widespread damage when Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. Since then, the “Great Wall” flood barrier has been constructed to protect the land from intrusions by sea, and the community has played an instrumental role in preserving historic sites. Morgan City’s “Main Street Program” to create a nine-block historic district in 1997 has since expanded to include 19 blocks.

The 2000s: a quaint town for families

Today, the quaint town just south of I-10 represents a “gumbo” of French, German, Italian, Spanish, Native, and African American cultures. Catholicism is strongly rooted in the local churches here. It’s a quiet place to own a home, with a handful of family-friendly activities– from bowling and moviegoing to mini-golfing and dining out– and the schools are above-average and the crime rate is relatively low.

Hollywood had taken little interest in Morgan City since the filming of Thunder Bay in the 1950s, but a motion picture renaissance in the 2000s brought film crews for All the King’s Men, Deja-Vu, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Tourist draws include the International Petroleum Museum and the Swamp Gardens & Wildlife Zoo. Every Labor Day weekend, downtown is home to the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival, a five-day celebration, which includes a traditional “blessing of the fleet” and mass in the park, children’s activities, a street parade, 5K run/walks, concerts, a food court, drilling rig tours, balls, carnival rides, and fireworks. 

We hope you enjoyed this brief history. While it is undoubtedly a wonderful and safe place to live, accidents do sometimes happen. Feel free to call Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers. We are proud to serve more than 12,000 residents in Morgan City, Louisiana, out of nearby Lafayette– an hour northwest via Highway 90. We help residents and tourists injured in auto accidents, slip or trip and falls, dog bites, medical mishaps, and product liability cases. If you were hurt through little to no fault of your own, Click Bart First, Call Bart First™. `   

Camping, Hunting, and Fishing in Morgan City

January 13, 2020 Local Interest 0 Comments

At last count, more than 12,400 residents called Morgan City, Louisiana home. Its prominent location on the banks of the Atchafalaya River makes it an ideal place to enjoy outdoor recreation, whether it’s camping, hunting, or fishing. When we’re not working hard on Morgan City’s personal injury cases, we like to get out into nature and experience all that St. Mary Parish has to offer. Here are a few of our favorite places to explore.

Where to Camp in Morgan City

Lake End Park Campground is the most well-known spot in Morgan City. Surrounded by towering cypress trees and live oaks on Lake Palourde, you can enjoy pier fishing, boating, swimming, picnicking, a bark park for dogs, wildlife viewing, and hiking along a one-mile paved path. Ducks and black squirrels inhabit the park, but so do the mosquitoes, so be sure to bring your bug spray and a fogger. (After all, this is Louisiana!)

Accommodations include tent sites starting at $24, RV sites starting at $50, and cabins starting at $150. The six cabins have two bedrooms to sleep up to six and are located on the waterfront. Picnic shelters, laundry, a bathhouse, and playgrounds help make your stay more pleasant. Pets are welcome here.

Though it can get messy during periods of heavy rainfall, past guests say, “it has beautiful scenery,” “the staff is friendly,” and “the lake is a big draw.” History buffs will find this location convenient, as it’s just 12 minutes from the Wedell-Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum. It’s a 30-minute walk to Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower. Other area attractions include the Morgan City Petting Zoo (a five-minute drive), Lawrence Park (seven minutes), the International Petroleum Museum (seven minutes), and the Southwest Reef Lighthouse (nine minutes).

Where to Hunt in Morgan City

The Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area has been renowned for its waterfowl hunting over the past four decades, particularly in the 12,000 acres of marshland at the Wax Lake Outlet. This area is only accessible by boat, but it’s worth the trek. Though it can be busy and require scouting, the average harvest was 1.7 ducks per hunter. An up-and-coming hotspot for ducks is the Pass-A-Loutre WMA, where hunters harvested an average of 4 ducks each, but that’s nearly three hours southeast of us.

The deer hunting season is bow and youth gun lottery only– but the bucks are ample, with big bodies and tremendous racks– particularly in the Teche Area, which boasts favorable upland elevations with excellent sight range. The five-year average for deer harvested is 152. Hunters have taken down 170-pound, 10-point bucks with 16.5-inch spreads.

In addition to duck and deer, the Atchafalaya Delta allows the hunting of rabbit, quail, squirrel, raccoon, woodcock, dove, turkey, alligators, and “outlaw quadrupeds” like coyotes, feral hogs, and armadillos.

Where To Fish in Morgan City

Morgan City is the hub for saltwater sportfishing, as the last big town downstream from the Atchafalaya Basin, which captures a third of the combined flows of the Mississippi and Red rivers. If you need maps, fishing conditions, supplies, or charters, you’ll find it all at the popular Ivy’s Tackle Box at 7209 Hwy 90 E.

There are several approaches to the region, but one popular route involves launching on the east side of the Atchafalaya in Berwick and following the river 25 miles down to Oyster Bayou, where you’ll discover speckled trout, reds, flounder, drum, and sheepshead.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries limit the redfish to five per person with a 16-inch length minimum imposed; the average redfish here weighs about four pounds and responds well to spinners. Other baits used often include shrimp, crab, mullet, piggie perch, and croaker.

You can collect up to 25 trout (12+ inches) and 10 (10+ inches) flounder. Trout tends to congregate along the coastline and offshore oil rigs, at nighttime, in 60 to 150-foot waters. The best flounder are captured bank fishing the mudflats in October and November. It’s no wonder they call the Cajun Coast a “sportsman’s paradise.”

Contact us today

Were you hurt hunting, fishing, or camping in Morgan City, LA? Did you sustain serious injuries, through little to no fault of your own, due to another person or party’s negligence? We offer free consultations and contingency-based legal representation that costs you nothing out-of-pocket. Call us at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, to schedule a meeting right away– as a relatively short statute of limitations applies to Louisiana personal injury lawsuits.