The Blind Tiger
120 Texas Street
Shreveport has a split personality.
Sure it’s in Louisiana, but it has more in common with its big brother Texas just a stone’s throw away.
Cowboy hats and crawfish. That’s Shreveport.
Of course a big reason for the Texas flair is the flood of fun-lovin’ Texans who crowd into the casinos lined along the Red River every weekend.
But as I like to say, fun is in the eye of the beer-holder.
However, I’ll never understand why these otherwise sensible Texans will drive hundreds of miles to take pleasure in throwing away their hard-earned money.
Look, I’m the first to say that if you earned it, you get to spend it—however you choose. It’s just that being a cheap (but still proud) American, losing money has never been on my list of fun things to do.
But for many of these weekend warriors, Shreveport is also the only taste of Louisiana they’re ever going to get.
Nevermind that the most authentic Louisiana fare comes from the Cajun prairies and bayous hundreds of miles south of here.
Fortunately for Shreveport, The Blind Tiger serves up the real deal.
Situated appropriately enough on Texas Street, it’s much more preferable than the casino buffets and their warmed-over, dried out crawfish.
From meat pies to gumbo, to catfish and etouffee, The Blind Tiger does Louisiana proud. You can’t go wrong.
Even better, they offer the full line of beers from Louisiana’s most famous brewery, Abita Brewing—including their black-as-molasses Turbodog and the hoppy Jockamo IPA.
And Jockamo was a bit of a departure for Abita. Unlike most brewers, Abita traditionally shied away from boxing themselves into conventional beer styles.
For example, Turbodog isn’t a bock. Or a porter. Or a stout.
But yielding to the demands of beer snobs and hopheads, the boys down in Abita Springs decided to offer a traditional IPA. I’m happy to report that Jockamo is a very tasty version of the highly hopped brew and an ideal complement to good food.
Just like my appetizer of authentic Louisiana meat pies—a mixture of finely mashed beef, pork and crawfish baked inside a small pastry shell. The Blind Tiger’s version of this North Louisiana snack was spot on.
But that was just a warm up to my “Catfish Grand Bayou”—two perfectly fried and seasoned catfish filets smothered in a crawfish etouffee.
The texture of the batter was amazing. Despite being buried under all that goodness of crawfish, butter and cream, the fried catfish never lost its crunch.
Each forkful offered up flaky fish, spicy batter, and decadent crawfish etouffee.
It was like Mardi Gras in my mouth!
And although my side of fried corn and jambalaya didn’t stand a chance against the centerpiece of my meal, they certainly put up a valiant effort.
Did I say FRIED corn?
Picture this. A half ear of corn, battered and deep fried, and then sprinkled with Cajun seasoning.
I bet even Donald Trump’s toupee would taste good given that kind of treatment.
The Blind Tiger is also just a cool place to hang out. Located on the most prominent corner of downtown Shreveport in a building dating back to 1855, it’s infinitely cooler than the cheesy casinos a block or two away.
But coolest of all is their logo featured on the sign out front and their T-shirts (which come in 15 different colors)! This depiction of a cool cat sporting Ray Charles style sunglasses and jamming out on a piano with a frosty beer has some history behind it.
Turns out, during prohibition, joints like this would have a stuffed tiger in the window signaling to the rebellious and more “fun-loving” populous that there was an upstairs room with drinking, gambling, and felicitous companionship to be had.
Those liberals and nanny-state do-gooders have been trying to spoil our fun for centuries! At least there was always a tiger willing to “turn a blind eye” to the fun upstairs.
So of course I just HAD to have one of their T-shirts (navy blue XL, please) to add to my vast collection.
My fried corn and Catfish Grand Bayou may only be but memories now, but my shirt will forever serve as a reminder that there are still parts of this great country where fun is still legal—for now.
Just look for the blind tiger.
Rating: Like I Said…Bought the Shirt!