New Louisiana food trail is No Man’s Land: Gas Station Eats
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s newest food trail has the quirky name No Man’s Land: Gas Station Eats.
No Man’s Land was one of the names for a buffer zone between U.S. and Spanish territories for about 13 years after the Louisiana Purchase.
The 450-mile route runs through Calcasieu, Allen, Beauregard, Sabine, Natchitoches, Vernon and DeSoto parishes.
Stops range from the South Beau Dairy Barn in the Beauregard Parish community of Longville to French Market Express, which offers meat pies, plate lunches, yam cakes, cookies and pies in Natchitoches.
There’s also an Exxon station in Natchitoches, Big Thicket BBQ in DeRidder, a Shop-A-Lott in Mansfield and another in Many, Anacoco Mercantile, and a Grab N Geaux in Lake Charles.
Several stops offer fried boudin balls and whole sausages such as boudin and andouille. Others have fried fish, burgers, sandwiches — and in Zwolle, tamales.
All are in the seven-parish area known as No Man’s Land and the Neutral Strip from about 1806 until a treaty in 1819 established the Sabine River as the boundary between the United States and what later became the state of Texas.
The No Man’s Land tourism website says part of the reason the boundary wasn’t clear was that it had been a contested area since the 1790s.
“Moreover, to a large degree Spain governed the region with a blind eye, issuing land grants and allowing squatters and all manner of self-directed settlers, such as Native Americans who lost lands during the French-Indian War, to settle there in order to thwart American expansion,” the website states.
It said both nations agreed to pull troops from the area until boundaries were decided.
“Slow to be settled, and marked by a pivotal moment in history, the Neutral Strip region exhibits a culture colored by several pockets of diverse folk groups—like Native Americans, remnants of early Spanish colonies, Scots-Irish pioneers, African Americans, and others—who fiercely hold on to their traditions and notions of identity,” the website says.