I have married friends who hang out in night clubs.  Some who frequent flea markets and garage sales.  Some whose delight is festivals and fairs.  Shopping malls.  Even casinos.  Or hunting and fishing in woods and on lakes.

Where do we hang out?  Supermarkets.

And what’s our favorite supermarket?

Rouse’s.

The franchise has expanded with stores along the coast in Mississippi and Alabama, but pas d'erreur, Rouses is a Louisiana brand.

The franchise has expanded with stores along the coast in Mississippi and Alabama, but pas d’erreur, Rouses is a Louisiana brand.

So we were excited yesterday as we accidentally came across the newest Rouse’s (Store 48) in Acadiana.  We were taking back roads out of town when “Voila!”  There it was, open for business.  I knew a store was under construction at that location, but I didn’t know it was already open.  We can hardly pass a Rouse’s store (that big red “R” on the marquee evokes a hypnotic attraction that draws us into the parking lot), so we pulled in and dilly-dallied at least an impromptu half an hour.  We loved it.  This will be our new “favorite” store.

We like Rouse because the chain’s stores are distinctly regional.  They’re similar to other supermarkets in that they sell regular groceries, but they’re unique in the availability of a long menu of ready-to-eat dishes—from pizzas to specialty sandwiches to full-course meals to exotic bakery fare—all available for in-store eating or take-out.  And, their seafood, produce, and meat markets are remarkably more diverse (with fresher stuff) than the run-of-the-mill national chains’ markets.

We can get wild-caught seafood of just about any species, especially Gulf Coast critters.  I find comfort knowing that the shrimp on my po’boy were harvested recently in Gulf waters rather than imported from South America; or that the oysters on my po’boy came from Terrebonne Bay, not Puget Sound; or that the crawfish in my etouffee came from a cultivated aquaculture pond in Acadia Parish rather than a drainage canal in China.

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