Louie's has been a food tradition at LSU since the 40s. The current owner, Jimmy (who everybody calls Louie) has been providing great hash-house food since the mid 70s according to their web page, http://www.louiescafe.org. I have been dining at Louie's since my college days in the late 60s.
What's I like most about Louie's is that the counter seats wrap around the kitchen so you can watch the cooks do their thing and learn how they prepare the food. Please note: Louie's is a 24-hour restaurant but I always go there during the day for breakfast or lunch.
The best way to get to Louie's is to take the Dalrymple Drive exit from I-10 in Baton Rouge, turn right on Dalrymple, travel the lakefront drive to the first light at State Street. Turn right onto State and drive down this windy street to the next light at Highland Road. Cross at the light and Louie's will be on the left a little farther down State. Or use your GPS.
If you're lucky there will be parking in front, but most are not so lucky. There is a parking lot a little farther down the street on the left as well. Park there and pay ... or you will be towed! Three bucks gets you two hours of parking, but the food is worth it.
Land of the Yellow Grits
Louie's is one of two restaurants I know of that serve yellow grits, and they are thick! The grits here will pass the black pepper test. Thick, well-cooked grits will not separate if you pepper them. Look at those over easy eggs. By the way, this place serves breakfast all day.
Cheesy Hash Browns
Louie's takes his famous Cajun hash browns and covers them with cheese and melts the cheese. Let me tell you about the hash browns... They would be called home fries anywhere else, but Louie's calls them hash browns and this is his place. The Cajun browns are diced up potatoes which are seasoned with a favorite seasoning mix in Louisiana, Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (tonychachere.com) and cooked tender and browned with sautéed onions. This is a must-have dish if you visit Louie's.
The Mitchell Omelet
The Mitchell is an omelet with sautéed mushrooms and sausage with Colby cheese and hash browns. But I like the hash browns on the side, so all that is in this omelet is sausage, cheese, and rooms. Sorry, I forgot to give you guys an inside view.
The Seafood Louie is a scrumptious combination of crawfish and shrimp with melted swiss ... and veggies ... in spiced butter. My niece Candace ordered this one; if it were me, I would have had them hold the veggies. The omelet is topped with a tasty herb cream sauce. Yes, they have a veggie omelet, and no, I didn't take a picture of it.
Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
The picture says it all. Look at those chunks of sausage. There is so much gravy that the biscuits are almost invisible. Don't show this dish to your internist.
A Great Cup of Coffee
Because this place is a 24-hour restaurant, Louie's has a menu that goes beyond breakfast though it serves breakfast all day ... I said that already.
One of my favorite beyond-breakfast dishes is the Big Cheesy Lou, 8 ounces of charbroiled ground chuck topped with lots of cheese. Fully loaded (and in Louisiana, that's called "dressed"), the burger includes lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, mayo, and mustard. You can opt out of any of the added ingredients, but I get them all.
This is like a five-napkin burger. The napkins keep the mustard and burger grease from rolling off my lips and onto my chin. In a town known for great hamburgers, this is the best I have ever found in Baton Rouge.
This place is just off campus from LSU, but it's not a campus secret. Louie's has a national reputation. When movies were shot in Baton Rouge, I have seen set workers eating here. When Greenpeace came to town to protest, they ate here as well. I'm waiting for the SEC broadcasters to show up here during football season.