112 Arthur Ave • Lake Arthur
Let me relate to you a case of circumstance becoming opportunity.
It was a typical weeknight at our home for me and my wife. We were winding down after dinner and catching up on the day’s events.
Scrolling through my newsfeed, I was alerted to an image of a fledgling barn owl resting atop an electrical panel behind a series of buildings in Lake Arthur.
When an owl is especially evasive and cautious, as this one appeared to be, there may be several reasons. Most often, we tend to believe the animal is injured or in need of care and interaction is necessary. However, the bird in this picture may have just finished her midday meal of fresh nutria and wanted to sleep it off and found a suitable location, or — another possibility — it was adjusting to the weather. Although it was not particularly cold, as far as owls are concerned, this one may have found comfort in a heat source and dozed off.
I asked the woman who located the owl to remove the post so as not to get anyone interested in disturbing the owl. If the bird was still there in the morning, I promised to see whether she needed attention, and to take along my friends at Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation — specialists in birds of prey care who work out of Youngsville.
The next morning, a text message confirmed our owl of concern was indeed still there. I was given the details of her location, which happened to be in an alley behind the shops on Main Street. Just in case I needed to transport her, I had my soft carry case and thick protective gloves, as the talons and beak can do far more damage than most people realize, especially when the bird is scared or injured.
Later, walking through the alley, hoping not to draw too much attention with my odd gear, I spotted the now vacant electrical box, with no sign of our girl.
As I ran different scenarios through my head as to where she could be, and hoping for the best — that she did indeed fly off on her own, a young woman parked in the alley and began to walk towards the rear entrance of the same building I was looking at.
The back of her shirt was emblazoned with a logo for “Main Street Deli.” Trying to get her attention, I asked, “excuse me, do you know if there was an owl here?” She responded she was just arriving for the day and would ask somebody inside. A few seconds later, the young lady returned to say, “it was here earlier, but it flew off.”
When I heard that great news, I knew my owl mission was complete. However, I was intrigued by the building I was standing behind.
I find myself in Lake Arthur at least once a month, and I had no idea there was a deli. But I was about to find out more. I was hungry.
After I returned my gear to the truck across the street, I looked for signage. Unless you’re standing in front of the door or know what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to miss it.
As I walked inside, I wondered how on earth I’d missed out on this place for so long. This was classic small town Americana. The history in the building, the exposed brick wall, the made-to-order food with a Cajun flair, the little wooden tables, the ice cream and pastries, the cute appearance all made an impression. I was glad I’d found this place.
Standing at the counter, staring at the hand-written chalkboard menu, I saw that Main Street Deli offered a wide range of foods. The menu started with breakfast sandwiches, wraps and croissants in the morning; then moved to burgers, salads, panini sandwiches and soups throughout the rest of the day.
I found myself in the mood for everything. Yet reality told me I needed to keep myself grounded. My appetite focused on the tasso panini sandwich with a side of fries.
As I was taking in all the vibrant colors, the décor and southern swag, my order was delivered to my table with a smile. Peeling back the hot pressed top bun revealed grilled chunky sliced pork tasso over melting Swiss cheese drizzled with a garlic aioli sauce. There was a heap of side-cut fries.
I left feeling full, satisfied, and eager to return soon.
That urge got the best of me, and I returned to Main Street Café the next day. With so much to choose from, a burger would’ve been the easy option. But I opted to save that for another day.
A personal flatbread pizza lured me in — the shrimp poboy pizza. Described as a small personal pizza with garlic butter sauce, provolone cheese, oven-fried shrimp, spinach, tomatoes and shredded cheddar, I had to give it a try.
After only 10 or so minutes, my pizza was placed before me. First impressions were promising. Main Street Deli wasn’t skimping on ingredients. The pizza was piled with breaded shrimp, the spinach and tomatoes peeking from beneath the heft of melted cheeses.
The back-to-back lunch experiences revealed a hidden gem in the cute, quaint and historic town of Lake Arthur.