318 Restaurant Week is upon us and I can’t wait to see my social media feeds fill up with delicious foodstuff. Tejas Kitchen Bar Patio in Shreveport helped kick off the week long event with a media preview. I was lucky enough to attend.
If you’re like me, I love to try new restaurants and find out which are sourcing food from local farms. This week gives a chance to try something new with affordable specials that make it a bit easier on the pocketbook.
More than 35 local restaurants have cooked up lunch and dinner specials for 318 Restaurant Week. My advice is to preview the list and make a game plan of your “must do” events. Many evening dinner specials are almost sold-out, so if you want to attend, stop reading this and go make your reservation.
With 131 rooms, Bossier City’s newest hotel boosts many great amenities, such as free laundry, fully equipped kitchens, and free breakfast. The Residence Inn Shreveport-Bossier City/Downtown is an all suite hotel, with extended stay as a focus and is a Dimension Development managed property. Although extended stay is a focus, Residence Inn can accommodate any overnight stays. Jennifer Boone, sales manager says that one of the great things about Residence Inn is that they assist their guests in keeping the rhythm of life. Traveling can disrupt normal routines and Residence Inn’s offer ways for guests to continue to thrive in their personal and business routines.
One service that all Residence Inn’s provide, but very few take advantage of is complimentary grocery shopping. Leave a list at the front desk and your food will be waiting in your room upon your return. This is an important part of my travel life, as I try to maintain a somewhat heathy diet. Many times, I walk to nearby grocery stores in an effort to maintain my normal eating habits. Now that I know this bit of info, I will be looking forward to using the service. This makes it easy to travel with a plan.
In addition to hotel rooms, the Residence Inn has tasteful and spacious event areas for meetings and conferences with catering services available.
New business is always great for Shreveport-Bossier and I hope you’ll keep Residence Inn at the front of your mind when in need of hotel rooms for family and work associates. General Manager, Gary Theus, promises to offer the best service around.
Residence Inn Shreveport-Bossier City/Downtown is located at 501 Traffic Street, Bossier City, LA 71111. (318) 584-7125
I have this really cool side job promoting The Chocolate Crocodile™ on social media. In case you haven’t heard about The Chocolate Crocodile, in which case I’m not doing an effective job, you need to know that it is the most fabulous candy/chocolate store around. They can dip anything (that’s legal). The Monster Croc Apple is their most popular specialty. More about that in a moment.
In 2005, Jim and Cyndi Ragon decided to leave their full time jobs in Minnesota, move to Bossier City, Louisiana and share their love for chocolate at the newly established Louisiana Boardwalk. Ten years later, they have opened two more stores: Cypress, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama. They are committed to bringing life´s goodness in an elegant, personal atmosphere. Their love extends by specializing in the finest chocolate and caramel delicacies covering the largest juiciest fruits and wrapped in the tastiest crunchiest nuts.
Here are some things you might not know, but should:
The Chocolate Crocodile™ uses only the finest chocolate to cover everything from apples to strawberries, peanut butter balls to twinkees, and anything between that you can dream. [If it’s legal – :)] If you don’t see it, they can custom dip it, just ask.
They make their caramel fresh, right in the store each day. Yes, homemade. It takes about three hours for each batch. That’s why it tastes so yummy.
They dip approximately 1300 bushels of apples each year. That’s 83,200 APPLES!
In addition to their most popular Monster Croc Pecan Apple, they have 36 different varieties of dipped apples. Each start with a super sized Granny Smith Apple, homemade caramel and layers of chocolate, nuts, sprinkles or confections. (Consider trying the Margarita Apple).
Worried about how to eat a Monster Croc Apple? No worries, they will slice your apples so that you can dig right in. I’ve seen the knife, it’s big. Maybe machete is the better word.
Let’s talk strawberries and apple sizes. Have you seen them? Extra large may be an understatement. The Chocolate Crocodile™ special orders their strawberries and apples. Quality is very important to Jim and Cyndi. If they run out of the fruit, there will be no run to the corner grocery. The standards for consistency in size and quality are of the utmost importance.
The Chocolate Crocodile™ has chocolate tours available for groups. Jim, or one of the chocolatiers, will show you around the store, give you the history of chocolate and allow you to have a hands-on experience with dipping chocolate.
Are you a wine and chocolate lover? Well then you will want to book a Wine and Chocolate Experience at Jimmy’s Seafood & Steak inside the Margaritaville Resort Casino. To book, contact Ashley Davis at 752-1455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
They even doggie treats. Their non-chocolate treats are specially formulated so don’t worry about ill effects to your dog.
And the last point that I’ll draw your attention to is that you can order The Chocolate Crocodile™ yummies from ANYWHERE! Yes, they have ONLINE ORDERING. Check it out.
So now, let’s talk about how many monster apples you can eat. Let’s find out on the 4th of July. Head down to the Independence Day Festival at Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. The Monster Apple Eating Contest begins at 3 pm on the Community Stage, under the Farmer’s Market Pavilion near the train depot. Adults and children are encouraged to give it all they’ve got! You will have 7 minutes to eat all the Monster Croc Apples that you can. There will be cash prizes for 1st thru 3rd place for both adult and children categories. Holiday Lanes will provide water for the event and has provided game passes for anyone who signs up, along with prizes for the winners. My good friend Thomas at Maccentric has provided the apples for the event. (good fit, don’t ya think?)
If you are ready to amp up your fitness routine, I’ve got some news for you. My friend, Katie Q. invited me to join her for a fitness class at the new Altitude Trampoline Park in Bossier City. It sounded like fun, so I agreed. Thirty minutes before class started, my sweet friend bailed on me. “Should I go . . .?” I thought. “Yes” was the answer. Boy! I was in for a workout like I haven’t had in quite a while. This class works out every muscle in your body. And while the class lasted for an hour, I only made it 15 minutes. (Yes, I’m a quitter!)
For anyone looking for a fun and intense workout, you need to check out Altitude’s fitness class. Classes are $8.95 per session (or $4 if you purchase 12 at a time). You will be required to purchase a pair of slip-grip socks for $2. I put those socks in my glove compartment in my car with hopes that I work up the nerve to go back (and Katie doesn’t bail on me).
Get more information about Altitude Trampoline Park:
I’m so excited about the new Laney’s Kid’s Club (LKC) at Holiday Lanes! Why? Because it’s all new AND it’s our own. For the past few years, we have been affiliated with a national program for our summer free bowling. Don’t get me wrong, the program was great and exposed lots of kids to bowling. It’s just that we didn’t have much control over what we were saying or promoting with the program. We wanted to offer something BIGGER & BETTER to our bowlers and that’s where Laney’s Kid’s Club comes in. LKC is a FREE year-round membership for kids 18 & younger that offers 2 free games bowling every day from May 1 – September 30. Not only is this great for the pocketbook, it’s a fun and fit way to keep kids active. ALSO . . . there is a family pass, a shoe pass and a school employee pass offer that extends the value and gives the rest of the family a chance to bowl with the kids.
One of the first sketches of Pelican Laney by Laurie (done on a train bound for Willie Nelson concert)
I love the fact that I work in a job that allows me such creativity and fun. About a month ago, I was just about to sign up with the national program when my boss called and said that we were going to create our own program. I was fortunate that she is connected with other bowling proprietors around the country. My friend and marketing colleague, Rocky from Mel’s Lonestar Lanes, had made a switch last year and designed a program that was working. So I loaded up and headed to Georgetown, TX to pick Rocky’s brain. Let me tell you, Rocky’s got it going on. After my two day visit with her, I was ready to take on the world. A month wasn’t a lot of time to design web sign ups, email marketing and overall promotions, but projects like this get me on a roll. The next thing I did was call an artist friend of mine, Laurie Jarecki, to design our mascot. Laurie was on a train bound for Austin to see Willie Nelson, but within a few minutes on her sketch pad, Pelican Laney was born. After several proofs, Laurie cranked out the final draft of Laney. That’s when Laney took flight at Holiday Lanes.
So here are the details:
Sign up kids online to become Laney’s Kid’s Club members. As a Laney’s Kid’s Club member, you’ll receive the following just for signing up:
2 FREE Bowling games every day May 1 – Sept 30, 2015. (Awesome Approx Value $1530 per person)
Coupons emailed each Saturday
Exclusive Event Access all year long
A fun and fit activity – BOWLING is healthy!
LKC members who book their birthday party at Holiday Lanes will receive a free Laney t-shirt for the birthday child.
Opportunity to extend value by purchasing a family pass for up to 4 other adults in the household
$20 Shoe passes available to cover the entire 5 months of shoe rental with your bowling
& More to come!
ATTENTION TEACHERS: As a way of thanking teachers and school employees for sharing info about Laney’s Kid’s Club with students, Holiday Lanes is extending a FUN & FIT summer of bowling with 2 FREE games for teachers and school employees too. It’s free to sign up for a Teacher and School Employee pass
Bowling builds community. It’s a fit activity (burns lots of calories!) and so much fun. Laughter is guaranteed when you bowl. Our intentions with Laney’s Kid’s Club is to expose as many children to the sport of bowling as a healthy life choice. Holiday Lanes is a great smoke-free environment for adults and kids to play.
Make sure you are following Holiday Lanes to keep up with all the fun and fit stuff going on:
I really do have the best job ever! I’m so fortunate that I get to share in the goodness of helping others, while promoting Holiday Lanes. Today was The Community Foundation of North Louisiana Give for Good Day. Give for Good day is a 24-hour online giving challenge led by The Community Foundation of North Louisiana to raise unrestricted dollars for the nonprofits in our community. It is a day of giving to celebrate the nonprofits in our community and a chance to raise thousands of dollars to make our community even better.
Holiday Lanes was approached by the dynamic duo over at APEX Events and was asked to partner with The Gingerbread House for a Give For Good Event. The Gingerbread House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works collaboratively with law enforcement, child protective services, medical and mental health professionals to serve child victims of abuse. The “Strike Out Child Abuse: A Give For Good Event Supporting Gingerbread House” was the first partnership between the two. A $10 donation allowed for a try at getting a strike on the Gingerbread lanes. McAlister’s Deli in both Shreveport and Bossier City helped with the cause by collecting donations at their locations all week to add to the total. Barrels were also placed at Holiday Lanes during the week. A total of $667.67 was collected and Holiday Lanes rounded up the donation to make it an even $1000! At the time of this blog, the total showing on the Give For Good Leaderboard for The Gingerbread House was $5635. That’s an awesome way to end the day.
Flying Heart Brewing is preparing to celebrate its grand opening. On May 1, 2015, you will get a chance to taste Bossier City’s first craft beer. Don’t hate me because I got a sip tonight. I tasted the Fire House Blonde, and be still my flying heart, it was quite tasty. It was a light and crisp Kolsch. I’m not a beer drinker, and yet I really enjoyed this beer. I think you will too.
Ben Hart shows the custom made flight
Ben Hart, co-founder, and as I found out quite handy guy, was so kind to tell me some of the history of the brewery. Flying Heart Brewing is located in historic and restored Bossier City Fire Station 6. I want to tell you all about it, but I’d prefer that you stop by on May 1st and let him tell you all about it. Ask him about the antique cooler and the 513 fire box.
Flying Heart does all brewing right on site in Bossier City. There are currently six flagship brews. Check them out. At their grand opening on May 1, you will be able to taste three of those brews. Louisiana Amber, Milk Maid Stout and Barrel 52.
Let’s celebrate this new business in Bossier City. Be sure to follow them on social media and show up for their grand opening on May 1. They are located at 700 Barksdale Boulevard in downtown Bossier.
I have to admit that I haven’t been to work-out at my gym (Fit Nation) in a few weeks. (That means a couple of months in my life) I just returned from a trip to Mexico. While I was there I went zip-lining. It made me remember why I “should” work-out. My body is feeling the pains. So today I decided to head on in for a little interval circuit. Half-way through my work-out, a decal on the door in the circuit room caught my eye. It was a decal that had a fun and funky wellness vibe. I couldn’t look away. It seemed as if it was saying “stop, come see me”, so I did and I found that a new juice bar had been added while I’ve been away.
Well+Fed Louisiana Cold-Pressed Juice just launched a soft opening in Fit Nation in the Heart O Bossier Shopping Center in Bossier City. I’ve considered juicing in the past, but knew that if I purchased a machine, it would end up collecting more dust than veggies. When I walked in I was greeted by Dany. Dany told me all about the cold-press process and also told me that they had sold out all but two jars of juice for the day. Dany introduced me to his wife, Lindsi Martin. Lindsi shares ownership of Well+Fed with Ashley Everage. Lindsi let me sample the Carrot, Apple, Ginger Juice, which is “Roots #2” on the menu. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but I was surprised. It was a really nice combination and the flavors made my taste-buds explode. I’m not usually a fan of ginger, but I liked it . . . I really liked it.
Currently there are ten different juices on the menu. A twelve ounce juice will cost you $8. If you bring your empty jar on your next visit, you will receive $1 off the next juice. Lindsi explained to me that cold pressing retains more vitamins and good stuff than other juicing methods.
I’m bringing my $8 on my next visit and will be trying the “Fruits #1”, which is watermelon, grapefruit, mint and lime. I can’t wait! Now it’s your turn to stop by Well+Fed and tell them I sent you.
And be sure to follow them and watch for their grand opening dates: