Finds 05.20.09

The Real Deal
“All that other stuff is just glorified ketchup,” proclaims hot dog vendor Russell Hiltz, proprietor of the Grateful Dawg hot dog cart on Jefferson Street (this week’s LivingIND cover story) and maker of Russell’s Cajun Barbecue Sauce. Hiltz made his first sauce in 1974 for friends at a cochon de lait. “I’ve been obsessed with sauces ever since,” he admits. For the last several years, the Hiltz family has been making and packaging its own barbecue sauce at a little plant in Mire. The sweet, spicy sauce is about as good as it gets, a noble challenger to my all-time favorite, Sal & Judy’s (produced out of the namesake restaurant in Lacombe, La.). There’s nothing fancy about Russell’s sauce: tomato concentrate, cane syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, onion, cayenne and a few others comprise the ingredient list. You can pick up a jar of Russell’s Cajun Barbecue Sauce for $5 at Corner Pantry Grocery, 801 Foreman Drive, and online at and, of course, at the Grateful Dawg cart. — Walter Pierce

Local Loyalty
In an effort to encourage people to do business locally to help the area’s economy, CC’s Coffee House partnered with several Lafayette businesses to create a “Value Book” that includes savings on CC’s drinks as well as discounts or freebies from the Zoo of Acadiana, Bath Haus and Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. “The more that those in the community support our local businesses, the more we all will benefit,” says Matt Saurage, president and fourth-generation family owner of Community Coffee Company. The book is free and available at the zoo, Bath Haus, Lee Michaels and the customer service counter at the Mall of Acadiana. — Leslie Turk

Geek Chic
Trekkies and fashionistas alike may find some common ground this month with the release of the newest Star Trek movie. Zoe Saldana, who plays the lovely Uhura, sports at least three different pairs of some very trendy Alexis Bittar earrings in the blockbuster film. A native New Yorker, Bittar has been on the fashion scene since the mid ’80s, and his line of exquisitely carved Lucite jewelry has been seen everywhere from the Sex and the City series to Estee Lauder campaigns. Now, his jewelry will boldly go where no man has gone before, as his architectural designs have hopped aboard the iconic Starship Enterprise. To make it even more appropriate, one of the pairs worn in the movie is dubbed “pod” earrings. Have Scotty beam you up to kiki in River Ranch, where the Alexis Bittar line starts at $85. Call 406-0904 for more information.
— Maria Capritto