5 Ways to Put a Twist on your Valentine’s Day Date

By Sheila S.

Valentine’s Day weekend is upon us. With over 100 locally owned restaurants, we know you’ve already got dinner planned. But if you are in the mood for something a little different to celebrate this weekend, we’ve put together a few ideas for you.

gardens, ELsong, biedenharn
ELsong Gardens at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
  1. Strolling through the garden at the Biedenharn Museum & Gardens.
    Elsong Gardens, located behind the Biedenharn family home, is a beautiful walled English garden with winding paths, fountains, and an atrium. You can also enjoy a tour of the Coke Museum, Bible Museum, and family home.
    Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

    photo contest, monroe louisiana, landry vineyards, vineyard, wine
    Landry Vineyards
  2. Wine tasting and tour at Landry Vineyards.
    Nestled in the rolling hills of West Monroe, Landry Vineyards is the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. You can sit on the deck and enjoy the view. You can also tour the vineyard, but you’ll need to call ahead to make a reservation.
    Open for tasting and tours on Saturday from 11 am to 5:30.

    shopping, antique alley, west monroe
    Antique Alley in West Monroe
  3. Shopping challenge on Antique Alley.
    For a fun and memorable gift giving experience, try shopping for each other on Antique Alley for one of kind gifts. For added fun, decide on a spending limit and theme, or look for gifts from a certain decade.
    Most shops open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

    go carts, excalibur, west monroe
    Go carts at Excalibur
  4. A little competition Excalibur Family Fun Center.
    Add a little competition to the celebration with a spin around the go kart tract or a round of laser tag. You can also hit the batting cages or see who can rack up the most tickets at the arcade.
    Open Tuesday-Thursday from 2 pm to 9 pm; Friday from 12 pm to 11 pm; Saturday 10 am to 11 pm; and Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm.

    Enoch’s Irish Pub and Cafe
  5. Enoch’s Battle of the Bands
    Are you and your Valentine music fans? Then you’ll both love to check out local bands at Enoch’s on Saturday night. Come early and treat your date to one of their tasty burgers!
    Music starts at 6 pm; 18+ is allowed at the venue until the kitchen is closed. Then it’s 21+ only.

And if you haven’t made those special dinner plans, be sure to visit our website for a list of great options in Monroe-West Monroe! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Crawfish in the Twin Cities

by Jerrica B.

Money can’t buy happiness… but it can buy crawfish and that’s pretty much the same thing!

Crawfish by Cecil Manning

Looking to get your mudbugs fix this season? You don’t have to go very far. Monroe and West Monroe have some of the best local selections when it comes to our favorite Cajun-style seafood. With so many competitors, these restaurants occasionally spice up the competition with special meal deals, low prices, or live entertainment. Here is our list of places you should check out:

1. Fieldhouse Bar & Grill 
Check out their Wednesday Special- 3 lbs. of crawfish and a choice of 15 wings OR a 100 oz. beer tower for $25.

2. Riverside Coney Island
3. Trapp’s
4. Catfish Charlie’s
5. Cormier’s
6. Crawfish City
7. Cheniere Shack
8. Miletello’s Sport’s City Grill
9. For the Love of N’Awlins
10. The Madhouse Sports Grill
11. The Fish House
12. Magic Grill West Monroe

1. Captain Avery’s Seafood
2. Randall’s Fine Meats

When it comes to crawfish, Monroe-West Monroe restaurants don’t play. Whether you are want to dine-in or carry-out, live crawfish or boiled, the options are endless, so go out and try them all!

Skye Hensley Crawfish
We’re waiting…. by Skye Hensley

His & Hers Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

by Janna J.

Romance fills the air every February 14th, the special day we know as Valentine’s Day. You and your significant other plan a night out in the Twin Cities. You strategically choose the restaurant with the most romantic lighting, share a bottle of wine, take a stroll along the Ouachita River, and shower each other with gifts. Gifts?? If you’re like me and still in search of the perfect gift for your someone special with less than two weeks to go until the big day, don’t stress. There is no need to make a mad dash to your computer and order the first pink and red thing you see. Instead follow this gift guide to find a unique and thoughtful gift right here in Monroe-West Monroe that will be sure to impress your sweetie.

Gifts for Her

candle, fleurty ginger
Swan Creek Candle and necklace from The Fleurty Ginger Boutique

For the candle lover

Candles are the perfect go to gift idea. Really, who hates the fresh scent of the perfect candle? After many years of searching for the candle of all candles, I found Swan Creek Candle Company. These 100 percent soy wax candles have a lead free wick to ensure a clean burn that will fill your entire home with fragrance. You can find the Olive Verbena scent along with many others at The Fleurty Ginger Boutique. Pair with one of their awesome accessories for a gift your valentine is sure to enjoy.

bracelet, PANDORA, serendipity
PANDORA bracelet from Serendipity

For the girly girl

Start a Valentine’s Day tradition with this sterling silver Pandora charm bracelet. The heart clasp adds a romantic touch that makes for a flawless Valentine’s Day gift. This may be the best gift idea yet, because for many Valentine’s Days to come you can purchase a charm to add to your loved ones collection. Every time she looks down at her wrist she will be reminded of all the wonderful Valentine’s Days spent together. This PANDORA bracelet and charms are part of the Valentine’s Day collection that can be found at Serendipity.

cookbooks, haven, monroe louisiana
Cookbooks from Haven and Intelligent Designs

For the cook

Find an assortment of best selling cooks books at Haven and Intelligent Designs. A great gift for the chef that doesn’t have a lot of time is #1 New York Times bestseller Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply making dinner on a hectic weeknight, Ina gives you lots of amazing recipes that taste just as good—or even better!—when they’re made in advance. This amazing cookbook will put a smile on the face of your busy chef.

Caldrea body care line from Material Things

For the woman who needs to relax

Help your valentine feel like every day is a spa day with Caldrea body care items. These body oil, body wash and body lotions are filled with botanical benefits that are safe and gentle to every skin type. The aroma therapeutic scents of these products will allow your loved one to relax and unwind after even the most stressful of days. These body care items along with many other Caldrea products can be found at Material Things.

shoes, fashion
Heels from Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique

For the fashionista 

These shoes are modern take on the classic nude heel, and are sure to go perfectly with everything in your fashionista’s closet. Not to mention, they will score you major points with your sweetheart. She will be impressed that you were actually able to pick out a pair of shoes that are so her. You can find these shoes for your sassy valentine at Salt and Pepper Accessory Boutique.

Gifts for Him

spice and tea, antique alley
Mini Grinder gift box from The Spice and Tea Exchange

For the chef

Whether your man is a master chef, or just thinks he is, he will love this mini grinder gift box from The Spice and Tea Exchange. Each grinder box comes with six of the most popular grinder blends that The Spice and Tea Exchange has to offer. Also the unique wooden storage box will go great in any style kitchen.  The mini grinder gift box will help add a little spice to this Valentine’s Day.

fit right active, running shoes
Running shoes from Fit Right Active

For the runner

What do runners love more than running?? Well, that would be brand new running shoes. These Brooks running shoes are a hit with almost any runner. This light weight high mileage trainer shoe with a subtle amount of support can be found at Fit Right Active. If he is extra picky about his shoes take him to Monroe-West Monroe’s first and only specialty store that offers video gait analysis to find the perfect shoe for his foot.

southern marsh, river outfitters
Southern Marsh Hanover Boxers from River Outfitters

For the sleeper

Don’t just buy him another pair of boxers; buy him his favorite pair of boxers. Southern Marsh is a company that has been providing southerners with the softest t-shirts around for years. Now try out their soft, breathable, 100 percent cotton boxers available at River Outfitters. These specialty boxers are great for the valentine that values comfort above all else.

orient, ron alexanders
Orient from Ron Alexanders Clothiers

For the sophisticated man

Orient is an exotic fragrance blended exclusively for Ron Alexander. Master perfumers combined fresh floral notes with citrus, honey, woods, and oriental spices to create this one of a kind scent. Your beau will love this unique cologne that can only be found in Monroe-West Monroe.

hanamint, pation place
Hanamint fire pit table from The Patio Place

For the outdoorsman

Shopping for your outdoors man can be confusing trying to remember if he already has this type of duck call or decide if he really needs a new camping tent? Honestly if he didn’t ask for it from Christmas, he probably doesn’t need it. So now it’s time to start thinking outside of the box for the perfect gift, and that perfect gift is a beautiful Hanamit fire pit table from The Patio Place. With winter in full swing, the warmth of the Hanamit fire pit will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without feeling Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Knowing that you’ll be able to cozy up to the fire with your valentine is an added bonus.

Now that you’ve found the perfect gift, be sure to visit our website to plan the perfect evening at one of our local restaurants. Happy Valentine’s Day!