Monday, July 20, 2015

Tori’s Travels: Loving Life in Ruston

Written by Tori Ward, CVB Marketing/PR Assistant

Hi y’all! I’m so glad you’ve decided to catch up with me and my Ruston adventures on this lovely summer day. I’ve been in Ruston now for two weeks, and to be very honest, there hasn’t been a dull moment. I’ve met a ton of wonderful people, I’ve seen great local music and performances, I’ve visited some really cool attractions and, of course, I’ve eaten some absolutely delicious food. I never imaged that I would have so much fun in this little Louisiana town. Curious as to what I’ve been up to around Ruston this past week? Let me fill ya in!  

RCT performing "Bye Bye Birdie" at The Dixie
I luckily snagged a ticket to see the Ruston Community Theatre’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Dixie Center for the Arts when it was playing last weekend. I was quite impressed with the talent displayed in this musical and the turnout by the community. While Ruston may not be a town centered around music and the arts, in no way does that mean they can’t be found and experienced weekly. Definitely check out what’s happening at The Dixie next time you plan on coming to Ruston, you won’t be disappointed!

Last Monday was possibly one of my favorite days so far in Ruston. I had lunch at Brister’s Smokehouse, which is this awesome, little BBQ place right off I-20. Locals rave about the BBQ sauce and pulled rib sandwich. Yes, you read that right, PULLED RIB. I had the BBQ nachos and they were heavenly. I could have probably done without the jalapenos (which seems to be a recurring thing with me), but the brisket was crazy tender and the BBQ sauce was out of this world. It’s seriously making me hungry just thinking about it.

BBQ Nachos at Brister's Smokehouse

I followed lunch up with a trip to The Peach Store at Mitcham Farms. Ruston, La. is probably most widely recognized for its locally-grown peaches, and Mitcham Farms is the source of all things peachy in Ruston. I heard from just about everyone here how amazing The Peach Store’s peach ice cream is, so I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Y’all, this peach ice cream is insane. I don’t usually like things that are peach flavored, but their ice cream doesn’t even fall into that category because it doesn’t have that funky, artificial peach flavor. This peach ice cream is smooth and creamy and has real pieces of peach in there, which makes it super refreshing. I could probably write a poem to this ice cream, but I’ll refrain. A word to the wise: don’t try to eat the ice cream in your hot car because it turns into a melty mess REAL QUICK. Aside from the ice cream, The Peach Store is just a cool place to visit. They have all sorts of specialty food items and neat, homemade gifts. Make sure you go get your fresh peaches and peach ice cream in the next few weeks while peaches are still in season!

The Peach Store
Me and my one true love (peach ice cream)
What would my week be like without a little bit of retail therapy? I stumbled upon two of the cutest shops in Ruston last week. The Fashion of Ruston and Chartreuse Pear are located right next to each other in downtown Ruston and both have entrances off a whimsical, rustic breezeway where I could have sat and relaxed all day long. The Fashion carries clothes, jewelry, shoes, beauty products and other accessories. Their merchandise is very classy and chic, and the staff is extremely helpful. The Chartreuse Pear is an elegant and unique store tucked away in downtown. They carry a wide variety of items including home décor, antiques, small gifts, jewelry, beauty products and tons of other great things! I definitely know where a large chunk of my free time/money is going to be spent now.

The Fashion of Ruston
products at Chartreuse Pear

After visiting a few local restaurants, I quickly realized that people around here love playing darts. Am I any good at darts? Absolutely not. Did that stop me from entering a co-ed dart tournament at Ponchatoula’s last Thursday night? Nah. I actually had a blast failing miserably at darts (apologies to my very patient partner), and everyone I met was extremely nice and friendly. I’m telling you, this town epitomizes southern charm and hospitality.   

I started my Friday morning at my new favorite spot in Ruston: Parish Press. If you’re looking for a local coffee shop, this is your place. They have all the classic coffee drinks and even serve a few breakfast items. The atmosphere at Parish Press is perfect for working, reading or having a coffee date. I foresee a Central Perk relationship between me and this perfect, little coffee shop.

Parish Press 

I finished my week off with Sunday Brunch at Beau Vines Steakhouse. I plan on writing about every delectable detail a little later, but for right now I will tell you one thing: GO TO BRUNCH. It’s beyond delicious and very reasonably priced. I plan on making this a weekly tradition, so I’ll see you all there this Sunday!

Benedict Beau Vines from Beau Vines Sunday Brunch

Keep checking in for more of Tori’s Travels and spotlights on local attractions. Do you have a suggestion for my travels this week? Comment and let me know where to go. See y’all around town!

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