I haven’t made it a secret that my wife and I like to spend many of our weekends on the Gulf Coast.
Quite honestly, I’ve never been a New Orleans kind of person. Really don’t like Mardi Gras much at all (I might be run out of town for saying that!), don’t like all the traffic in the city, find the French Quarter dirty and uninviting, and I just don’t have that “I love New Orleans” kind of vibe in me. And I can assure you my wife doesn’t either.
Give me the North Shore or the Gulf Coast any day.
One thing my girl and I have always had in common is a great love of music, especially classic Rock and Roll, and more recently, current country music since it is really a lot of pop and rock and roll combined. For that matter, we both like a lot of current pop music as well, with my wife leading the way for me to learn about some pretty cool new bands and individuals. We are heading to Tampa in the near future Charlie Puth and Shawn Mendez.
So the love of music led us to the Gulf Coast since the casinos over there bring in top notch, national talent. I always remember our first concert together, probably at least three or four years ago, when I noticed Big & Rich were playing at a casino. The great thing about all the casino concert arenas is that they are very small—probably don’t seat more than 1,300 to 1,500 people—so if you go to a show there you are pretty close to the stage no matter where you are.
We went to the show with Big & Rich and have not stopped since. My wife has kept almost every ticket stub that we got from the shows and she recently was curious about who we had seen and counted something like over 70 shows in about three years.
Just reading the names of the bands was special in itself. We have gotten to see some of the greatest rock and roll bands and stars ever—Leon Russell, Gregg Allman, Three Dog Night, Chicago, the Doobie Brothers, Ringo Starr, Santana, the Moody Blues—believe me there are a lot and I can’t really remember them all off the top of my head.
To me the greatest show ever was when Santana was surprisingly coming to the Beau Rivage. I remember us riding towards the coast for the weekend where they have many billboards advertising the shows as you get within 10 miles or so. Suddenly I saw “Santana” on the Beau Rivage billboard and I was sure it was not exactly true. You see, there are also what they call “Tribute bands” that come—most of which are very good—and they are also fun to see. So I told her, “that can’t possibly really be Santana coming to the Beau. It must be a tribute band.”
She jumped online and quickly told me, “OMG, Santana is really coming.” I still was in shock. For you rock and rollers you must know Carlos Santana is among the greatest guitar players ever.
So we dropped our immediate plans to check in at the hotel, drove as fast as we could to the Beau and were fortunate enough to get tickets. Santana played for nearly three hours the night of the show and we bought standing room only tickets so we could get right up to the first couple of rows in front of the stage.
The great thing about all this is simply about having fun and making memories, and I get to do it with my best friend. If you are not a Gulf Coast person you might want to try it. The traffic is minimal, the atmosphere is cool, the beach is right there and it is a great entertainment area with so many places to go. We love it.
And if you do find yourself on the coast, we discovered the neatest little restaurant this past weekend called Le Café Beignet. It is in the Biloxi historic downtown district, just blocks off the coast road.
Biloxi native Sita La’Cap started the place four years ago and has built a reputation for great breakfast and lunch simply because, as we decided after eating there—it was some of the tastiest, freshest, most unique food we have eaten!
My wife got a beautiful looking Shrimp and Grits and I got the best Roast Beef and Horseradish sandwich I had ever eaten. Looking at the menu, she has so many unique dishes that we can’t wait to go back. And trust me—nothing is made until you order it.
Oh yea, and how could I forget the Lemon-Raspberry Cake sitting at the counter that my wife fell in love with since they are two of her favorite flavors.
Le Café Beignets is located at 136 Rue Magnolia and I highly recommend the place if you find yourself going to a great concert in Biloxi.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.