The Two Worst Smelling Places in Baton Rouge

May 25, 2004

I know a lot of people hate "lists," but don't count me among them. A couple of weeks ago, I started making a list of the 10 worst smelling spots in Baton Rouge. Every time I try to write down the list, I come up with two really legitimate entries, and some random lame filler entries.

The second-worst smelling place in Baton Rouge is the short hall between the swimming pools and the men's locker room at the North Foster YMCA. Sure, all gyms stink, and an old YMCA should be expected to smell really foul. But this one stretch is much much worse then the rest of the YMCA bouquet that permeates the building. It's just a few feet, but the smell is of very, very strong body odor. I don't know who has body odor coming out of the swimming pool, but whatever bacteria broth is brewing on the unventilated floor has that same smell. But worse.

Jambalya Shop on Government Street

But even worse than this is the spot on Government Street outside of Jambalaya Shop early on some (but not every) mornings. A lot of times, the spot just smells fine. Today, in fact, it had sort of a nice, spicy, sizzling vegetable kind of smell. But other mornings, I'm just positive that I've caught them while they are boiling the skin and fur off of the previous night's road kill. I may only be at the stop light for a minute or two, but the sense of death and rot is overwhelming. I can't see how they have any business at all, other than that there might be people who never happened to drive by at 7:30 in the morning.

I've eaten a Jambalaya Shop a few times, and I never thought their food was very good. The jambalaya is too dry and is too overwhelmingly rice, and the gumbo is pure grease. Since my dining experiences are limited, I solicited other opinions at work today:

It's okay.
It was like a big bowl of chicken fat. It was like they just squeezed a dead chicken into the bowl.
Y'all shut up. I eat there sometimes.

Bon apetit.