by Ian McNulty
The Blancher family has built something of an entertainment compound along South Carrollton Avenue between its Rock ‘n’ Bowl music venue/bowling alley and its Ye Olde College Inn restaurant. The latest addition is a new walk-up burger stand attached to Rock ‘n’ Bowl called the Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co.
“It’s really simple. We’re doing burgers, beer and beignets,” says Johnny Blancher, who runs the new business. “This is stuff I always thought Rock ‘n’ Bowl should be doing.”
You find the Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co. adjacent to the main entrance for Rock ‘n’ Bowl, where there are now a few long picnic tables set up for outdoor meals. The menu centers on a burger made from grass-fed beef. That beef – and the stand’s name – comes from a ranch that Blancher’s family has run for more than a century in the Louisiana cattle country south of Abbeville.
The Blanchers have been serving the ranch’s grass-fed beef on the menu at Ye Olde College Inn as part of that restaurant’s increasing focus on local foods. The Blanchers developed an adjacent lot into a kitchen garden to help supply the College Inn menu.
The standard burger from Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co. is a six-ounce patty that is char-grilled and served on a bun from the nearby Maple Street Patisserie.
Straight Stick also serves its “naked” burger, which replaces the bun with red lettuce; meat pies; thick-cut fries with queso-style cheese sauce; and beignets. The stand serves beer and wine and brews Mello Joy coffee, a Lafayette-based brand with a long history in Acadiana. The picnic tables have ice troughs running down the center to keep your beer cold between sips.
“We’re doing the Louisiana thing but just trying to make it a little different from what other people are doing,” he says.
For now the burger joint follows the operating hours of Rock ‘n’ Bowl, serving from 4 p.m. ‘til most nights of the week. After Jazz Fest, Blancher says, hours will expand to include lunch. The menu for Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co. is also served inside Rock ‘n’ Bowl, joining the venue’s regular bar food menu.
Straight Stick Ranch Burger Co.
3016 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-1700