An Appreciation of the Onion Loaf at Longwood General Store

Each year, as sites like Eater.com release year-end “best of” lists, I’m tempted to write a 20×49.com post recapping Shreveport-Bossier’s most interesting culinary moments of the past 12 months. But, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t think our local restaurant community is really that kind of scene. For the most part, we don’t concern ourselves with dining trends, heat maps, or the comings and goings of celebrity chefs. We do our own thing.

Sometimes “our own thing” amounts to something so outlandish – and so uniquely Shreveport-Bossier – that I find it irresistible. That’s the case with the onion loaf ($6.95) at Longwood General Store, which was the single most unusual thing that I ordered at a restaurant in Shreveport-Bossier in 2018. I think a case could be made that it’s one of the most outrageous appetizers in Louisiana. It is – honestly – insane.

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A photo of onion loaf
The onion loaf, a gigantic mound of deep-fried onion strings, may be the most outrageous appetizer in Shreveport-Bossier.

For the uninitiated, Longwood General Store is a restaurant, convenience store, and casino located at 3502 LA-169 in Mooringsport, LA, about a 25-minute drive from downtown Shreveport. Thursdays through Saturdays, the restaurant hosts wallet-friendly ribeye nights that attract crowds from Shreveport-Bossier, East Texas, and beyond. The smallest steak that you can order is seven ounces ($14.95), the largest is 48 ounces ($53.95). Reservations are encouraged.

But back to the onion loaf. For starters: It is enormous. I’d guess that this deep-fried sculpture of onion straws, which rises a foot off of the plate, consists of four or five entire onions, many of which have become welded together during the process of frying. It’s worth paying $6.95 just to see this otherworldly thing arrive at the table. During a recent visit, I asked my dining companion what he thought of the onion loaf’s appearance.

“It looks like someone deep-fried the Frankenstein monster’s brain,” he responded. I nodded in admiration.

At a table next to ours, two young kids were dining out with their parents. When their onion loaf was delivered to the table, the children squealed. I wasn’t sure if the kids were frightened or delighted, but I suspect it was a little bit of both. The thing’s really tasty, too – just a never-ending pile of spicy, perfectly fried onion straws.

I ate lots of delicious meals in Shreveport-Bossier this year. But my trips to Longwood General Store – for perfect steaks, wallet-friendly drinks, and absurdly large piles of fried onions – were some of my favorite dining experiences of 2018. There just aren’t a lot of places like Longwood General store left out there.

If you enjoy this kind of writing, check out the third edition of Eat Here: A Food Lover’s Guide to Shreveport-Bossier.

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