"I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." -Mark Twain

Lunch at La Gumbo Ya Ya

A few months back I wrote about the food trucks in Washington DC I visited while I was there. I love the concept of food trucks. When I’m in Washington DC, it is so convenient to simply walk out the front door of our building and have 30 or more food trucks to choose from. I wish we had something like this near where I work but, we don’t. I have only purchased food from one food truck in Oklahoma (Big Truck Tacos) and that was because they have catered a few events we’ve attended.

I’ve seen the name La Gumbo Ya Ya a few times on Facebook (and really, how could you forget it) but hadn’t had the chance to try their food yet. They claim to offer “the BEST New Orleans style Po-Boys in Oklahoma City,” but unfortunately for me they tend to offer them on the north side of town and I work on the south side. “Po me.”

Through social media I heard that La Gumbo Ya Ya was offering free lunches to furloughed government employees with their furlough letters in hand. Since Susan and I are (a) currently furloughed and (b) always up for an adventure, we decided to take the Gumbo truck up on their generous offer. With our furlough letters in hand (and our badges in our pockets, just in case) we sought out La Gumbo Ya Ya for our free meals. The simplest way to find where La Gumbo Ya Ya will be is by following them on Twitter or Facebook, where they post both their upcoming locations and their daily menu. Wednesday, their menu included “Crawfish Jambalaya, Shrimp Gumbo, Sausage PoBoy, and Rice-o Rico,” and they were located at 525 Central Park, about 20 minutes from our house. (Spoiler: I will drive 20 minutes for free gumbo.)

After locating the truck we approached with our furlough letters in hand. After presenting them we were told to order anything we like. Susan’s not a huge fan of seafood so she ordered the Rice-o-Rico and I had the Shrimp Gumbo. The couple running the truck said that we were the first two “free furlough lunches” they had handed out. One of the owners told us a little about the history of po-boy sandwiches and how the tradition came from the 1920s, when free sandwiches were handed out to workers on strike. He said it seemed only fitting that La Gumbo Ya Ya keep the spirit alive and do the same. He also told us that he was serving in the military during the last furlough, so he knew what it was like.

While I am not just saying this because it was free, but in the parking lot of Central Park that day I had the best bowl of Shrimp Gumbo I have ever had. The shrimp, okra and rice were perfect, mixed with just enough spice to bring the dish alive. Susan said her bowl of vegetables were delicious too. While we were grateful for the free lunch, we were more grateful to receive a bit of generosity from a local business. Susan and I are by no means anywhere near starving, but saving $15 during lunch during a week of no pay helps. Aside from all that, La Gumbo Ya Ya has absolutely delicious food and earned two new customers out of the deal.

Links for La Gumbo Ya Ya: WWW | Twitter | Facebook

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