We conducted an unintentional survey over the weekend by asking our Facebook Fan Page users to "fill in the blank" in a status update that read:

Within 5 minutes there were 35 comments. 10 minutes later there were 75. At the time of this blog post, there are 168 comments. Clearly we saw that amongst the 23,000 people that 'Like' our Facebook Page, Lafayette was in 'Need' of quite a few things. From family fun to MORE restaurants (4 out of the top 5 answers were restaurants .... as if we didn't have enough). People also showed a BIG demand for a place to cool off from the humid south Louisiana heat without having to take the hour long drive east to Blue Bayou Water Park in Baton Rouge. Some comments that lacked in popular vote, made up the difference in comedic value.

A few that didn't make the top 5 were still pretty popular. Many agreed on a "loop" to make transportation easier in Lafayette. "Teen club" and "a real mall" were also very popular answers from our younger fan page members showing that more activities for the "under 18" crowd are on their most wanted list in Acadiana. Nearly 200 people sounded off with their opinion on what was missing here in Lafayette and we decided to put the most popular answers in a list titled:

The Top 5 Things Lafayette Needs

(according to our Facebook Fan Page Members)

5. Joe's Crab Shack


Even though we have GREAT local seafood, and GREAT local seafood restaurants, many people voiced that they would love the taste and atmosphere of Joe's Crab Shack right here in Lafayette. Their first restaurant, located in Houston, TX, opened in 1991 and since then they have opened around 30 more. Joe's website describes their restaurants as

the kind of place that welcomes you in warmly and feeds you delicious seafood. But it doesn't stop there. It's here that good food, good times and good memories are created every day. We're a little quirky, but we're proud of it. So strap on a bib, order your favorite bucket of crab and don't be afraid to dance.

4. Red Lobster


Another seafood restaurant ?? Yep .. Lafayette has made it clear that they LOVE their seafood based on the results of this survey. In 1968 Red Lobster opened their first location in Lakeland, FL. Their popularity rapidly grew in the Southeast throughout the 70's and soon they were introducing other parts of the country to dishes they had never tasted before; like calamari and snow crab - not to mention Red Lobster is credited with inventing the ever-popular "popcorn shrimp." Their key to their success?  "Quality service and their ability to evolve with the times." Red Lobster says that

today, there are more than 680 Red Lobster locations in the United States and Canada. Our reputation as seafood experts is known the world over. And we’re still as excited as ever to give you a great meal and feed your passion for seafood.

3. A Water Park

(Photo by Pepe Franco/Cover/Getty Images)

Out of the top 5 answers, this is the one that I agree with the most. Anyone who lives here knows that for the majority of the year here, IT'S HOT. We see humid 100 degree weather for the majority of our summer here in Southwestern Louisiana and a water park would be the PERFECT thing to cool off. Blue Bayou is an hour and a half away in Baton Rouge, but that just isn't close enough when you want to beat the heat. There has been rumor of one opening in Rayne, LA for quite some time now, but I'm not sure what is going on with that now. I do know one thing though; we are just weeks away from yet another SWELTERING hot summer. Until we get our water park, we'll just have to find a neighbor's pool or ...  get the hose.

2. P.F Chang's

Facebook (Photo by Steve Huskisson)

Another restaurant!! LOL. (But at least it isn't seafood this time) This time around, Lafayette's taste buds have demanded a P.F. Chang's China Bistro. Originally founded in Scottsdale, AZ, P.F Chang's has over 200 locations across the U.S. (the closest to us being in Baton Rouge, LA) They serve American Chinese cuisine from an all original menu that keeps people coming back for more. Another popular feature is their bar. Check out this video to experience part of the reason why Lafayette yearns for their very on P.F. Chang's.

1. Dave & Buster's


For years people have been hoping and wishing for a Dave & Busters right here in Lafayette. We like to party here in Acadiana. We also LOVE to eat (can you tell by this list?) We also value family BIG time. Why not have the best of ALL worlds ? A place to eat good food. Drink good drinks. Play games. Have fun, with the whole family. The answer: Dave & Buster's. They have around 60 locations nationwide and each one features a full-service restaurant and a video arcade. Oh ... and another key factor; every Dave & Buster's features a full service bar. So who came up with this awesome concept ??? It actually kind of "just happened." See the full story here and be sure to check out the locations as well so that the next time you travel to a city with a Dave & Buster's you can see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, maybe soon you won't have to drive far at all. ;)