When we deplaned in Baton Rouge, we were tired and craving a big juicy burger. The almost hour drive to Rayne, Louisiana was stunningly beautiful and certainly warranted filming, but we had traveled to Rayne to document the ribbon cutting at their newly renovated Burger King. Driving down I-10, our stomachs growled.
As we rolled into town, we saw frogs absolutely everywhere: on trees, walls, buildings, basketball courts and more. This begged the question, “What is this town’s deal with frogs?”
The answer, it turns out, is pretty straightforward. Rayne is known as “The Frog Capital of the World.” It earned the title after getting a reputation for bullfrogs, a gourmet delicacy in the 1880s. Word spread fast. By the early 20th century, three Parisian brothers were shipping frog legs from Rayne all over the nation. Thus, the community’s claim to fame became, and remained, this unusual food. While the town no longer exports frog legs, the Rayne Beautification Board regularly commissions murals – from very realistic to a bit more fantastical – of frogs.
When we arrived on location, we could smell the French fries and felt the buzz. There was also a real sense of appreciation for the restaurant itself. You see, the Burger King had remained open during the renovation – a fact appreciated by the town leaders and the people employed there. Along with providing meals to residents, it turns out that Rayne is a welcomed respite for weary travelers on I-10. Those who stop over provide a great deal of revenue, and the Burger King is a significant contributor to the local economy.
The people of Rayne love their Burger King, and its renovation was a great reason to celebrate… and celebrate we did! And in case you were wondering, the burgers were delicious.