The Nostalgic Sandwiches Bonnie And Clyde Ate For Their Last Meal

As one of America's most infamous true-crime duos, Bonnie and Clyde have inspired everything from revulsion to copycats. Romanticized in books and films, the murderous couple's notorious exploits have become the stuff of legend. Running rampant in the early 1930s, the pair committed robberies and murders throughout New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, but it was in Louisiana that Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker met their bloody fate.

On May 23, 1934, shortly after eating what would turn out to be their last meal in Gibsland, Louisiana, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed on their way out of town to rendezvous with the rest of the Barrow Gang. They never made it — unbeknownst to the pair, they had been betrayed and their whereabouts revealed to the authorities — who had set a trap. The lovers' crime spree ended in a hail of bullets on the side of the road when they were caught off guard by a posse of Texas Rangers and police.

A historical marker now stands at what used to be the location of Ma Canfield's Cafe (also known as Rosa's Cafe) in Gibsland, immortalizing that ominous day. It notes that at 9 a.m. in the morning, Bonnie and Clyde stopped there for sandwiches before they "drove off to their deaths [seven] miles away" (per the Historical Marker Database). Legend has it that after pulling up in their stolen vehicle, Clyde entered the restaurant and returned with two sandwiches — a BLT for Bonnie and a fried bologna sandwich for himself.

Eat like a criminal at the Bonnie & Clyde Last Stop Cafe

While some details of the killer twosome's final day are based solely on eyewitness accounts, there is documentation about leftovers found in their death car that prove their last meal came from the cafe (via Bonnie and Clyde History). In 1946, Ma Canfield's Cafe was destroyed in a fire. Today, the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum occupies its place and features historical artifacts, film archives, rare photographs and documents, and a replica of the ambushed death car. The museum is also home to the Bonnie & Clyde Last Stop Cafe.

Fittingly, you can enjoy the same meal that Barrow and Parker ate before they met their demise. The restaurant's menu lists Clyde's Choice as fried bologna served on white bread, with your choice of condiments, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions. Bonnie's Delight is a classic BLT with bacon, lettuce, and tomato served on Texas toast with mayo. You can also try the Ambush Special, which is essentially a combo of the two, with all the fixings from the BLT along with Clyde's Gibsland Round Steak (aka fried bologna).

Loyal to its theme, the Last Chance also serves aptly named options such as the Robbery rib sandwich, Prisoner patty melt, Mobster's meatball sub, Klepto Cajun chicken salad, Side Arm Chef's salad, and Hot Pursuit wings. For the little ones, there's the Misdemeanor Meal kid's menu offering a Bandit burger, Hold-Up hot dog, Itchy Trigger chicken fingers, and Thief's grilled cheese.

The origins of fried bologna and BLT sandwiches

Every May, the town of Gibsland hosts the Authentic Bonnie and Clyde Festival. 2024's event will mark the 90th anniversary of the ambush. Activities include music, vendors, a parade, and historical re-enactments. Food plays a part in the festivities too, with a pancake breakfast and jambalaya dinner — and likely plenty of fried bologna and BLTs to go around.

A Southern staple, fried bologna sandwiches are a quintessential American comfort food and a nostalgic childhood favorite. Typically, slices of bologna are fried in a skillet with butter until they start to crisp. One of the secrets of bologna you'll wish you knew sooner is that making a few cuts in the slices before frying prevents the meat from curling. These are commonly served on white bread with yellow mustard and are delicious with the addition of melted cheese slices.

BLTs are also an authentically American invention. Food historians point to them having evolved from the layered club, which happens to be the one sandwich Anthony Bourdain hated with a passion. Whereas a club is made with three pieces of bread and usually sliced turkey, a BLT simplifies things by ditching the extra bread and subbing bacon instead of turkey. Proper tomato placement is key to avoiding a soggy BLT; putting the slices between the lettuce and bacon keeps the bread dry. One tragic bit of lore claims that when Bonnie died, she was found with her BLT sandwich still in her hand.