Of all the storm stories I read this week, this one got my attention if only because it was so personal. . But don’t worry about Middendorf’s because it will come back and serve us for at least another several hundred years.
This place serves the crispiest, thinnest, most flavorful catfish fillets I’ve ever had. You can hold them up to the light and see right through them!
We discovered this place back in the 1960s when, as Ole Miss students we drove to New Orleans or LSU for football games. It was a little dive on the road to New Orleans.
The fried catfish was unbelievable and it would become a favorite for the rest of my life. When my family moved to New Orleans in the 1980s and our boys were not even yet teenagers, we drove up there every Sunday night for catfish and oysters.
What a great story about this place. Louis lost his job in the 1929 stock market crash so he and his wife Josie moved to Manchac where Josie’s mother and twin brothers lived.
In Manchac, like most of the swamp residents, they fished and hunted for a living. In 1934 all Veterans of WWI received a $500.00 bonus from the US government. With this and a $500.00 loan co-signed by a former Mayor of New Orleans, T. Semmes Walmsley, Louis and Josie opened their “cafe.”
Louis found his calling as he was excellent at talking and tending bar. Mama Josie, as her granddaughter Suzie called her, used her personal recipes and did all the cooking. Mama Josie was the one to come up with the now famous thin cut of catfish. It was a combination of the two that brought the customers coming back.
The actual opening date of Middendorf’s was July 4th, 1934. I’m wondering if it ever flooded before. I’ll get back to you on that.