My favorite restaurant, under water

middendorffs

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.

catfish

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.

8 thoughts on “My favorite restaurant, under water

  1. According to my husband-a former employee as a commercial fisherman-Middendorf’s has flooded several times, but rest assured-it will recover and be serving up “vitamin G!” real soon.

  2. The aforementioned fisherman- Albert- or “Rat” Poche sold crabs, soft crabs and fish first to Dick and Helen Smith, then to their daughter Susie and her husband Joey Lamonte. They were great people to work for, and that time in my life are some of the best memories I have. You probably ate some of the fish I caught. I guarantee you they were fresh!

  3. Emily, I distributed this photo to my family last week… we planned our trips to New Orleans so that we would get to Manchac at lunch time!!!

  4. Someday you need to plan a trip to New Orleans and give me enough time to get off work, so I can accompany you. I would love to see and experience some of the places you hold dear. I have only been there as a tourist Sounds, to me, like a wonderful road trip.

  5. We did that too Yvonne. And Conley, we’ll take a trip to Big Easy is we survive the mountains of Arkansas next week. Be sure to wear your boots so we can do some ‘scootin’

  6. RAISED THERE–SHRIMPED AND CRABED THERE–FOR FUN–NOT BUSINESS–ONE OF MY TEAM-MATES-TOMMY SCOTT LIVED THERE-PARENTS HAD A PLACE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BRIDGE…I “PASSED SOME GOOD TIMES THERE” AS MY OLD FRIEND JUSTIN WILSON SOULD SAY—-

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