New Orleans Dining: Middendorf’s

August 30, 2012

8-30-2012 I’ve brought this old 2007 post up to the top because apparently the restaurant is now flooded with at least 4 to 5 feet of water from Hurricane Isaac, and for historical preservation purposes, I have added some newer photos from our 2010 trip to New Orleans that had not been posted before.

Needless to say we’re devastated, and our heart goes out to the people of Louisiana and other affected areas of the Gulf states that are enduring a “version 2.0″ of Hurricane Katrina, which happened exactly seven years ago — Jason

Middendorf’s
Route 51, Manchac LA
(985)386-6666

On the way back from LaPlace and our visit to Wayne Jacob’s, we were still a little hungry, so we decided to head down Route 51 towards Middendorf’s, a restaurant located in Manchac, a “Fish Camp”. Manchac isn’t as much a town but a stop on the highway where you can buy seafood, alligator meat, grab some soda pop and beer, and eat at Middendorf’s. It’s about as isolated an area in the middle of nowhere as you can get. It’s so out of the way that Middendorf’s and Manchac doesn’t even have a GPS entry in our Garmin.

We had tried to get out to Middendorf’s on previous trips, only to have not had the time or some confluence of events prevented us from getting there. We had heard of their deep fried, corn meal breaded thin and crispy catfish fillets, but it was only the stuff of legend to us. Imagine our horror that when we actually arrived, it was on the wrong day.

Hey, we finally made it! Oh crap. It’s closed!

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New Orleans Dining: Parasol’s (2.0)

May 2, 2012

For those of you attending Jazz Fest this week, I wanted to highlight a great Po’Boy shop that we visited during Christmas of last year but had forgotten to post about. By all means… GO!

Parasol’s
2533 Constance St, New Orleans LA
(504) 302-1543

Web Site: http://www.parasolsbarandrestaurant.com

Back in early September of 2007, I visited New Orleans to see how the city was doing two years after Hurricane Katrina. One of the restaurants I visited was Parasol’s, an old Irish bar known for a legendary Roast Beef Po’Boy sandwich.

I’m not going to mince words here — the old Parasol’s was a dump. If you look at the original writeup of the place I did in 2007, you’d have to agree. It looked plain… scary to walk into. But you had to take a leap of faith because of the food that was inside.

What has happened to Parasol’s since it was sold in 2010 to Johnny and Thea Hogan has been nothing short of miraculous. I loved this place so much on my last trip I actually went there twice.

Parasol’s is now a totally un-scary restaurant to walk into. And the Po’Boys are divine. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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New Orleans Dining: Crabby Jack’s

December 1, 2011

Note: While reading Brett Anderson’s quest for the perfect Roast Beef Po’ Boy series in the New Orleans Times Picayune, I realized that I had some un-published photos from a March 2010 trip to New Orleans which might be of interest. As I am going to be in New Orleans during Christmas week this year, I figured this would be a good a time as any to bring this to the top.

Crabby Jack’s
428 Jefferson Hwy, Jefferson, LA 70121
(504) 833-2722

Crabby Jack’s is Jacques-Imo’s little sister in Jefferson, specializing in Po Boys and fried seafood platters. It’s a little lunch-only place situated right next to the Louisiana Seafood Exchange, so you can be assured that the oysters and shrimp and crawfish you are getting are as fresh as can be.

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Owner Jack Leonardi manning the fort. Since Katrina, he’s been a bit short on help, and he’s quite obviously a few crawfish short of a boil.

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This big pile of crawfish is left out for customers to pick on. Samples!

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That’s a Lot of Crawfish, Eric.

May 31, 2010

My friend Eric Eisenbud is indeed an amazing character. His hunger for all things culinary rivals mine, but his body keeps shrinking. So far, he’s lost 50 pounds over the last several months, and he looks great. But that doesn’t mean the man still doesn’t know how to overdo it like a professional.

Eric, who is former President of New Jersey Les Marmitons, has held a Louisiana Crawfish Boil at his house for the last few years and this year I was one of the lucky friends to be invited. To say that the eating was massive is an understatement. I keep telling myself “not to worry, they’re mostly protein“, but it only goes so far.

Eric Eisenbud. A man who loves his crawfish.

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Gumbo Z’herbes for Superbowl Sins

February 9, 2010

In celebration of this year’s Superbowl, we sinned. As did probably everyone else, including the entire city of New Orleans — which deservedly should celebrate their victory with all of their wonderful food and drink.

But some of you, like myself, are probably feeling like you overdid it. Like you need to cleanse your body. Like you want to eat something that is wholesome and not bad for you.

You may be thinking “I should do an herbal cleanse or do a high calonic and go on a three week juice diet”. No, heavens no. Don’t do that.

The Creole and Cajun people of Louisiana developed a cure for sinning many years ago, and it’s much more pleasant than a high calonic. It’s called Gumbo Z’herbes.

Big ol’ bowl of Gumbo Z’herbes, served with Brown Rice, Louisiana Hot Sauce and File Powder.

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New Orleans Dining: COCHON Butcher

January 3, 2010

COCHON Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 588-7675

Web Site: http://www.cochonbutcher.com

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Donald Link’s COCHON Butcher is half butcher shop, half re-invented deli with a Cajun and New Orleans twist.

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New Orleans Dining: Dooky Chase’s

January 2, 2010

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
2301 Orleans Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 821-0535

Leah Chase and her 69 year old restaurant, Dooky Chase’s, was the inspiration for Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. Here you’ll find some of the best Soul Food and Creole Cuisine in the entire city.

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Thinking of Louisiana and the Gulf in the path of Gustav

August 31, 2008

Brown Rice Jambo with Chicken Andouille and Shrimp by you.

Brown Rice Jamabalaya with Shrimp and Chicken Andouille. Click on the photo to enlarge.

We had been craving making a Jambalaya over the last few months, lamenting not being able to return to our favorite city and its wonderful local cuisine due to our healthier lifestyle. So over the last few days we decided to make an updated version with brown rice, Chicken Andouille (Purchased from COSTCO) and jumbo shrimp, with a higher vegetable and protein to carb ratio than a typical Jambalaya. The results are in the photo above. It was crazy good.

It seems inappropriate to me to sit home and make a staple New Orleans dish in a time of such worry. But we have to remember that no matter what, the people of that city are survivors, and they know how to have a good time. And they are our friends.

Tonight, Rachel and I stand in solidarity with our friends in Louisiana and the Gulf states, hoping that Gustav, while now a weakened Category 3 storm, will pass through with minimal damage and minimal loss of life. And we stand with them, prepared for whatever may come.


New Orleans Dining: Lüke

April 24, 2008

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Luke Restaurant
333 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA
(504) 378-2840

Web Site: http://www.lukeneworleans.com

I noticed that fellow Fat Packer Ed Levine is in New Orleans this week and is lamenting about how his current diet is being affected by the local cuisine. This made me laugh, because I completely feel for what he is going through. I’ve probably put more pounds on in the last year eating in New Orleans restaurants than in anywhere in the US — the city is known for its excess, and boy did I indulge in it on my last trip there, back in August of 2007. But if I had a milestone weight loss that I wanted to celebrate, and say “to hell with it” for a day, and if I had to make a Sophie’s Choice of what one restaurant in New Orleans I should make that cheat at, John Besh’s Lüke would probably be very high on the list of candidates.

Be it as it may, It recently occurred to me that I had completely forgotten to post about my August 2007 experiences at the restaurant. Ed’s current trip to the city during the 2008 IACP conference gave me the impetus to drag out my photos (and I shamefully apologize to Chef Besh who had Todd Price, Rachel and myself as his guests at this meal that was never chronicled) which have been collecting virtual dust on Flickr until now. Fortunately, the menu has stayed effectively the same, so contextually, the food should be nearly identical to what the restaurant serves now.

I hope this post serves to motivate the IACPers and other travelers who are heading to the city this spring to try this wonderful restaurant, because God knows I won’t be eating there again or eating like this for a while.

Ready for a trip back in time to OTB Classic? Click on “Read the rest of this entry” link below for some artery clogging Beshy hofbrau goodness.

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OTB Classic: For the Love of the Muffuletta

January 27, 2008

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Central Grocery
923 Decatur Street, New Orleans
(504)523-1620

Nor-Joe Importing Co.
505 Frisco Ave
Metairie, LA 70005-4215
(504) 833-9240

The Muffuletta from Central Grocery in New Orleans, the sandwich of love.

What could be better than expressing your love for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day than by making them a giant, meat and cheese stuffed Italian cold-cut sandwich? And as far as I am concerned, nobody does it better than the city of New Orleans, with its “other” signature sandwich — the Muffuletta. Certainly, if someone were to drop one of these babies on my doorstep, even in my current health-freak and weight loss inspired state, they’d be my sweetheart for life.

One such sweetheart is author Sara Roahen, who has a love affair with the city of New Orleans. Her new book, “Gumbo Tales“, which is being released on February 5, 2008, talks about the Muffaletta in some detail:

Central Grocery on Decatur Street in New Orleans’s French Quarter.

“I admit to having favored other muffulettas in the past — the bigger ones at Nor-Joe Importing in Old Metairie, the cheaper grab-and-go ones at Zara’s Supermarket in Uptown, the ones with more olive salad at Dimartino’s across the river. But there’s no stand-in for a muffuletta from Central Grocery, because there’s no stand-in for Central Grocery. Dried fava beans in burlap sacks, fig cookies in cellophane bags, salt cod in wooden slide boxes, olive oil in gallon tins, sherry vinegar on unreachable shelves, tomatoes from San Marzano, truffle oil from Umbria, anchovies in jars, halva in cans, vacuum-packed semolina, marinated octopus, white cheeses, hanging salamis, green coffee beans…some of the grocery‘s products are so unfamiliar that walking among them transports you to a foreign place, and some of their labels are so dusty and faded the goods appear to be relics stocked by Salvatore Lupo himself.”

Do you want to make your sweetheart a Muffuletta for Valentine’s Day? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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