New Orleans Dining: Middendorf’s

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

Route 51, Manchac LA

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!

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

See how sad that fish looks? That about equated to our general mood that afternoon.


In this part of Louisiana, Route 51 is an elevated highway that goes through the swamps of Cajun country.

This is one of the seafood shacks next door to Middendorf’s. Mmmm. Coon Meat. I bet that goes good in a Gumbo.

Fortunately, one of our local friends, Cathy Campanella, founder of Mr. Lake’s Non-Pompous Food Forum, was able to send us some photos of the inside and food to show you. Here is a view of the Dining Room.

Cathy Campanella (Lower Right) and Friends.

Fried Shrimp and Oysters with Hush Puppies and French Fries. Notice the oysters are fried in the traditional cornmeal breading method that is unique to the South.

Fried Catfish Fillets. By all accounts they are the best in the entire area.

Fried Middendorf Soft Shell Crabs and Catfish Fillets (Photo by Fuzzy Gerdes)

Hot bikes in the parking lot (2010)

A busy afternoon (2010)

Hot purple street bike parked in front (2010)

Menu (2010)

Dining Room (2010)

Seafood Gumbo (2010)

Italian Salad (2010) also called a “Wop Salad” in local non-PC parlance.

Oyster Stew (2010)

Fried Oysters (2010)

Boiled Shrimp (2010)

Fried Seafood Platter (2010)

Fried Shrimp Closeup (2010)

Bread Pudding (2010)

5 Responses to New Orleans Dining: Middendorf’s

  1. crez says:

    This was absolutely a fun destination. If you use Mapquest,however, be forewarned:you need to get off at exit 15 in Manachac, NOT continue to Ponchatoula (as you approach Manachac look to you’re right and you’ll see the place).When I made my puzzled call, the manager said they were trying to fix the problem and he knew immediately I’d used Mapquest.
    Be sure to eat in the older building (old stoves,old pots). The stuffed mushrooms,catfish (both fried,of course and spicy broiled) were fine indeed, and though we didn’t partake yet,I was told by a local the barbqued oysters were scrumptious. The atmosphere of the place is what makes it even more special.

  2. Patty Lee says:

    Middendorf’s in Manachac is a great experience both in dining and in location! A must do for everybody! And the drive form New Orleans is easy and scenic!

  3. Robert says:

    I thought I would update you on this widely-loved catfish house……………from 225 Dine website……

    The seafood restaurant famous for its flaky fried catfish began cleaning out the building last week for major renovations, such as new flooring, ceiling, and the cypress walls the owners discovered in the attic recently. Middendorf’s welcomes a new kitchen and a new attached building, where Rottman’s Seafood once stood. The owners dream of having it ready in time for their 75th birthday on the Fourth of July.

    ……newer, bigger, but better???

  4. Ladycaramia says:

    Wow, making my mouth water for some good ole down home food from LA. Thanks for the post. I think I have been to this place in my childhood. There is a famous restaurant in Ponchatoula where I tasted my first Cajun style gumbo. It was the best Cajun anything I have ever tasted far none .

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