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!

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

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A Few Random Images

September 24, 2007

Seen in Metairie, Louisiana.

Accept no substitutes with your ‘Po Boys.

The Nectar Soda. A New Orleans original.

Rollin’ on the river.

Creole Tomatoes. These give Jerseys a serious run for their money.

Camelia Beans — what you make your Red Beans and Rice with.


New Orleans Dining: Morning Call

September 10, 2007

Click for Hi-Res Slide Show!

Morning Call Coffee Stand
3325 Severn Ave, Metairie, LA
(504) 885-4068

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

In New Orleans, coffee is not just something people drink to get them through the morning hours — it’s a an important tradition, a social networking mechanism, and deeply entrenched in the city’s culture. Many people know of Cafe Du Monde (click for related OTB post) the famous French Quarter outdoor Cafe Au Lait and Beignets tent heavily frequented by tourists, but less is known of Morning Call, which serves the same fare but is more of a locals scene. Originally, Morning Call was located in the French Market in New Orleans, where it stood for over 100 years until 1974 when it moved to the “Fat City” section of nearby Metairie.

Morning Call, on Severn Avenue in Metairie, Louisiana.

Morning Call is old-fashioned, but don’t worry, they have Wi-Fi if you really need it.

Beignets ready for dusting.

Our Beignets and Cafe Au Lait is served.

At Morning Call, your Beignets are served to you plain so you can dust them with as little or as much powdered sugar as you like. This doesn’t prevent you from getting any less messy, but it does give you a little more control over the situation.

A Frozen Cafe Au Lait, which kept me going during the hour or so ride out to LaPlace.


More About Gumbo

September 8, 2007

Click for Hi-Res Slideshow

It could be said that more than anything else served in New Orleans, Gumbo (click for related OTB post) is the signature dish that defines Louisiana cuisine. At the end of the day it is a soup, but it is so much more than a soup — it incorporates all of the flavors and characteristics and personality of both the Creole and Cajun cultures.

It’s also the reason for an event — making a Gumbo is an excuse for a party and to invite friends and family over to eat. Kids graduating from high school? Make a Gumbo. Daughter getting married? Make a Gumbo. The world is coming to an end? Make a Gumbo.

The Saints are gonna make it to the superbowl? Make a really big pot of Gumbo.

Gumbo is also a dish that has tremendous variety, and every restaurant and family has different recipes. There are also different “schools” of Gumbo cooking and proponents of doing things one way or another — such as the choice of either Okra or Filé to act as a thickener, and when and how they are used in the cooking process, and in what combinations.

I’ve been told by a number of Louisianans that “there ain’t no rules” when it comes to what you can put in a Gumbo, but there are certainly general guidelines.

Most Louisiana cooks agree that a Gumbo needs to start with a roux, or flour that has been cooked in liquid fat until it has browned to a certain degree. That degree of brownness varies with different types of gumbo and in what parts of Louisiana the gumbo is made, it could be a blonde roux, a peanut buttery roux, a reddish roux, a dark roux — but it’s gotta have a roux. Now, I’ve had gumbos sans-roux in New Orleans (the most notable one was at Bozo’s in Metairie) but to quote Robert Peyton, “That’s not a gumbo. That’s a soup with okra in it.”

To understand the process a bit better, I visited Chef Kenneth Smith at The Upperline Restaurant in New Orleans’ Garden District to learn how he makes one of my favorite gumbos in the city, a dark roux duck and andouille sausage gumbo.

The procedure is very straightforward and can be adapted to making other kinds of gumbos, such as the traditional Chicken and Sausage gumbo or an Okra/Seafood gumbo. The difference here is that Ken is using a stock made from roasted duck carcasses and beef trimmings, but you could just as easily use a chicken stock or even a seafood or fish stock.

Got a big turkey carcass leftover from the holidays? Use that and make it into stock. Some people just use water as the liquid base. After making the soup part and it has simmered and thickened for about an hour, it’s traditional to add the raw and steamed seafood or cooked meat (pulled chicken or turkey meat, lump crab) to heat up/cook in the soup for a few minutes before serving.

Creole Chef Kenneth Smith at Upperline Restaurant in New Orleans preparing Duck and Sausage Gumbo. 

Want to learn how to make a great seafood gumbo at home? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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New Orleans Dining: Deanie’s

September 4, 2007

Click Here for Hi-Res Slide Show!

Deanie’s Seafood
1713 Lake Avenue, Metairie, LA
(504) 831-4141

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

Related OTB Post: A Tale of Two Seafood Restaurants

After a stressful and aggravating Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, where our flight had been cancelled due to a mechanical failure on the plane, and then delayed again due to torrential rain and lightning storms which closed the runways at Hartfield International, we finally landed in New Orleans, at around 7PM. When we eventually de-planed, we found ourselves missing all our baggage (note to all readers: AVOID AIRTRAN LIKE THE PLAGUE! NEVER AGAIN! I DON’T CARE HOW CHEAP THEY ARE!) which we didn’t end up getting until 2 days later. To add insult to injury, the car that Enterprise gave us smelled like cigarette smoke (although less so than the first 3 I tried out) and to knock the final nail in the coffin for the day, we had arrived too late to catch the final hours of the summer season for Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, our favorite snowball stand. And just about every restaurant you can think of in New Orleans is closed on Sunday night. We were seriously facing the possibility of Popeye’s or Mickey D’s for our first meal back in town.

Thankfully, after driving past lots of closed restaurants, we eventually ended up at Deanie’s, one of our old-standbys for straightforward seafood, in the Bucktown section of nearby Metairie.

The original Deanie’s Seafood location in Metairie.

After arriving on a Sunday evening in New Orleans on a delayed flight from Atlanta, Deanie’s is a comfort and a welcome sight. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Podcast #44: Wayne Jacob’s AndouilleCAST

September 3, 2007

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse
769 W 5th St # A, La Place, LA 70068.
Main Phone: (985) 652-9990
Fax: (985) 652-0999

Click Here to Listen to the Wayne Jacob’s Andouille Podcast

Click Here to watch David Rauch make Pork Cracklin’s and Smoked Sausage

Related OTB Post: All About Andouille

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in the New Orleans area. Located about an hour northwest of the city in the town of LaPlace, in the cultural center of Cajun Country, the restaurant and smokehouse produces artisan quality charcuterie, including traditional Cajun Andouille Sausage and Tasso Ham, Smoked Sausage, Beef Jerky and Ham Hocks. Their pork cracklin’s are also the best I’ve ever had, and many of their smokehouse products are featured in their restaurant items, including their very good gumbos, Po Boys and traditional dishes.

Click on the collage above for a complete slideshow in hi-res.


New Orleans Dining: Bayona

June 15, 2005

Bayona
430 Dauphine Street, New Orleans
504 525 4455

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

While Bayona may be nestled in a 200 year old cottage smack in the middle of the French Quarter, it might as well be right in the middle of New York City — this is restaurant cuisine at its very best.

Although Bayona’s food does not necessarily represent typical New Orleans or Louisiana cuisine, which is something a lot of visitors to the city may be looking for, I would definitely return to Bayona again and again — after a week of hardcore Creole and Cajun food, Susan Spicer’s mediterranean and southwest flavors are a very welcome relief and were a great topping to a fantastic vacation in one of the best restaurant towns in the US.

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Seared Sea scallop with Poblano Cornbread and Tomatillo Salsa (special)

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.
A delicious bread basket of brioche, sourdough and french bread

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Buttermilk Fried Rabbit Leg and Tenderloin with Creole Mustard Tasso Sauce and Stoneground Grits (special)

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Crispy Smoked Quail Salad with Bourbon Molasses Vinaigrette

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Double-cut Niman Ranch Pork Chop with cheddar Spoonbread

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

Lemon Chiffon Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Lime Gelato

Bayona Restaurant, New Orleans LA (2005) by you.

El Rey Chocolate Mousses with Dulce de Leche and Warm Cinnamon Churros

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