Tag Archives: turtle soup

Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant

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From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

Well I’m back. I know, I know…it’s been a long stretch between posts, but a recent visit to New Orleans and some out lying areas of Louisiana, has me re-inspired, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the daunting task of posting all of the terrific content I have compiled on that four day journey, I also have some new recipes to share as well. So here we go…it sincerely feels great to be back at this! I hope you enjoy!

Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant
30160 Highway 51
Akers, LA 70421
1-985-386-6666

Long on my Louisiana bucket list of places to dine has been Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant, about 45 miles away from New Orleans, Akers, Louisiana to be exact, on Highway 51, between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s a scenic drive from the airport, I-10 provides great views of Bayou Piquant and Lake Pontchartrain, and elevated Highway 51 snakes through the Maurepas Swamp, providing visitors with excellent views of the Cypress swamps, complete with spanish moss. I’m a sap and I love Louisiana, so every time I see those picturesque views after I’ve been away for a spell, it gives me a nice warm glow.


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Josie and Louis Middendorf opened Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant on July 4, 1934 during the great depression. The restaurant was passed down through two generations of the family. The Lamonte family who owned the restaurant for 40 years, sold it and passed the torch to Horst & Karen Pfeifer in 2006 after the couple lost their New Orleans restaurant Bella Luna during Hurricane Katrina.

The original Middendorf’s restaurant is still standing across the parking lot from the new restaurant and deck where I enjoyed my meal.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

I only made it into the main restaurant to say hello to the hostess with the beautiful smile, and to tell her that I would like to go eat on the deck, she directed me and off I went!

It was dog hot on the day I visited, but the deck provided a shaded atmosphere with misters running along the openings to keep it cool…an awesome view to boot:

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

It was totally comfortable out there, perfect. In fact, I wish I was on that deck right now, ordering up some of the best fried seafood known to man and a cold beer. I would be on that deck all the time if I were a local. The deck is complete with boat parking:

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

On to the good stuff…

Middendorf’s is the Mecca of fried Catfish, specifically, thin fried catfish. Understand, I’ve been reading about this place for years and years, well before the current owners took the reins, so there is cause for concern about building a pyramid up in one’s mind.

At the deck at Middendorf’s you order at the bar and pickup at the bar (although everything was delivered to me, along with smiles and nice conversation.) The beers available are generic, miller lite, bud, corona, etc.., no Abita, no fancyfied beers, which tells me this place is all local, love it!

I ordered the thin fried catfish, which is the legendary house specialty, and I also read great things about Middendorf’s Barbecued Oysters, so I ordered them as an appetizer with a cup of Turtle Soup.

I expected the Barbecue Oysters to be along the lines of Barbecue Shrimp, but they were totally different, in a good way, more along the lines of an Oysters Roffignac. Cleanly shucked with a wonderful red topping, a great first taste for my first meal in Louisiana! To be quite honest, I didn’t take notes, I don’t remember what flavors were going on there, just that they were wonderful and like no other Oyster dish I’ve had previous! Delicious!

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

The Turtle Soup left me a little flat, not terrible by any means, just didn’t blow me away.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

On to the star of the show, Thin Fried Catfish, probably the most perfectly fried fish I’ve had. Crispy, clean flavor, not a bit greasy. The stuff dreams are made of.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant
From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

The hush puppies are very good, as well as the coleslaw.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant
From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

After making my taste buds happy at Middendorf’s I was back on the road to my next destination, with a brief stop off in Ponchatoula, the berry capital. Did a little exploring then moved on to Abita Springs for my next stop (as well as my next post), the Abita Brewery Tour!

Check out my friend Tim’s post on Middendorf’s at his blog RouxBDoo’s Cajun and Creole Food Blog!

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

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Mother’s Restaurant

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Mother’s Restaurant has been on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas since 1938, named after Mary (Mother) Landry who originally owned the restaurant along with her husband Simon and their large family. The Landry family owned and operated the restaurant until 1986 when the Landry sons sold the restaurant to Jerry and John Amato, who still run it today. For a full history of the restaurant with lots of pictures visit here.

From New Orleans

Every time that I have visited Mother’s there has always been a long line, even in the off season, nice to see. The line in my experience contains a nice mix of just about everyone, locals, tourists, lawyers (the courthouse is just down the street), people in suits, people in work uniforms, you name it.

From New Orleans

The counter help may seem a bit short, but like any other great busy sandwich shop in New Orleans, New York or anywhere, it’s necessary to keep the line moving. As a matter of fact I refuse to eat at a deli in New York with friendly counter help, and insults only make the sandwich taste better. I’m not saying that the fine folks at Mother’s are rude, just don’t expect chit chat during the lunch rush.

From New Orleans

The food is good, great Po Boys, Gumbos and soups, I remember having a really great Turtle Soup on a visit years back with nice chunks of Turtle Meat, not ground as in most restaurants. (My Turtle Soup Recipe) Here is their menu!

My favorite sandwich at Mother’s is the Ferdi Special; Roast Beef with Mother’s excellent baked Ham, dressed and with Debris Gravy. The portion seemed a bit leaner than I remember, but then again, maybe I can just eat more now. Actually there is no maybe about it, I can definitely eat more now. I guess the sandwich didn’t get smaller…I’ve gotten larger.

From New Orleans

My wife Sheelah went for the Shrimp Po Boy as she usually does when it comes to Po Boys, nice portion of perfectly fried Shrimp, nicely dressed (by the way, Mother’s uses Cabbage to dress their Po Boys instead of shredded lettuce). We both had Zapp’s chips with the sandwich, which always just seems like the right thing to do.

From New Orleans

I have to tell you folks, I haven’t been to Mother’s or New Orleans for some time now and looking at these pictures and writing this post makes me heartsick for New Orleans. Actually this site was founded on my heartsickness for New Orleans and her food, people, music, architecture, vibe, everything. It has warmed my heart immensely to hear from displaced folks from New Orleans and Louisiana who are away from their home, and have found at least a little piece of it via recipes and remembrances from my site. I hope this site can bring a little joy to your life as it has mine.

Related Posts:

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Shrimp Po Boy Recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar
Parasol’s Restaurant and Bar

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole and Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes features on Nola Cuisine!

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Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Turtle Soup is almost as synonymous with Nola Cuisine as Gumbo, in fact, it probably outsells the Gumbo in a lot of establishments. Unlike the clear Turtle Soups made in other parts of the world, the Louisiana variety is a dark, robust soup, bordering on a stew. There are also Mock Turtle Soups which are good as well, usually made with Beef and Veal. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that most restaurant versions are a combination of the two. Turtles are said to contain about 7 different flavors of meat, so it would be very easy to slip a more inexpensive meat in with the Turtle, I’ve even heard of some places slipping in some Alligator. I always raise an eyebrow when the “Turtle Meat” in some versions is ground, as opposed to cubed, it’s a red flag that says “Probably Not All Turtle Meat Here.” That’s fine though, they still taste delicious, and it would take a very refined palate to tell the difference.

As far as finding Turtle Meat in your area, you may have a bit of a challenge. If you have a great Asian Market in your area, it’s probably your best bet, they may even have them live if you would like to butcher them yourself. It’s a messy business though, with a lot of blood and Post Mortem squirming. No thanks, I buy frozen. If you do butcher your own you will have access to ingredients that squeamish cooks like myself can’t find in the freezer. Calipash and Calipee, and possibly Turtle eggs. Some connoisseurs have said that they can tell if a Turtle Soup is truly authentic by the lumps of Calipash and Calipee in the soup. Calipash is the dull-green fatty substance inside the upper shell (Carapace). Calipee is the light yellow fatty substance attached to the bottom shell (Plastron).
If you can purchase bone-in Turtle Meat, do so! You can Roast the bones and infuse the flavor into your Beef Stock. Roast them in a 400 degree F oven until a nice deep brown, then add them to your Beef Stock and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Here is my recipe:

Creole Turtle Soup Recipe

Roux:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

4 Tbsp Usalted Butter
1 lb Turtle Meat Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Diced
1 Cup Celery, Finely Diced
1/4 Cup Green Onion, Finely Sliced
2 tsp Garlic, Minced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 1/2 Cup Fresh Tomato, Diced
1 Qt Beef Stock
1 Pinch Cayenne
1 Pinch Ground Allspice
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Marjoram, Chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp Sherry
3 Hard Boiled Eggs, Whites diced, Yolks Riced
Lemon Slices
5 tsp Italian Pasley, Finely Chopped

Melt the 1 Cup of Butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk in the flour, cook to make a peanut butter colored Roux. Set aside. For more on making a Roux, click here.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, melt the 4 Tbsp of Unalted Butter over medium-high heat, add the diced Turtle Meat and saute until nicely browned.
Lower the heat to medium, add both types of onions, the celery, and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Saute until the vegetables are tender.
Add the tomatoes, season with a little salt so they will break down, cook for 10 minutes.
Add the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Cayenne, Allspice, and Bay Leaves. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any impurities that may rise to the surface.
Whisk in the Roux, simmer until thickened and smooth. Add the Thyme, and Marjoram, simmer for 15-20 minutes more.
Add the Lemon Juice, 3 tsp of the Parsley, and the riced Egg Yolk, heat through.
Serve garnished with Lemon Slices, Diced Egg Whites, and Parsley. Add the Sherry at the table, about 1-2 tsp per bowl.

Serves 4-6

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