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

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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14 thoughts on “Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant”

  1. Welcome back! Loved the post and the pics. Look forward to some more inspiring recipes. Thanks to post, I’m hungry for some fried catfish right now… Must do something about that! LOL! Thanks.

  2. Great to hear from you again, I check this site everyday waiting for new recipes to try. Looking forward to the Abita post.

  3. For several years I rated the fried catfish that I ate on a scale of Zero to Meddendorf’s. I have added the Cock of the Walk in Jackson, MS to the list and now it’s Zero to Medendorf’s/Cock Of The Walk. Both are the best you can get.

  4. I’m glad you’re back! I was in Mississippi a few weeks back, and had some great catfish. I’m going to have to go to Meddendorf’s some time to try their catfish, and of course some Barbecue Oysters.

  5. Glad to see you posting again. When I was a kid, my dad and I would go to Ponchatoula to pick strawberries every spring. I forgot all about that.

  6. I see you made it out there. I agree the best catfish ever. Nice to see you back, now I gotta get back to my blog after a hiatus while adjusting into my new job. Take care buddy.


  7. Maybe the moment has passed, but I’ve been a fan of the blog for a while and just stumbled on this post as I was looking for a fried shrimp recipe. When I was a kid (a couple decades ago now), we’d drive with my grandparents for an hour and a half to eat at Middendorf’s. I loved the drive with the rythmic clacking of the tires over that seamed elevated highway through the gorgeous swampland. My Ma Ma would sit at the head of the table, and she picked up the bill. My other grandmother would always take the crakers and Sweet n Low from the table and put them in her purse. Last time I was there, 7 years ago (WAY too long), it was closed and I feared it was on hard times, so I’m delighted to hear it’s still kicking. Thank you as always for conjuring up these wonderful memories!

  8. Hi Danno.

    I just accidentally stumbled onto your website after doing a search on Maque Choux. Growing up in a small town west of New Orleans and south of Akers, I have been to Middendorf’s countless times and have never been disappointed. It is the finest seafood restaurant anywhere. Thanks for giving it some publicity. I hope that many of your readers will find the time to visit Middendorf’s.

    The one thing you should have tried that I didn’t see mentioned in your article was the stuffed crab. Middendorf’s stuffed crab is worth the trip to tiny Akers, Louisiana just by itself. I cannot go to Middendorf’s without having a stuffed crab and a bowl of their seafood gumbo…and that’s just for starters.

    Having said that, you were wrong about one thing: Middendorf’s does serve Abita Amber and they have for quite a while. There is nothing better than a fried seafood platter with a couple of cold Abita Ambers to wash it down with.

    Your article has given me a craving that can only be satisfied by one thing: a trip to Middendorf’s…this weekend.

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