Out in the Middendorf of Nowhere!

First off, let me start out by saying this is going to be the easiest blog post i’ve ever written. It’s rare that you come across a place that has so much going for it. First, the food is amazing. Second, what’s equally as amazing is the journey to this restaurant and it’s setting.

Tl:dr

Thin fried catfish and the restaurant setting at Middendorf’s is definitely worth the drive. TastyAF.

The Journey

I was headed from Baton Rouge to the Northshore on a Louisiana summer evening, and the wife and I decided we wanted a good meal on the way. We decided to take I-10 down to LaPlace and shoot up I-55 back to I-12 to complete our trip to the Northshore. This brings us right to Middendorf’s

Middendorf’s is Located on US 51 in Akers, LA. Yeah, I’ve also never heard of the town Akers. I’ve always known this area as Manchac, Louisiana. As you can see on the map above, it is really located in the middle of nowhere. It’s quite a hike from Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It’s worth it though. The drive on I-55 in this area is very scenic and very Louisiana. There are many fishing camps in the area. There’s also a couple of interesting bars i’d like to check out when I’m back in the area.

Interstate 55 Near Middendorf's

The Restaurant

This place has been a Louisiana culinary landmark for over 80 years. Because of it’s location, it has also been subject to many of the big named storms that have rolled through South Louisiana. You can see the original restaurant building along with the newer main dining room on the property. The owners seem to be very dedicated to delicious catfish, and always rebuild bigger and better. For an in-depth history, visit Middendorf’s Restaurant History Page.

The Food

Our dining experience started out with us being seated on their newer closed-in, air-conditioned patio. Our table had these cool tall Adirondack chairs. Our waitress suggested we start out by ordering a tropical cocktail.

Tropical Rum Punch
This drink whisked me away to the sunny beaches of the Caribbean!

At this time of this writing, I have forgotten what the name of this drink was. I remember it had Malibu rum, pineapple juice, grenadine among other stuff. It was great. I love anything with rum in it. I think I may be part pirate.

For the appetizer, we ordered the Fried Manchac Alligator Bites. I am pretty critical of alligator, because one can easily overcook it and ruin the texture of the protein by making it too tough. I am happy to report that this dish did not disappoint. The alligator was seasoned and very tender, the batter had a nice flavor and that sauce was awesome. This meal was getting better and better as time went on.

Fried Catfish and Shrimp
Middendorf’s famous thin-fried catfish is seen here paired with some fried shrimp, served on top of a bed of fries and hush puppies and a salad.

For my main entree, I chose to go with the tried and true World Famous Thin Fried Catfish and shrimp. It’s been so long since i’ve been here, I wanted to make sure that the catfish still lives up to the hype. Long story short, it does! I’ll be honest, i’m not much of a fish person. I know, thats not very #LouisianaAF. I like many other types of seafood. At Middendorf’s, i’m all about that catfish. It was thin, crispy and not greasy. The batter was light and tasty. The fried catfish fillets were pretty large. I can’t think of one negative thing to say about the catfish. The shrimp were also good.

Middendorf's Broiled Catfish
Middendorf’s tasty Broiled Catfish is seen topped with lump crabmeat, served alongside cole slaw, hush puppies and fries.

My wife went with a more “healthier” option that was the broiled catfish. Of course its healthy, its not fried! To take things up a notch, you can get this entree topped off with lump crab meat. If i’ve learned one thing in life, its to always top everything off with lump crab meat with offered the option. This entree was served with the requisite fries, hush puppies and slaw.

Afterwards, we were too full for any dessert. I forgot to save room! I had a little bit of my adult beverage from earlier to finish off so that was my dessert.

After the meal, we walked the property a bit to take in some of the #LouisianaAF scenery.  On the side of the restaurant, you’ll find a beach and access to the dock. There’s an outdoor dining room adjacent to the dock. There’s also a dedicated smoking area for those who partake in that activity. What I thought was especially cool was the pop-up farmer’s market outside the front of the restaurant. There was fresh fruit, jellies and cracklins available among other things. You can see in the feature image of this article someone happily walking to their vehicle with a watermelon they purchased from this market.

Overall Thoughts

I love this place. The food is great. The atmosphere and surroundings are great. Because of where it’s located, it will be more of a special occasion type of restaurant for me. I’m fine with that. It seems the more time that passes between my visits here make each visit that much more special. I’ll definitely be back. One day…

Links

Menu – http://middendorfsrestaurant.com/Menu

Middendorf’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/middendorfs

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