Trip to Louisiana/2009 NOLA Roadfood Festival

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buffetbuster
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2009/04/13 16:17:30 (permalink)

Trip to Louisiana/2009 NOLA Roadfood Festival

This one is for my buddy G
 
Before we get started, I will be the first to admit that the photos for this report are not my best.  It is no coincidence that I take my best photos when I am traveling by myself.  On this trip, I was having too much fun socializing to get decent pics.
 
Thursday April 2, 2009 
 
One of the best things about flying on Southwest is that I almost always have a layover at Midway Airport in Chicago.  And although they also have a Manny's, a Harry Caray's and a Gold Coast Dogs, more times than not, I eat at Superdawg.  We were meeting my cousin Johnny in Chicago, but his plane landed a full hour after ours.  Being the polite one, Mariton made me wait until he showed up to eat.  Here is Johnny and Mariton placing their order.

Airport food doesn't get much better than a Chicago style dog and fries from Superdawg.

 
The plan was for my buddy Doug E Fresh to pick us up at the New Orleans airport.  Considering he had driven all night from Virginia, we were a little concerned that he would still be awake to pick us up.  But when we landed he was only ten minutes away, but stuck in a traffic jam.  So we told him to go to the hotel instead and we took the shuttle to the airport Comfort Suites.  Doug walked in as we were checking in.  Now that we had our foursome together, we threw our stuff in the rooms and took off for our first meal.
 
Not wanting to brave the New Orleans rush hour traffic, we needed something close by.  So we made the short drive over to Metairie and Russell's Short Stop Po-Boys

Located in a non-descript building that looks like it used to be a fast food joint, they already had a nice crowd at 5:00PM.  I really like the fiddle playing/jig dancing pirate in the logo. 

Unfortunately, our hopes that the large po boys would be called Jean La Fitte longs were unfulfilled.
 
A large roster of hot and cold po boys to choose from


along with some other interesting items.

We were rather confused by the system here and there are no signs telling you what to do.  We did place our orders at the counter under the menu, but you are then supposed to get your drinks and pay over at the register.  That is also where your food is delivered to you.  Eventually, everyone got their food and we found an open table.
 
Johnny got the fried oyster po boy, which he found absolutely delicious.

The oysters were of decent size and perfectly fried.  Doug and I both got fried shrimp po boys,

which came with a very generous amount of shrimp.  Good fresh, crusty bread, too.  Mariton, aka The Nibbler, doesn't have the appetite of the three men, so she just sampled all of our meals.  We found the gumbo

overly salty.  Johnny and I also split a small cup of the yummy jambalaya.

 
Not a bad first stop, although we knew better meals awaited us.  Now that the appetizer was out of the way, we headed for our dinner destination.
 
Russell's Short Stop Po-Boys
119 Transcontinental Drive
Metairie, LA 504-885-4572
 
[link=http://www.shortstoppoboys.com/who-we-are.html%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E]http://www.shortstoppoboy...tml%3C/a%3E%3C/font%3E[/link]
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/03/03 16:25:57
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    myterry2
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 16:23:10 (permalink)
    Looks absolutely delicous...wish I was there with you.  Great pics!
    #2
    janicks
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 16:34:17 (permalink)
    Looks like a great time, but no PIE?!?
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 16:38:14 (permalink)
    Sorry Jean Anne.....  Since I knew we were immediately driving to another restaurant, I wanted to save some appetite for that.  Besides, not everyplace has pie as good as yours!!!
    #4
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 16:40:47 (permalink)
    I think he has to be pacing himself seriously to have passed up both chocolate peanut butter pie and turtle cheesecake.  That's just not the Buffetbuster we know.  That jambalaya looks simple and good.
     
    /me high fives The Nibbler  :)
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    rouxdog
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 17:10:20 (permalink)
    Ole Buster B, your report is timely!!!!!!!!!!! Wife and I will be flying into Midway in about 10 days around noon. A chi town dog is a must! I'll troll the ole lady to Superdawg............ Then grab the luggage, rental car and vamoose!
     
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 17:12:36 (permalink)
    Thursday April 2, 2009
     
    My cousin Johnny is a catfish guy.  While we were eating at Russell's, Doug mentioned how much he loves catfish, too.  After hearing this, there was no doubt we had to hit Middendorf's next.  If you haven't been to Middendorf's before, it is truly in the middle of a swamp on the outskirts of absolutely nowhere.  Since I had last been here about a decade ago, I was excited about my revisit.
     
    A lot of people must be driving a long ways to get here, because they are seemingly always busy.  Here is Johnny, Doug (the Banana Slug) and Mariton posing in front.

    While we were waiting to be seated,

    I bought the bumper sticker in the top right (Hey, I'll honk for just about anything food related) and noted the homemade strawberry ice cream.
     
    Lots of great sounding seafood on the menu,

    but Johnny, Doug and I all went for the fried seafood platter. 

    The fried shrimp, fried oysters and deviled crab were all quite good, but the catfish here is definitely the star of the menu and any plate it shows up on.  How it can be in such thin, perfectly fried fillets and still be that moist and delicious is a mystery.  I noticed all three of us had different eating methods, with me snapping off large chunks of the catfish and dipping it in cocktail sauce.  But there is no wrong way to eat catfish this good.
     
    The oyster lover among us, Mariton started off with a plate of barbecued oysters, which she enjoyed. 

    Johnny was the only other one brave enough to try them.  Other than that, Mariton just nibbled off of my plate and with all this food, I was happy to have the help.
     
    Now, we were ready for some serious desserts.  Since Johnny is a huge bread pudding guy, he was quite happy to be back in Louisiana where they make it best.  On this night, Middendorf's was offering banana bread pudding,

    which sounded odd, but everyone swooned over it.  Even better (at least IMHO) was the amazing strawberry ice cream,

    which has to be the star of the local strawberry festival.  Very fresh tasting, along with a strong berry flavor, I couldn't have asked for a better first dessert for the trip.
     
    Our waitress seemed to get a kick out of us strangers and we received excellent service.  Great to see Middendorf's is still a Roadfood gem.
     
    Middendorf's
    75 Manchac Way
    Akers, LA
    985-386-6666
     
     http://www.middendorfsrestaurant.com/
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/03/03 16:28:39
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    janicks
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 17:27:03 (permalink)
    Thats nice looking bread pudding. The strawberry icecream would have been my choice also, tho I like to mix it with vanilla..Yummy!!
    #8
    CajunKing
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 17:49:48 (permalink)
    It is Strawberry season in LA.  They produce some of the finest strawberries in the nation, FLA and CA berries pale in comparison

    #9
    jbs780
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 18:42:31 (permalink)
    Looking forward to hearing more about your visit here.   
     
    Hoping to be helpful...I believe that is rice dressing...AKA dirty rice, not jambalaya.
     
    The rd or...dr would be served as a side dish.  Jambalaya is a main coarse.
     
    Where off to next?  Gettin' up toward Baton Rouge?
     
    UPDATE:  Upon further review...I looked back at the menu picture form the Po Boy shop...i see why you called what appears to be rice dressing...jambalaya.  That's what you were told it was at the place!  OK!  I bow to the proprietor of the eatery  But it sure looks more like rice dressing than jambalaya!  Whichever it was, I hope you enjoyed. 
      
     
    post edited by jbs780 - 2009/04/13 20:46:57
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    rouxdog
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 19:57:12 (permalink)
    Buster B, I'm scratching my head wondering if jbs780 might be related to the "late" JB007?????????????
    #11
    jbs780
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 20:40:13 (permalink)
    rouxdog

    Buster B, I'm scratching my head wondering if jbs780 might be related to the "late" JB007?????????????

     
    Well guys...tell me who JB007 was...and maybe I can tell you if we are related.  Odds?  Not good. 

    #12
    rouxdog
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 21:09:21 (permalink)
    Well 007 "was" a terrific cook demonstrator posting on the "recipe" page via video. Daughter, he referred to as camera girl, also had an ankle biting rat dog. The man could put together some good eatin! His cousin is John Folse a renowned Louisiana chef. 007 was kind enough to airlift terrific cajun food specialties to me. 007 is also known as Jeff Folse, owner of a heating and cooling operation in Baton Rouge. Hope this helps.
    Ole Rouxdog
     
    PS. Whether right or wrong, welcome!
    #13
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/13 22:33:37 (permalink)
    I woulda had trouble picking between the bread pudding and strawberry ice cream.  I mighta gone Nibbler on you too.
    #14
    mar52
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 00:13:58 (permalink)
    Nancy you silliy girl.  You have both!
    #15
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 06:39:43 (permalink)
    Or you go with a friend and do splitsies.  That catfish does look great too.
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 08:11:40 (permalink)
    Good trip report, buffetbuster.  Although you may not be happy with your photos, I'd rate them as being far above average.
     
    Are those pickled green tomatoes in the CSD?
     
    That po' boy shop looks like a good find.  Did you notice the french-fry 'po boy choice on the menu for $2.50?  Are Louisianans going vegetarian?  Or is it for an actual poor boy?  The Italian sausage patties choice sounds interesting.  The next time that you go back, would you order one of everything so that we can see the photos? 
     
    Middendorf's looks like a great "family" seafood restaurant.  While there are more than a couple of seafood restaurants around here, I don't think I could find BBQ oysters and fried catfish.  They both look great. 
     
    I know that you have more pix - keep'm coming! 
    #17
    mr chips
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 11:13:11 (permalink)
    Middendorf's is a happily remembered stop on Trudy and mine's honeymoon. We drove from the airport there. I had always been a little skeptical of catfish but the marvelously prepared catfish there won me over. This whole journey is rekindling pleasant memories.
      And the photos are sensational , Cliff.
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 14:06:13 (permalink)
    Nancy-
    Doesn't The Nibbler sound like an archvillian from Batman?
     
    Rouxdog-
    Glad the report from Midway Superdawg helps.  It amazes me that the McDonald's next door always has a much longer line. 
     
    Just letting you know, I will be wandering around New Mexico in mid June.  Any chance you would meet this Easterner for a green chile cheeseburger?
     
    CajunKing-
    I had no idea about the Louisiana strawberries before, but they sure do make great ice cream!
     
    jbs780-
    Whether you are jb007 or not, your comments are welcome and appreciated!  When I first saw that cup, I sure did not think it was jambalaya.  I also thought it was dirty rice.  Johnny is the one who ordered it, so it was on his tray.  I even asked him if he asked for jambalaya and he said he did.  If it had shown up on my tray, I would have questioned it.  I can tell you it was delicious, though!
     
    Oh, and I will be in Baton Rouge in the next installment.
     
    MiamiDon-
    Thanks as always for your comments and compliments on the photos. 
     
    The thing about taking photos when you are part of the group is that it usually takes me several attempts to get the right ones.  If it is my food, I can sit there all day taking pics until I am happy.  But when I am traveling with others, they don't want to wait five minutes while their food is getting cold, as I am trying to figure out the right angle.  So, I usually get only one or two shots at it.  And I'm just not good enough a photographer to always get good photos in just one or two shots.
     
    No, I hadn't really noticed the french fries po boy, but my group got a kick out of the lettuce & tomato one.  I would have to be eating in Louisiana a very long time before I settled for one of those.
     
    mrchips-
    Glad to hear this is bringing back fond memories. 
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/02/23 11:44:37
    #19
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 14:14:53 (permalink)
    Yeah, she takes just-big-enough bites out of you to render you helpless.  Or something.  :)

    Don I actually noticed the french fry po'boy too and I wondered if it was a vegetarian-friendly thing.  Thought that was kind of cool.  But I guess lettuce and tomato is even more low-key.  Maybe that's the vegan po'boy.
    #20
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 14:40:52 (permalink)
    Friday April 3, 2009
     
    Kudos to my buddy Doug.  Even though he still had to be tired from the long drive from Virginia, he didn't complain at all when I suggested a 7:00AM start.  He was nothing but a trooper the entire weekend and did a great job of doing all the driving.
     
    We got on I-10 West, with Baton Rouge being our first stop.  Recently added to the Roadfood reviews was Jerry Lee's Kwik Stop and that name alone makes this place a must destination.  Since boudin is what was recommended and none of us have had it before, we didn't know what to expect.
     
    It ended up being further away from the highway than we hoped, but we still had no trouble finding it in a small shopping center.


    Only now it seems to be called Jerry Lee's Cajun Foods.  It still has lots of typical convenience store items, but my local 7-11 doesn't care such great looking sausages as this.


    Even the ready to eat sandwiches looked good.

     
    I bought 1 1/2lbs. of the boudin, undoubtedly mispronouncing it and they wrapped up three links for me. 

    I asked for a plastic knife, since we were planning on eating it in the parking lot.  But they didn't have one, which I thought odd.  Luckily, Swiss Army Doug had one in the car.  The casing was quite thin, so we could have torn it with our hands, but it was a lot less messy this way.

    Now, proving what ignorant neophytes we are, none of us expected to find rice in the middle of the sausage.  And until a conversation with Bruce Bilmes the next day, I did not know you aren't necessarily supposed to eat the casing.  You apparently squeeze the meat/rice mixture out and eat it that way.  I did eat the casing the first several chunks, but stopped after realizing it wasn't adding anything.  We assumed the meat was pork and all four of us thoroughly enjoyed it.
     
    For some of us, it was also our first encounter with cracklins, too. 


    I believe cracklins are simply fried pork skin.  These can be a little tough to chew since they are quite hard, but you do get rewarded with great piggy flavor. 
     
    After stopping at a fast food joint to use their bathroom and pick up a pomegranate milk shake and smoothie, we got back on I-10 and continued west.
     
    Jerry Lee's Kwik Stop
    12181 Greenwell Springs Road
    Baton Rouge, LA
    225-272-0739 
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/04/14 14:47:27
    #21
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 14:57:57 (permalink)
    If those pictures are less than the best ones, then the best ones must be phenomenol.  And I am sure I have seen some phenomenol ones before from your posts.  Anyway, another great report that has me hungering and thirsting and scheming.  (Let's see, I have to go to Shreveport sometime soon, and how many hours drive is it from NOLA?)  Even the Superdawg picture has me looking forward to being in Midway Airport in May.  Thanks again.
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:08:34 (permalink)
    BuffaloTarheel-
    Oh don't worry, we have plenty of crappy photos coming!  If you go to Shreveport, try to get a chance to check out Strawn's Eat Shop, which I read about in the Roadfood Digest here:

    http://www.roadfooddigest.com/post/2008/10/Three-Northern-Louisiana-Finds.aspx

    I had hoped to stop in during my Mississippi trip last December, but my schedule got screwed up.  It sounds like a great Roadfood place.

    #23
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:08:46 (permalink)
    So do they cook the boudin there or is made precooked?  (I know nothing about boudin, just that it's a cajun sausage.)
    #24
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:14:23 (permalink)
    Ahk!  I missed the Lettuce & Tomato Po' Boy.  Too funny.

    I had to be told about squeezing the boudin, too.  The one I had was REALLY hot.  How was yours?
    #25
    Rusty246
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:20:34 (permalink)
    I KNOW I'm in the minority here and although everything looks great I wish I could reach through my screen and get a few of those cracklin's!  We had a place near here in Starke, FL called Roy's Grocery, family run business.  They butchered their own hogs and made fresh cracklin's, oh my.
    #26
    rouxdog
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:31:55 (permalink)
    Buster B,
    Your reports are always top drawer! New Mexico in mid June for a green chile cheeseburger? You've got it if our schedules match. Should't be difficult. The BEST, in my opinion, is right here in Carrizozo at the Outpost Bar and Grill........... The owl in San Antonio(NM) gets the publicity, however, the Buckhorn across the street is better, recently named by GQ magazine as amongst the top 10 burgers in the USA. Your time available and driving will be important as we plan our "land of enchantment" roadfood adventure. Email me as I shall also attempt so we may work out the details. If necessary(last resort) meet in Albuquerque(2 1/2 hours north of our ranch), or, God forgive me, Sante Fe. Another thought, maybe be our ranch guest, do a few chores such as branding and nut cuttin. Ain't nothing like a little hard work, dust and blood to work up a mighty appetite for a green chile cheeseburger and cerveza at the Outpost!!!!!
    I look forward to the fellowship!
    Ole Rouxdog
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:33:32 (permalink)
    BB-I have enjoyed this report thus far, but you really hooked me at Jerry Lees. I am a huge fan of cracklins(always buy out that little store in Raleigh-which you visited) and the boudin looked great.I have a friend that is from Baton Rouge and makes his own every New Years Eve.Glad you all were able to experience  them. Its funny, when I first had boudin, I , too started eating the skin.My friend said"This aint no Wisconsin brat" and showed me the correct way to enjoy it. He tells that story every year!
    #28
    Mosca
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:49:23 (permalink)
    Man. Oh, man. Thanks.
    #29
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Trip to Louisiana 2009/04/14 15:51:56 (permalink)
    Wow!  Cracklins fans coming from Florida and Wisconsin!  Ann, I like that "This ain't no Wisconsin brat" line!

    MiamiDon-
    There was a little bit of spice to it, but by no means was it hot.  Glad to hear I wasn't the only one who didn't know how to properly eat it!

    Nancy-
    Sorry, but I don't know for sure.

    Rouxdog-
    The way I have it figured, my cousin and I will be be stopping in San Antonio for GCCs at The Owl and The Buckhorn on our way to Roswell.  Since we will be driving right through beautiful Carrizozo, a stop at The Outpost Bar & Grill for another GCC and good company sounds like a great idea.  I don't have a definite date yet (probably June 10 or 11), but will let you know as soon as I can.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.....

    #30
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