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Aug 8, 2006 02:26 AM

St. Louis to NO in Early September

I'm looking for the good off the road chow experiences while enroute to NO. I've seen the great posts for the FQ and some for out of town but I'd like to meander my way down and experience some low cost, extremely casual food experinces if anyone would carer to share some info. I will probably stay somewhere overnight N of the city before heading to the Marriot at the Convention Center. I will be driving and look forward to hearing about some awesome hideways. Many thanks in advance.

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  1. Will you be coming in on I-55? If so, time your travels for a lunch or dinner stop at Middendorf's, just off of I-55 at Manchac. Fried catfish, hush puppies, big boiled lake crabs, darn good key lime pie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      I will be coming in via 55. Just a quick question H Celeste....what are lake crabs? I'm a big crab lover but never heard of lake crabs. Thanks to you and Bill thus far.

      1. re: DetectDave

        Both lakes, Pontchartrain & Maurepas are brackish, i.e. a mixture of both salt and fresh water, with Maurepas much less so, being fed more by the Amite River, than by Pass Manchac or North Pass, the connections to Lake Pontchartrain. Crabs flourish in Lake Pontchartrain (normally). Middendorf's sits between the two lakes, right on old Hwy 51. More (most?) of their crabs come from Lake Pontchartrain, than from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


        1. re: DetectDave

          "lake crabs" are just blue crabs from Lake Ponchartrain or Lake Maurepas. Historically, lake crabs were thought to be larger, cleaner, sweeter than "marsh crabs" or "gulf crabs". In reality, their crabs probably come from various local waters, but M's does buy very, very large (aka Jumbos or #1s) blue crabs, which can be fun to eat if you don't get that sort of thing very often. N.B. really big crabs are usually males, so don't get the jumbos if you like females/eggs.

      2. I'll second Middendorf's, though it's really just north of NOLA.

        Though this probably qualifies more for the South board, I've always enjoyed Northside Deli [check the name, as it might have changed] on Northside Dr (not far from the U of M Medical Campus) on East side of I-55, Jackson, MS. Great breakfast and brunch on weekends.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Hunt, are you talking about Ole Tyme Deli? If so, I am sorry to tell you that it is closed. The owners decided to retire a few years back. The site is now the home of Juleps -- great southern food with a twist.

          Detective Dave, make Middendorf's a priority.

          1. re: Sister Sue

            Wow, that is a sad development indeed.
            My family stopped at the Old Tyme every time we drove back and forth from NO to Memphis. As a kid it was something I looked forward to with keen anticipation, mainly because I could get a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda. As an adult, haqving lived in big east-coast cities with loads of good deli, this still had a homey vibe and was a kind of culinary touchstone/Proustian place for me. The last time I ate there was in the late 1990's, driving from Memphis to NO after the Hurricane George evacuation - I remember thinking it was still pretty darn good.

        2. If you are near McComb, MS for lunch stop at the Dinner Bell which is a lot of fun. You sit at an enormous round table that fits something like 15 people with a huge lazy susan filled with southern fried food. It is about 8 minutes from the interstate.
          While in New Orleans, if you want cheap-good eats try La Crepe Nanou, One Restaurant and bar, or Cochon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mikey

            Thanks for all the input. Looks like my city may be going through some financial woes in the next month so I amy be extremely limited on my budget if I get to come at all. I really wanted to travel outside the city a bit and get a feel for how local folks eat and rub shoulders a bit with people that love food as much as I. I never met a stranger and I have no qualmns about traveling 20-30 miles every night from downtown to get away a bit if that's what it takes.

          2. I am planning a similar trip in September except I am leaving from KC going to Vicksburg, MS for two days and then on down to New Orleans. I’m going to maybe try out Doe’s eat place in Little Rock. Specialties are steak, chili and tamales. There two in Mississippi. Or maybe another place that I found on a cool website called Check out this site! You’ll find what you are looking for!! By the way... don’t forget to check out the Bon Ton Café in the CBD when you get to NOLA! Try it for lunch! Only M-F though!