Foodies going to Houma/Thibodaux
Looking to eat and travel outside NOLA, on 90 between New Iberia and NOLA. Staying predominately around Houma and Thibodaux on a thurs, fri and returning sat to NOLA.
Love BBQ shrimp, oysters, crabs and willing to eat anything local and tasty. Not afraid to go to hole in wall and to get messy with our food. Would appreciate suggestions and specific recommendations on when to go (lunch, dinner, etc, ) and exactly what to order. Hope you folks can help!
Thank you to all for your recommendations and the winner is 1921 in Houma for crawfish. It is just a glorified fish shack but excellent crawfish. Crabs were not as good as Deanie's Bucktown. 1921 was recommended by locals and far surpassed the other places we got crawfish: Big Al's (in Houma), Grand Isle, Acme, to name a few.
We went to Jolly Time (across street from 1921) for dancing and "light" supper of po-boys. People were welcoming and made us honorary cajuns. Po-boys were fine. Also had good fried okra. Prices were reasonable. Tried to go to French Loaf for seafood muff, but they close at 2pm (????) on Sat. There is a Dairy Queen in Houma which we went to a few times for Blizzards (sorry can't get it in NY).
I would avoid Big Al in Houma for boiled seafood as the crawfish was bad- overcooked, lukewarm, with the claws falling off onto bottom of tray indicating overboiling. The waitress later explained that they can't cook to order (or apparently time it for customers better), so they cook a bunch at a time and dish out as people order. She said it was definitely "fresh" , ie- cooked that day, a few hours ago. Fresh would not be my definition. Luckily I was on vacation mode because I would have asked for money back or returned it but we were trying to get out quickly for some fun. We also ordered a fried oyster appetizer which was only ok. Crab soup was good, if you like lots of cream. The boiled shrimp also came lukewarm and tasted like they had seen better days. Don't understand why people rave about this place. Go to 1921 in Houma for much better and cheaper seafood. They know how to serve fresh seafood in quantities. In fact, something funny happened there. We went in as a party of 3 and thought we would start with 2 lbs of crawfish, which we ordered. The waitress naturally assumed 2 pounds for each person so brought 3 platters of 2 pounds of crawfish. It was so good that we finished it all. Sweetest crawfish ever.
As for New Orleans: Casamento was best for Oysters. Oyster shucker there was very welcoming and if you ask nicely(or just smile at him), he will even do tricks with the oysters. He also has his awards posted. Mr. B's and Deanie's (bucktown) had best BBQ shrimp - better than the original Pascale Manale, which we also hit. Best grilled oysters was Acme- served with parmesan cheese on top.
We had good solid meals at Luke (excellent raw oysters, good rabbit pate), Herbsaint (delicious pasta with egg which I would not order generally but waiter recommended) and Ralph's at Park (best service). Ralph's has a 25 dollar prix fixe dinner which my friend had (good value and excellent puppy drum).If you go to Ralph, try going during day. View is ok but not spectacular. It was disappointing to have the big screen tv at bar visible in dining room, at a restaurant billed as romantic, etc.Also had decent meal in Bayona but not as good as other times we ate there. Best was their mushrooms on toast.
Mr B's took best meal. Husband had rabbit (special) which was cooked with bacon with sauce that tasted like a roux. It was excellent and I don't even like rabbit. He wanted to go back the next day, it was so good. The bbq shrimp was excellent and messy (with heads).
Best fried went to Casamento which has delicious fried shrimp- very sweet and tiny - unlike any other shrimp I have had.
Mahoney po-boy on magazine was excellent. Got a pre-made sandwich at Central Market. Is it my imagination or is the bread getting softer and softer? Soon it will be plain wonder white bread... I know many places replace crusty bread with softer version because it lasts longer but it is just not the same.
Worst attitude: Upperline. We had reservations for 6:30 and called to let them know that because of traffic we would be about 15 minutes late. They had such an attitude when we called that we just decided to go to Pascale ( just walked in and got table after 5 minute wait). We called Upperline and canceled (left message on their machine bec cdn't reach live person, and didn't leave reason). To their credit, they called back and apologized.
As for 24 hour, places to eat etc, Rock and Bowl (not 24 hours but open late) serves jambalaya, which we didn't have but smelled good. Verti Market, which someone recommended, while it may be 24 hours, was a dive market, with no place to eat. Didn't look clean so left. Went to Cafe DuMonde which is 24 hours for last beignets (late at night, only indoors)-- our last meal in NOLA. Took a take-out order too. Had a great trip and ready to go back! Many thanks for all your suggestions!
All I can say is that Big Al's was terrible.
There is no reason to dispute the waitress' explanation that they cook the seafood hours ahead. If so, I can imagine that if you are lucky enough to come in when they just boiled a batch and ordered at the right time, you would get a decent meal, but if you came in later, your seafood would have been standing around for hours. Odds are better than hitting the lottery, but why chance it? It is not like the place has great food and atmosphere. Oh I forgot to add that even though the restaurant was relatively empty and had plenty of seating near windows, they tried to seat us near a narrow dark corridor by the bathroom. Better food and atmosphere elsewhere.
This is the original poster. Thinking of heading to the same area again and hoping people can update from 2009 to now. Also, looking for places that do Zydeco dancing or blues with food. We went to a wonderful place that had Z dancing but don't remember place. Very friendly and free lessons. Gave us an Honorary Cajun certificate.
For downhome seafood and pasta Politzs in Thibodaux. Not a great wine list but great softshell crab. Flanagans has a good steak also. If you are interested in plantation dining go to Oak Alley. We ate there on Easter and I had excellent crawfish stew over fried catfish and my boyfriend had red beans and rice and said it was excellent.
Bayou Delight; old skool fried seafood joint
Cafe Milano; wood-fired oven, nice brunch
Christiano's; upscale italian
Melvin's; along the intracoastal canal, large menu with a mix of LA favorites and changing specials
Big Al's; boiled is usually better than fried
Spahr's; Houma outpost of the Des Allemands catfish joint; don't be put off by the location inside the Ramada Inn; still a solid purveyor of fried, wild-caught catfish
Bubba II's: poboys, though I'd like this place more if the bread was toasted
Fremin's: solid food, lunch & dinner; lots of changing specials; quaint old building downtown, near the courthouse
Half-Shell: very basic joint; beaucoup starch-heavy traditional plate lunches (like shrimp stew over rice with a side of potato salad, a dinner roll, and dessert)
Flanagan's: decent soups & salads, esp the fried crawfish salad w/hot bacon dressing; I can't recall much else of the menu
Bourgeois Meat Market: excellent specialty butcher; white, red, and seafood boudins, smoked & fresh sausages, cracklins, and killer beef jerky
Second Big Al's and 1921 for boiled stuff. Bourgeois' meat market in Thib is excellent. Be sure to get some beef jerky. The crawfish boudin is killer, too. French Loaf in Houma is good. The seafood muff will give you a heart attack, but it's worth it. La Casa has some good mexican dishes that I really like. Their Enchiladas Verde is great as is their mole. Both are different versions of these dishes than what you normally see at texmex joints. Doubt you're looking for mexican though. Up in New Iberia is the Boiling Point - all in all the best boiled seafood joint that I know of. Also try the homemade stuffed jalapenos. Chester's has good fried stuff, especially froglegs. Latin Corner in Morgan City has great Cuban sandwiches. Rita Mae's has good soul food in Morgan City.