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Catfish in New Orleans

I have some visitors in town and they want catfish. I don't eat seafood (I know, I know) so can I get a few recs about where to take them? Thanks everybody!

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  1. Middendorf's, not "in" New Orleans but the best around

    1. joey k's has an every day all-you-can-eat catfish special for $12.95, i think. never had the catfish. but thought i'd pass that along.

      i have had the catfish at the galley on old metairie road and it's pretty good, as is the other fried seafood. not technically new orleans, but the new orleans area.

        1. re: edible complex

          Bozos for sure in metairie 3117 21st st. They only use wild des allemandes catfish and you can really tell the taste difference from the farm raised type.

          1. re: joedontexan

            Hey, Lac des Allemands is the home of the Catfish Festival, so that should score some points.

            I've heard great things about Bozo's but have never dined there.


        2. Unfortunately, the best that I have had in the NOLA environs is not in NOLA, but Pontchatoula, basically "across the Lake," to the West. It's Catfish Charlie's.

          Now, we are great catfish fans. In my youth, I'd catch a bunch, and sell them to the restauranteurs on the MS Gulf Coast. Being from MS, the catfish capitol of the globe, I do know my catfish. My wife is a NOLA native, and knows her's. Still, this longish drive is worth the effort.

          I'm really thinking of someplace closer to the City, but am drawing a blank. I'd say that Chef John Besh, or Chef Frank Brigtsen would do great catfish. I have just never had their versions, and catfish might not be on either chef's menu.

          Other than Catfish Charlie's, the next best is done by my wife in her grandmother's cast iron skillet, but in PHX - and you thought that Catfish Charlie's was a long drive...

          Now, you might want to check the menu at MiLa, as they do a fusion of Mississippi and Louisiana cuisine, and in my experience do it well. They would be worth a call.

          I just cannot come up with great catfish in the City, though I feel certain that it exists.

          Good luck, and enjoy!


          [Edit] Dang, I feel really bad, 'cause I can tell you where to get great catfish in Washington, DC, or Charlston, or Tennessee, but am just not coming up with anything but guesses for NOLA. Sorry.

          2 Replies
            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Mr. Hunt My last meal request might just be fried catfish and hush puppies not a bad way to go out.

            2. As I just mentioned in a different thread, go to Mena's Palace at Chartres and Iberville. They have very good fried catfish, and good everything else too. It's a standard Greek diner-type atmosphere. Don't forget to check the specials board. I don't know why I always forget to recommend Mena's on Chow, especially considering I eat lunch there several times a month.


              1. There are quite a few good places for this; all the ones mentioned, Jack Dempsey's, Jaeger's Seafood Tavern, the Village Inn out on Jefferson Hwy.

                But one from the past I'll mention here,if anyone remembers: Barrow's. Superb catfish. You never knew how much it would be beforenand, because as you walked in they had the price of the evening's catfisih dinner on a chalboard. This place's building still exists. If you're ever on the Earhard Expressway, going from Jefferson into N.O., look right as you get off the elevated part--or, if going to Jefferson, look left as you pass the last stoplight. And shake you head at another glory passed on. (P.S., great potato salad too...and secret, they poliitely declined to share the receipe with me.)

                2 Replies
                  1. re: underworld gourmet

                    RIP Barrow's. By far the best catfish I have ever eaten!!

                  2. Middendorf's would certainly get my vote for fried catfish- I live in Mississippi and we have no shortage of wonderful places for catfish, but Middendorf's is the only place I can think of in Louisiana that I would actually drive to just for the fish.

                    They do an extremely thin fish- it is almost like a fried fish potato chip! Kind of unusual (though I've started seeing other places doing it now), and really, really good.

                    There are times when nothing else will do! And it is worth the drive just for the scenery- they are located on the bank of "beautiful Lake Maurepas"!

                    1. Cafe Reconcile does a nice fried fillet; be sure to try the homemade tartar sauce. It's standard, pond-raised stuff (as is the catfish at Middendorf's). For real-deal, wild-caught catfish, you'll have to head out of town to Spahr's, which has locations in Des Allemands, Thibodaux, and Houma. http://www.spahrsseafood.com/

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                        You say "standard, pond raised" like it is a bad thing- personally, I like them better, but the main draw to Middendorf's is how the fish are sliced.

                        For people who prefer to eat their fish off the bone (as I do most of the time) it might be an abomination, but I see it as something at least a little different in the wide, wide world of catfish eatery clones- YMMV...

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          I'm not a fan of bland, pond-raised catfish. It tastes like grain to me, rather than fish. Reminds me of the smell of a fresh bag of pet kibble, or like being downwind from the grain elevator on a warm day. I grew up eating wild freshwater catfish, so I have clear, early taste impressions of what I consider to be "good" catfish, which most emphatically do not include corny/wheaty/grainy flavors. Chacun a son goute; it's just one person's opinion.

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            I took a little nibble
                            of our kitty's kibble
                            I like fish better
                            But am not going to quibble...

                            1. re: Hungry Celeste

                              Bozo's has real catfish, at least they did when I was there pre-Katrina.

                        2. Thank you for all of the wonderful recs! Now we have to pick one!