Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
Catfish is the reason to eat at Middendorf’s. It is sold thick or thin. Thick catfish is a meaty cross-section of fish, similar to a steak wrapped in breading. It is sweet-smelling and has resounding vim that is unlike any seawater fish. Thin catfish is more elegant than thick. Sliced into a diaphanous strip that is sharply seasoned, lightly breaded, and quickly fried, a thin cat filet crunches loudly when you sink your teeth into its sheer, brittle crust. It is mild-flavored and benefits greatly from a dip in the horseradish hot sauce provided.
After catfish, most seafood on the menu is worth eating, especially broiled oysters, which come topped with a zesty, buttery barbecue sauce. There are sautéed soft-shelled crabs, po-boy sandwiches, and Italian salads loaded with olives and spice. And there is fried seafood of all kinds: not only freshwater catfish, but butter-rich fried oysters and brittle-crusted shrimp as well.
Middendorf’s is casual, noisy, and theme-park fun. Even with more space added next door to the original restaurant, a wait can be expected at suppertime, especially on weekends.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|
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What To Eat
What do you think of Middendorf’s?
5 Responses to “Middendorf’s”
January 28th, 2011
Middendorf’s has been a popular place for generations. I have lived in south Louisiana all my life and I don’t get Middendorf’s. It’s packed all the time but for what?
I love thin crispy catfish. It does come out hot, fresh, and fast, but it has absolutely no flavor. The other fried seafood also tastes like just fried cornmeal. Please, please put some seasoning in the cornmeal.
July 18th, 2009
My wife and I have eaten at many great Louisiana restaurants. My wife is a native of the New Orleans area, and I grew up near Baton Rouge. We are both great cooks and love trying new restaurants, and recipes for that matter. Middendorf’s Restaurant is by far the best place to go for fresh seafood. Their menu represents South Louisiana staple food.
You can get their world-famous thin fried catfish (my personal favorite), gumbo, oysters (the BBQ oysters on the half-shell is a must), … the list goes on and on. Most folks from this area already know how great Middendorf’s is, but if you are from out of town, you need to take the time to come experience a taste of heaven!
December 9th, 2008
Consider this for one tiny minute:
People in New Orleans (the creole/seafood capital of the world) drive 45-60 minutes to wait in line for another 30-45 minutes at Middendorf’s for seafood and cajun/creole food.
If not decades.
Now, that we have terms established let me just say this is the best catfish I have ever had, and I have been to numerous places from tucked-away shacks to the best seafood places in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. There is no second place. There is no third place. There is only a pack trailing this leader from far behind.
As to portion size: I am a very large man, 6’1″, 250 pounds. I have never been unsatisfied after eating a large thin fried catfish plate. I usually feel stuffed by the experience. I cannot imagine what the reviewer who criticized portion size was thinking unless they had just come from winning a free 72-ounce steak dinner by eating it, solo, in less than an hour.
And even if you were still hungry, that would just be a reason to get the gumbo. My wife and I often go to Middendorf’s with another couple and we usually get one large thin catfish plate and one fried seafood dinner, and we split the two dinners between us (the other husband is 6’2″ and 195 pounds).
I wholeheartedly agree with beauwriter’s review.
February 4th, 2008
As I look at the two reviews here for Middendorf’s, I have to start by setting the record straight: the first review, by Michael Stern, represents the vast majority of opinions about this fantastic restaurant. Check around the Internet and you’ll see that’s true. On the other hand, the second review seems to represent the voice of one semi-cranky customer. After my own experience at Middendorf’s, I’d say you can trust the majority out there and that includes me.
By all means, make a trip there for some of the best fish you’ll ever have. I can only speak for the catfish, both the whole option, and the large platter of thin-sliced filets. I can say unequivocally, having eaten fresh fish literally the world over, that no fried fish has ever tasted better.
I was taken to Middendorf’s by a local friend, and he and his family go there often just to get the catfish. They are gourmands in their own right, and they make their own outstanding fresh seafood, so they’re not easily swayed, and yet they not only go to Middendorf’s themselves, but took the occasion to bring me along, knowing I’m an appreciator of fine food as well.
The only question is: how DO they get those fillets so thin? You won’t get the answer out of your waitress, either; trade secret. Just enjoy!
June 8th, 2004
My problem with this place is portion size. I ordered the broiled catfish from the main course selections on the menu and what I got looked more like an appetizer portion. Similarly, my wife chose the thin catfish and while it was indeed crispy and tasty, she had to remind herself that there was actually catfish within the crunch. Perhaps the dishes were light on catfish content because we stopped for lunch. But we doubt it, since there were no “supper” menus evident.
Otherwise, the place is certainly unique with its German-inspired dark wood paneling. But remember, it’s nearly a 45-minute drive from New Orleans to Middendorf’s at Manchac. And with that as the obvious benchmark, any other highly rated food stop needs to offer much more value than a unique crunch to their catfish.