#11 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries
3 Fleur
EntreePrice-19
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish Grill

Metairie: 3117 21st Street. 504-833-6310. Map.

French Quarter: 512 Bienville. 504-309-4848. Map.
Casual.
AE MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Chris “Bozo” Vodonovich passed away in the cold winter of 2015, satisfied that the restaurant where he’d spent so many hours at the stove was in good hands. The new management accomplished a difficult trick: how to keep the old regular customers happy while at the same time create a buzz among potential new, younger customers. It worked so well that a smaller duplicate of the place has opened in the French Quarter.

MrEdsOysterBar-OysterBarSign

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
It took about a year, but Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish Grill has become one of the three or four best fried-seafood houses in the New Orleans area. By incorporating the essential dishes from the old Bozo’s with the well-practiced style of seafood cookery at his Bucktown and Kenner restaurants, this new place satisfies the demands both of the people who’ve come here for decades with a younger, more adventuresome crowd. The restaurant is sharply defined and consistent.

Ice cream crepe at Mr. Ed's Oyster Bar.

Ice cream crepe at Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar.

WHAT’S GOOD
What made the old Bozo’s great was simple: the catfish, oysters and shrimp were fried to order–each in its separate vessel so it didn’t all taste the same. It came out so hot you can’t eat it right away. The quality of the raw materials was exceptional. The catfish is wild-caught, small Des Allemandes catfish. Mr. Ed’s new regime kept all of those good habits while expanding the menu to twice its former size. Of particular note are the many things done with oysters, making this a contender for best oyster house in town. The menu goes on with many new species of seafood prepared in more varied ways.

Oysters Amandine.

Oysters Amandine.

BACKSTORY
The most revered and meticulous cook in the annals of fried seafood in New Orleans was Bozo Vodonovich, one of many first-generation Croatian restaurateurs in New Orleans. Bozo opened his restaurant in Mid-City in 1928, then passed it along to his son Chris (“Chris” is the English nickname for “Bozo”). Chris stood in the kitchen for over sixty years, cooking the overwhelming majority of his customers’ platters personally. The restaurant moved to Metairie in 1975. In 2009, Chris retired, but the transition to a family friend went sour. He finally escaped in 2013, when Metairie restaurateur and longtime Bozo’s customer “Mr. Ed” McIntyre cut a deal with Chris. After a renovation, the place reopened as “Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar & Fish Grill,” with many dishes from the old Bozo’s cookbook. Mr. Ed opened a second location in the French Quarter in 2014.

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DINING ROOM
The new Metairie restaurant is laid out like the old one, but it’s more colorful, brighter, and spacious. The rear dining room and the deck on the side–rarely used until Mr. Ed came along–are now busy and lively. The oyster bar is the focus of everything, and is the first thing you see when you walk in. The French Quarter Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar is a smallish restaurant in the middle of a somewhat dark block of Bienville Street, a stretch that seems to be headed towards becoming a new restaurant row.

FULL ONLINE MENU

BEST DISHES
Oysters
Raw on the half shell
Char-broiled (garlic & parmesan)
Southwest (charbroiled with jalapeno)
Bienville
Rockefeller
Amandine
Buffalo oysters

Starters
Shrimp remoulade/cocktail
Seafood martini
Parmesan garlic bread
Fried calamari, marinara
Eggplant sticks, marinara, parmesan
Barbecue shrimp
Shrimp & crabmeat au gratin
Chris’s chicken-andouille gumbo
Seafood gumbo, shrimp & crab
Turtle soup

Salads
Blackened chicken salad, Creole buttermilk dressing
Seafood avocado salad (shrimp, crab, remoulade)

Entrees
Fried catfish
Fried oysters
Fried shrimp
Stuffed crabs
Fried seafood platter
Fresh catch of the day
Grilled tuna, lemon butter
Chris’s hamburger steak, onions, gravy, mashed potatoes
Redfish Amanda (blackened, crawfish etouffée, rice)
Whole flounder, broiled, lemon butter
Cajun sampler (jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, red beans & rice, with smoked sausage)

Sandwiches
Fried oysters, shrimp, or catfish poor boy
Barbecue shrimp poor boy
Stuffed crab poor boy
Chris’s homemade cheeseburger

Desserts
New Orleans bread pudding
Peach cobbler
Ice cream crepe, strawberries
Mr Ed’s Mom’s homemade lemon ice box pie

FOR BEST RESULTS
Because all the cooking is done to order and with great care, it takes longer to get food than in most seafood places. This is also not the place for you if you measure the goodness of a fried platter by its enormity.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The traditional seafood coating is cornmeal, which not everybody likes. It might be time to shift to “cream meal,” a finer cornmeal blended with corn flour. I have never been a fan of the bread-crumb mixture that coats the shrimp.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +1
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Oyster bar
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

5 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Chef Shawn on March 20, 2015

    Have been to Mr. Ed’s Oyster Bar twice, I agree the coating is not for everyone and the turtle soup is not good, recipe needs to be re-worked. Being in the restaurant business one of my cooks worked at Bozo’s for 8 years and they used Golden Dipt coating made by McCormick.

    Shawn

  2. Patsie Kae Sutherland on February 28, 2016

    Dear Sirs: We were in NO this weekend, and ate at your restaurant on Friday night. I had the chicken and sausage gumbo. It was the best gumbo I’ve ever eaten. Do you by any chance ship it out frozen??? If so, I would be very interested in ordering some. Thank you for your time.

  3. Dream Kelley on June 28, 2016

    I came today for the first time for lunch. I ordered the red fish w/lump crab meat and string beans. Let me tell you that the fish was so fresh and prepare so delicious. I am so please with the service as well, I will recommend Mr. Ed’s all the time…

  4. Dorothy Whittle on January 21, 2017

    A friend and I ate at the Carrollton restaurant. The food and service was great. We split the bill equally $23.73 each. I tipped $6.27 to round mine off at $30. That is over 20%,. When I saw the charge on my bank statement was $38.73. I was pissed, to think someone would add extra money to my card after I left. I contacted the restaurant and asked for the General manager. A man came on the phone said his name was John. When I told him what happened, he said he would look in to it and call me back. He did call back and tells me it was a simple error. When I asked him to explain how that was a simple error. John states that the server accidently switched the tip amounts. Still not believing this was a simple accident. I told him I didn’t believe it to be an accident. John tells me ” well your friend tipped $15 you only tipped $6. “. Well that really angered me. Upon checking with my friend she was charged the $15 tip so there was no accidental switching tip amounts. First off I don’t care nor needed to know how much she tipped. But to say well I ONLY tipped $6. Don’t try to make me feel bad tipping is at my discretion. After the conversation with him and the added tip I WILL NOT return to your restaurant. But your General Manager John was rude to make the situation even worse.

  5. Ogden Hall on June 10, 2017

    The Metairie location for some reason is the only one that offers Buffalo Oysters. These are wonderful. Not sure why the other locations don’t offer them.

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