#28 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The fact that the parking lot is surfaced with oyster shells should tell you something. It’s the first of many impressions that this is an old-style, close-to-the-water combination seafood market and cafe. It’s like the joints and the people you see after driving a hundred miles into the Louisiana wetlands, except that it’s in Harahan, which is only slightly remote from the city. All the freshness and sense of place that this implies are indeed borne out in the cooking.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Wherever you find a seafood market, there’s a good chance there’s a restaurant connected with the operation. One side helps the other: the restaurant gets a better-than-average supply of local fish and shellfish, and the market has a place to sell out any surplus it may have. Seither’s is like that. The dining room isn’t much to look at, and for the most part the menu is simple. But the food is everything it promises to be.
One of the advantages little restaurants have is that they prepare everything to order. That’s the story behind the fried seafood platters and poor boys here. But even the boiled seafood–a major specialty–is usually hot right out of the boiling pot. The biggest surprise is an appetizer called eggplant Harahan: panneed eggplant slices, topped with a seafood stuffing and a crawfish cream sauce. They sling a lot of cream sauce around seafood here; get only one per table. Another fine resource: freshly-shucked oysters.
The building has been a seafood market for many decades. (I wish it had been this good when my parents live across the street in the 1980s.) Jason Seither took over the place in 2004, and began a steady expansion of the menu, such that every visit showed a great new item or two since the time before.
About three dozen seats, a little crowded, with the decor you expect from a neighborhood cafe. No two corners of the place look the same. Service can bog down when the place gets busy, but even that fits in with the bayou atmosphere.
FULL ONLINE MENU
Raw oysters on the half shell
Seither’s boiled seafood platter
Asian seared tuna
Eggplant log cabin (a house built of fried eggplant sticks)
Blackened or fried shrimp salad
Asian seared tuna salad
Fried oyster, bacon and egg salad
Chicken and andouille gumbo
Shrimp and corn bisque
Poor Boy Sandwiches
Fried, grilled or blackened shrimp chicken or fish
Soft shell crab
Fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade
Blackened shrimp and avocado
Eggplant Harahan (panneed eggplant, seafood stuffing, crawfish cream sauce)
Fried shrimp, oyster, thin catfish, or combo platter
Blackened shrimp platter
Grilled tuna platter
Blackened catfish platter
Fried soft-shell crab platter
Chicken or eggplant parmesan, pasta
Crab cakes and shrimp pasta
Oysters Rockefeller pasta
Lemon garlic shrimp, linguini pasta
FOR BEST RESULTS
Seither’s is better at boiling and grilling than it is at frying, which is a bit heavy. The seasoning blends and the skills required for good blackened dishes is far better than in most other restaurants. The seafood cream sauces are also good, but all taste about the same. No problem: just get one.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
Some further research on the fried dishes to lighten them up is what I’d do next.
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
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +1
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Oyster bar
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations