ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Not long after my family and I moved to the North Shore in 1990, I got hooked on eating oysters on the half shell in the Covington outlet of the Acme Oyster House. Although the Acme had four locations around town, they managed not only to multiply their customer base but to keep the quality of the then eighty-year-old French vendor of oysters. Perhaps even more miraculous, the physically funky style of the old restaurant was duplicated. The Covington location was a particularly well-designed cave of roughness.
After quite a few years at that location, the Acme opened a second, more accessible restaurant near the new Wal-Mart. For a time it operated both Covington locations, but about ten years ago it moved exclusively into the Wal-Mart adjacency. Meanwhile, the old place became a series of other restaurants, notably Vic & Natly’s, the creation of cartoonist Bunny Matthews. Some five years later, it evolved into Buster’s Place.
Buster’s looked and acted as if all its ducks were in a row when it took over the former Acme. The menu was solidly built of New Orleans cookery, but it wasn’t quite there. After not visiting the place for years, I’ve lunched there three or four times lately, and found particularly fine versions of red beans and rice, roast beef poor boys, fried seafood platters, and oysters both raw and grilled. Not only is all this improved, but the prices are significantly lower than in comparable eateries in Covington.
FULL ONLINE MENU
»Crabmeat stuffed jalapenos with crawfish tails, house sauce
Grilled yellowfin tuna over house or Caesar salad
Crab and corn bisque
»Poor boy sandwiches on French bread, dressed: fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried crawfish tails, fried soft shell crab, with remoulade
»Roast beef poor boy with rich brown gravy
Double-meat hot sausage poor boy
Half pound char-grilled hamburgers with a variety of dressings, sweet mesquite bun, fries
Grilled mahi mahi sandwich, mango pineapple dressing
»Raw oysters on the half shell
»Red beans & rice
»Fried seafood platters: shrimp, oysters, catfish, soft-shell crab, stuffed crab, or combo of the above
Grilled or blackened Pontchartrain redfish or grilled yellowfin tuna, steamed vegetables, side salad.
Creole crawfish etouffee with fried crawfish tails on the side, crawfish tails over rice
»Jill’s crawfish fettuccine pasta with butter, cream, spices, crawfish tails, mushrooms & green onions
Slow-smoked baby back ribs or St. Louis ribs.
FOR BEST RESULTS
The portions of everything here are so enormous that you’ll want to limit entree portions to about two-thirds per person. The red beans are so good that they are good for lunch on days other than Mondays.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The hygiene of the restaurant is fine, but it could use some renovation. The old space gives an illusion of being old and beat up.
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
- Value 2
- Attitude 1
- Wine & Bar
- Local Color 1
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Oyster bar
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations