New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Co
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Here is the first step for people who are finally moving up from fast food restaurants. In its premises, amenities, menu, and prices, the New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company is better than even the most substantial of the burger slingers. It has everything they do, plus a wide range of specialty sandwiches, salads, and (best of all) seafood platters. It also uses some of the gimmicks you’d find in the national chains.
The burgers are bigger but not better. They’re cooked fast-food-style on a grill that’s not nearly hot enough to lend excitement. Nor do all of the dozen or so specialty burgers, with their offbeat toppings. The salads are more interesting. But the peak of the menu is fried seafood. It’s won’t compete with the works of the great New Orleans casual seafood houses, but it’s well above average, fried to order more often than not, never showing evidence of old oil or heavy coatings. Sandwiches made with seafood ate good, too.
The first NOH&SC opened on Clearview Parkway in 1984 by Sandy Wiener and Norris Gremillion. Its appeal was a bigger, better burger served just as fast as at McD’s or BK. That it was several times the price was ameliorated by a help-yourself bar of dressings. The place also had a salad bar at least as good as any other in the area. And the fried seafood, which required a customer to wait while it was fried to order. And baked potatoes. The local chain expanded quickly to two more locations (none of which, interestingly, was in New Orleans proper), then quit growing until a few years ago, when locations in a few exurban towns opened. In the meantime, the salad bar went away, the fixing bar was attenuated, and the menu grew.
Most of the time, you order at the counter, and the food is delivered to the table. The dining rooms are attractive, spacious, and comfortable, but distinctly within the realm of a fast-food environment. They get a checkmark for using minimal disposable serviceware.
Fried seafood poor boys
Roast beef poor boy
Barbecue shrimp poor boy
Stuff-a-Letta (muffuletta meats and cheeses on French bread)
Shrimp-zilla poor boy (fried shrimp and roast beef debris)
Thin fried catfish platter
Other fried seafood platters
Asian Cajun chicken salad
Sizzling shrimp remoulade salad
Grilled chicken salad with strawberries and blue cheese
Red beans and rice
Crawfish pasta in a cream sauce
Blackened fish with grilled shrimp
Thin fried onion rings
Garlic herb fries
FOR BEST RESULTS
The seafood outclasses everything else on the menu. The specialty burgers are much more interesting than good. The poor boy sandwiches are better than you’d expect. Do not be tempted by the shrimp popcorn poor boy with 100 teeny fried shrimp. It’s just one of the many gimmicks here to get your attention.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The best thing this place could do would be to cook the hamburgers to order on a much hotter grill.
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
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +2
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness -1
- Local Color
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations