The Eat Club Returns

Tom Fitzmorris September 27, 2019 08:13 Dining Diary

Last night was the first Eat Club in a very long time. We had forgotten how much everyone, including us, enjoys them. It’s such a wonderful social event, we are never surprised when people tell us they have become good friends with someone they met at an Eat Club.

The new Middendorf’s in Slidell seemed like the best place to revive this nearly thirty-year tradition. All the Oktoberfest decorations are up, and Horst’s brother was there playing his accordion. Horst’s mother was also there, and she is a female version of her son. We had about forty people in one of their several private rooms. Mary Ann and I were quite late because we had to drive from home after the show. Everyone had already had at least one round of the delicious German beers they were serving. MA chose a Paulaner, and so did I. We both liked it a lot. For Mary Ann to like it meant it wasn’t very strong, but I thought it had a nice flavor.

To entertain people while they waited for us, the round of pretzels had already come. These were nice pretzels, very brown and shiny, with a little mustard. It was good for what it was, but pretzels don't really move me. Everyone seemed to like it.

The courses got switched and the first was fried catfish and shrimp. Classic Middendorf’s is the perfect way to describe this course. It was exactly that. Thin and crispy fried catfish and fried shrimp. Who doesn’t love this?

Next was Horst’s homemade fettuccine. They came in with large pans of this delicate treat and served it tableside. This was so very good, it reminded me of the good old days of Bella Luna. His noodles are a little wider than Impastato’s but it doesn’t get better than this. It was a nice size portion with parmesan cheese and everyone was well satisfied with this.

The third course was the Oktoberfest plate of sauerkraut, Weiner Schnitzel, Sauerbraten, spaetzle, and red cabbage with two sausages. The sausages were smaller in circumference than I was expecting, looking more like breakfast sausages, but they were good. The Weiner Schnitzel was also very good, and I was too full to eat the Sauerbraten. One bite proved it tasted exactly like that special flavor of the German pot roast, which marinates for days in vinegar or wine. They do this in Germany to tenderize tougher cuts of meat, including horse. Yes, horse. MA remarked that it's a good thing we're in America. The sauerkraut and spaetzle were also good and this plate was a nice and generous taste of Germany.

The last course was Horst’s homemade vanilla ice cream with a large slice of Black Forest Cake. This was quite good. Horst hits just the right notes with his ice cream. It is creamy but not too much butterfat and has a great vanilla flavor.

For some reason, I did not sing the song that one of the guests wanted me to. I think we all forgot. There were a lot of the old regulars there, so I stayed pretty busy catching up. And I had some books to sign. One of the tables was a family who has been listening to the show since the daughter was a girl. That was flattering. And someone celebrated a birthday.

It does sound cliche to say, but a good time really was had by all.


1951 Oak Harbor Blvd. Slidell


Tu-Sun . 10:30am-9pm