Superior Seafood

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris March 13, 2024 10:24 in Dining Diary

Not long ago someone asked me about Superior Seafood, a place I have been to once over ten years ago, and that was because Tom was never a fan. I was curious to revisit and give a fresh take to that person, so we went.

The building is arresting and handsome on the outside, but so much more so inside. I absolutely love the look and feel of this place. We sat down and were greeted by a lovely young co-ed server, one of many that fit that description. She brought us the fresh-warm-bread-in-a-bag-thing and I began to imagine all the ways we might be able to make Superior Seafood the new Caretta for us.

And then the food came. Immediately I understood Tom’s feelings about the place. We ordered a sampler of oysters: two chargrilled, two Bienville, and two Rockefeller. Our entrees would be Blackened Catfish for Tom and a dish I usually love as an app. It was grilled shrimp stuffed with cheese and andouille and wrapped in bacon. The entrees came with a side salad with a vinaigrette dressing. It had a few grape tomato halves and two Kalamata olives, and was liberally doused with crumbled feta cheese. It arrived before the oysters. Tom’s lack of interest in the oysters may have been due to his immersion in the salad. This was a tasty salad.

The oysters were a hint of things to come. The chargrilled were unrecognizable, and they even looked forbidding. sometimes buried under what looked like a mistake of a puddle of cheese. The other four were interchangeable beneath the thick coating of overtoasted breadcrumbs. That goes for the taste as well.

I was excited to see and try Tom’s catfish, which was wild-caught Des Allemands. I view Des Allemands catfish on a menu the way I think about housecut fries. An unnecessary extra step that signals excellence elsewhere. Just looking around this gorgeous buzzing place, and being served by a friendly and very competent waitress, my expectations were high.

The catfish was served with corn maquechoux. Tom loved this. The catfish was a nice size and delicate in flavor, with a piquant dusting of Creole seasoning. The corn was also tasty, filled with the usual suspects like the trinity, and it was creamier than most. On the other side of the fish was a plate-filling amount of the most uninteresting "whipped potatoes" I have encountered.

My shrimp were fat and large, served over a flat schmear of those “whipped potatoes.” This was alongside a pile of unadorned, seemingly bare green beans cooked but not squeaky. That part was fine, but where was butter or anything? They were just, so naked.

Was any of this bad? Yes. The oysters. The entrees were just ordinary. I found myself going back to a familiar theme in my mind that I haven’t felt in a long time. Is it better to have lesser-quality ingredients in the hands of a talented chef, or premium ingredients in the hands of someone without an idea what to do with them? The latter scenario is more frustrating.

Here is a menu offering things like beef carpaccio and escargots, as well as housecut fries. These are things on a menu that drive up expectations, only to have them dashed by what arrives on the table. shrimp entree was $35. It just sat there.

I thought about getting dessert but didn’t want the sting of disappointment again. Those three things were $92. We spent $110 on that meal.

We will go back because I have to confirm all of this, and because I want to sit there again. I just love the place. But with all that money, why can’t the food make me swoon too? Maybe because it doesn’t have to. The place was packed. And that is too bad. It could be so much more.