3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
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Spahr’s

River Parishes: 3682 US 90. 985-758-1602. Map.
Casual.
AE DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Spahr’s is one of the great fried catfish houses in the New Orleans area, with the advantage of being located near the self-proclaimed Catfish Capital of the World, Des Allemands. This is about forty miles from downtown New Orleans–about the same distance to Middendorf’s, and almost as worthwhile a trip.

WHAT’S GOOD
Since it’s on the edge of Cajun country, Spahr’s cooking is more robust than you find in town. This is especially true of the soups. Fried seafood is the clear specialty, crusted with cornmeal and fried to order, greaseless and hot. The catfish is the small-fillet kind you hope you see everywhere. They have a couple of creamy sauces (at extra cost) that can be used as a dip to enhance the flavors, but it seems like gilding the lily to me.

BACKSTORY
Bill Spahr ran an Esso station on the long, straight stretch of US 90 through the wetlands between Des Allemands and the sugar plantations on Bayou Lafourche. He opened a restaurant there in 1968 and began serving the catfish for which Des Allemands was (and is) famous. Maybe the odd conjunction of gas pumps and fried seafood made it memorable, but the food here has always been good. The old place had a fire and closed for a long time in the 2000s, but reopened in 2008. Meanwhile, two other locations (in Thibodaux and Houma) opened. Both those are nicer-looking, but the original, with its bayou outside, seems better.

DINING ROOM
Although evidence remains that this was once a gas station (you can see where the mechanics worked on cars, and the ancient gas pumps are still in front), the dining rooms are pleasant and comfortable. Windows give a view of the expanse of shallow water that stretches from the horizon almost to the back door. A walk back there provides a classic Louisiana vista, as well as a few jokes concerning the alligators that live in those waters.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
»Onion sticks
Cheese sticks
Crab cake minis
»Crawfish hush puppies
»Crab fingers
Stuffed mushrooms
Seared ahi tuna salad
»Seafood gumbo
»Crawfish or shrimp remoulade
Chicken tenders salad
Seafood salad
Entrees
»Fried catfish chips (thin cut)
»Fried catfish filets
»Fried shrimp
»Fried oysters
»Fried soft-shell crab
»Fried seafood platter
»Stuffed crab (in a real crab shell!)
»Fried crawfish
Soft-shell crab pasta
Seafood angel hair pasta
Grilled yellowfin tuna
»Crawfish stew over rice with catfish
»Grilled fish of the day
Steak and shrimp
Steak and soft shell crab
Chicken tenders
Ribeye steak
»Hamburger steak, onions and gravy
Sandwiches
Fried shrimp
»Fried oyster
»Soft-shell crab
Hamburgers
Grilled cheese
Chicken tenders
Desserts
»Bread pudding, rum sauce
Peanut butter pie, chocolate sauce
Cheesecake, strawberries

FOR BEST RESULTS
Find out what the soup of the day is; you will probably want to get it. The gumbo is also excellent. Stick with the fried seafood for the entree; the other dishes are good, but not as.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
An oyster bar would be nice to find here.

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
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -2
  • Local Color +3

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Live music some nights
  • Outdoor tables, drinks only
  • Good view
  • 8-25
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open some holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

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