Thursday, April 26, 2007

Lake Maurepas Memories

If you take the Manchac exit off of Interstate 55 south, you'll pull off onto a service road that appears to be barely above the water level. At this point, I-55 is up on pilings over the swamplands and lakes just northwest of Kenner and New Orleans.

Turn left off of the service road under the interstate and you'll be in the gravel and oyster shell parking lot of Middendorf's, home of arguably the best fried catfish in the world. Perched on the shores of "beautiful Lake Maurepas," Middendorf's serves two kinds of catfish - thick or thin, alongside fresh homemade slaw, dreamy oyster bisque and some seriously bad-a** hushpuppies, all delivered to your table by a waitress who will smile genuinely and like as not call you "hon" or "cher" at least twice during your stay.

Okay, so you have to stand in line, and on certain days, the crowds might be so big you will have to get out of line and go to the "other" Middendorf's, situated just across the parking lot and built to accommodate the frequent overflow. The wait is worth it and the price is always right. Just don't go on Monday or Tuesday, because they're closed.

This is a view of some rotted out pilings on the edge of the lake from early July 2006. This was taken three weeks after my dad's funeral. He loved Middendorf's. We loved him. We still do.

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