Head Where Catfish Is King
Interstate 10 can clog up around Baton Rouge at certain times of the day, so sometimes we opt to travel Highway 90 when heading to New Orleans, a more relaxing drive through the wetlands of South Louisiana.
On one such trip, hunger got the best of us and we spotted Spahr’s Seafood on the side of the road in Des Allemands, between Thibodaux and New Orleans. We had heard great things about Spahr’s — namely its seafood dishes — but we almost missed the place. Good thing we spotted the giant catfish out back by the bayou.
Spahr’s focuses on wild-caught seafood, particularly catfish — its logo is “Where catfish is king” — and much of their menu leans in that direction. The restaurant founded in 1968 by Bill Spahr overlooks Bayou Des Allemands with Gulf waters and related marshes not too far away, so they’re seafood is both local and fresh. The original building was lost to a fire in 2002, but the current establishment, built on the original slab and owned by the same family, still serves up three signature items: the original catfish chips, Bloody Marys and seafood gumbo.
Naturally, we had to try the gumbo and catfish, although we passed on the Bloody Mary because we still had a drive ahead of us. I chose the catfish platter with sautéed Brussel sprouts, the vegetable of the day, which were sautéed to perfection. Everything was fresh, the catfish crispy and well seasoned and the gumbo as good as my mamma’s (don’t tell).
If catfish isn’t your thing, try their poor boys, softshell crab Parmesan, crawfish pasta, crab cakes, seafood salads, the “blazin’ bayou” shrimp and other delectable wonders of the sea. Bread pudding with rum sauce makes for a nice ending as well.
So, if you’re traveling along Highway 90 between New Orleans and Lafayette and get a envie for some seafood, check out Spahr’s. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner and offers a bar with that fabulous view we mentioned earlier. There’s also a Spahr’s Downtown in Thibodaux that serves breakfast Monday-Saturday and a Sunday brunch, plus lunch and dinner, and a Spahr’s at the Station in Galliano that’s open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
But if you’re heading to the Des Allemands location, keep your eyes open and remember to look for the giant catfish.