Thursday, September 12, 2013

There's No Seafood Like New Orleans Seafood!

I got back late last night from a quick five-day trip to New Orleans. My brother Matt and I went down there to get my Mother's house ready for sale. Except for a three hour recess to watch the Saints beat the Falcons Sunday afternoon, we spent all our time painting, fixing, and meeting with bankers and real estate people. It wasn't a tourist trip, but we did find time to eat. Oh yeah, we ate good!

Roast beef po-boys at Quick Check, and coffee and beignets at Morning Call were must stops that were conveniently close to where we were working. For our last night we agreed we had to have seafood as it can only be done in New Orleans. No time for tourist joints like Ralph & Kacoo's - we wanted the real deal. From the number of restaurants where the locals eat, we chose River Shack Tavern on River Road in Jefferson.

In business since 1990 in its current rendition, this building has been around since the early 1900s. Over the years it's been a grocery store, a bar, a restaurant, a package liquor store, and a pharmacy. The hand painted signs on the building's exterior date back to the 1940s. It's a location full of history, and now filled with great food!

Signs from the building's past 
Tacky ashtrays can still be traded for drinks at the bar.

Guy Fieri brought his Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives show here a few years back, as evidenced by the signed poster on the wall. That show featured the turtle soup which is a sometimes daily special. That dish wasn't offered the evening we visited, so we opted for a plate of fried mushrooms to get us primed for the main event, the seafood platter.

The host of my favorite food show was here!

Rivershack's version of the seafood platter comes piled high with fried oysters, fried shrimp, fried catfish, alligator sausage, and sweet potato fries. The fried shrimp were the best I've ever had, and the grilled alligator sausage was a new favorite for my brother. It was one meal that made three days of sweltering in the southeast Louisiana heat worthwhile!

Chipping away at a mound of seafood

I only brought my little Canon A2000 on this trip. As I said, this wasn't a trip for sightseeing. This little point and shoot does a good job, except in the dim light of a New Orleans tavern. Matt questioned my sanity of "taking pictures in the dark" without using the flash, but not wanting to ruin the ambiance of the place for the other patrons by popping a flash, I decided to push the little Canon to its limits with some interior shots anyway. Of course it couldn't match either of my Olympus DSLRs in those conditions, but I got a few usable shots to remember a good meal and an enjoyable evening. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Everyone here is a Saints fan - believe dat!

Vintage signs and pictures decorate the walls

A big-screen TV: a concession to the 21st century for sports fans

Rivershack's bar stools have unique legs


  1. Love your shots John.
    I'm sorry you had to make the trip to Nola for a sad occasion but you did get the work done and sounds like you got some yummy rewards.
    When Hubby and I did trade shows at the N.O. convention center, we always ate in the little hole s in the wall places that the workers ate in. Had some great food in some not so pretty places.

  2. You're right, Sue. It's the neighborhood places that make New Orleans the best food city in America.