When you say the word 'seafood' in different places, it may mean different things. For instance, seafood in Hawaii typically refers to yellowfin tuna, marlin, aku, ono and mahi-mahi. In Alaska, seafood may mean halibut, salmon and king crab. Seafood, New Orleans style, is a whole 'nother thing. Here, delicacies from the sea and swamp include tasty treats like alligator, crawfish, fried oysters and jumbo head-on Gulf shrimp.
A brief history of Seafood in New Orleans
Just a few years ago, the first ever Louisiana fisheries summit was held at the Civic Center in Houma-Terrebonne. Louisiana historians Don Davis and Carl Brasseaux spoke at the event, fascinating attendees with stories about the history of commercial seafood New Orleans. In the old days, area fisheries focus on the seemingly endless schools of sardines in the Gulf. Settlers salted the small silvery fish and stored them and sold them, too. Even into the 1700s and despite the local influx of oyster-loving French settlers, shellfishing was not a big part of the local fishery scene.
Throughout the 18th century, the city of New Orleans was a relatively small community without much of a commercial fishing industry to speak of. Nonetheless, a public fish market opened in NOLA in 1784, and another followed just a few years later. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, more wealth came to The Big Easy. By the end of the first decade of the 19th century, seafood New Orleans could be found in specialty restaurants and 'oyster saloons' that served heaping bowls of spicy gumbo, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The antebellum era between 1812 and 1860, Crescent City became one of the nation's brightest boomtowns. Canneries opened, and a railroad was built to transport New Orleans seafood to various trade markets. After the Civil War, even more, railroads made their way to and from the area, thus enabling the transport of seafood from New Orleans to cities as far away as San Francisco.
Today, when you want to tuck into a tasty bowl of shrimp etouffee over rice, or a dish of steaming fried gator bites, or a plate piled high with boiled crawfish, all you have to do is make your way to the corner of Decatur and St. Phillip Street. Here you will find the world-famous Original French Market Restaurant and Bar.
What's for dinner
At OFMR, we serve a splendid selection of Creole-style seafood from New Orleans waters
- Char-grilled oysters with Tabasco, thyme, and lemon
- Spicy boiled crawfish
- Louisiana crab cakes with crawfish cream sauce
- Fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce
- Crawfish Bisque
- Blackened catfish sandwiches
- Assorted seafood platters
You don't need a reservation to enjoy seafood New Orleans style at Original French Market. If you plan to dine with a large group, however, or if you have special needs, please call (504)525-7879 to reserve seating before you arrive. We look forward to serving you some rather fantastic seafood.Seafood New Orleans