On New Year's Eve many restaurants in Morgan City are closed, so I was skeptical when the Holiday Inn desk clerk recommended this little family restaurant on the main drag of town. Little did we know that this would be a homerun for two adventuresome diners. I had to run back to the hotel to retrieve my camera. Susie's Seafood Restaurant is retro style cafe on the surface, having formaica table tops and vinyl cushioned chairs, but the atmosphere is pure Cajun in the modern sense. Absent the usual corporate tourist polish, tabletops are covered with brown butcher paper and then piled high with fresh boiled shrimp, crawfish, or crab straight from the bucket. Plates are not used, rather the shelling is done on the table top the old fashioned way--by the customer's own fingers. Thick absorbent paper napkips are provided to clean the hands. Sold by the pound, not the plate, the crab, crawfish and shrimp specialities are seasoned Cajun style--hot, medium, or mild. Other fresh fish items include oysters (on the half shell or fried) frog legs, crab cakes, stuffed crabs, catfish (prepared in a variety of ways), and a seafood gumbo. Other Cajun entries include boudin, sweet potato fries, and a number of different poboy choices. There are also burgers and a kids menu. As in other Louisiana family style restaurants, the atmosphere has a surreal mixture of traditional religion, bottled beer, and cigarette smoke, but this restaurant has ample personal space for all diners. Seafood is never cheap, but Susie's provides an unbelieveable value. The friends and family staff will patiently share details of Cajun style seafood, and a world map provides a chance to pinpoint your hometown in exchange.
Favorite Dish: My wife and I wanted to try virtually everything on the menu except the burgers and french fries. We ordered a pound of shrimp (about 10 large ones), another four pound bucket of crawfish, four fried frog legs, two orders of seafood gumbo, and an order of six boudin balls. I drank a Corona while my wife drank a Pepsi. Rolling up our shirt sleeves, we dove into the huge pile of crawfish and shrimp. These were certainly the largest shrimp I had seen since a trip to the Gulf of Thailand several years ago, providing evidence that the Gulf of Mexico remains rich in sealife. Since I've never had crawfish outside a couple of times when I caught them myself as a kid in the California Sierra mountains, crawfish was a real special entre. Frog legs are also unusual to me, and these were fried in a light batter, but juicy and tender inside. I don't know much about boudin, but these agreed with my palate. Both the crawfish and frog legs are local bayou caught specialties.
I found a place called Manny's in the AAA book and decided we should eat lunch there so I wanted to turn off of the I-49/US 90 at the exit, but Bob went past it. We got off and came back across the old bridge (with a sign saying it was the Allen-Long bridge - in the old days all the bridges were Huey Long or O.K. Allen. O.K. Allen was Huey's stooge governor because there were term limits or while he was away being a senator in D.C. His name wasn't really OK - that was a nickname because he always OKed everything Huey wanted).
We eventually found Mannys. The inside was dark green and the tables had plastic checkered tablecloths. There was a big American flag hanging inside.
Favorite Dish: Bob had a triple decker club sandwich which looked very nice for $5.95.
I however went for the buffet which was $10.95. They had a salad table including deviled eggs, a whole seafood and vegetable table which included crawfish fettuccini, crawfish etoffee, shrimp gumbo, fresh greens (with hard boiled eggs), seafood puffs, fried fish, white beans, brown and white rice, green beans, buttered squash, hush puppies, and a lot of other things, and another whole table of desserts (coconut pie, lemon and chocolate meringue pies, pecan pie, chocolate cake, white cake, banana cream pie, and strawberry topped sugar free cake).