First Take: Classic New Orleans Seafood at Felix’s Oyster Bar

Right across from the well-known Acme Oyster House in New Orleans is a simple, basic seafood spot for locals, Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar! Recommended by a friend, I’m all for underdogs and local, hidden gems. So I skipped the long line in front of Acme for the simplicity of Felix’s. And in some ways I loved that decision, in other ways not so much… But I guarantee you, if you eat here you’ll get a REAL New Orleans experience…

Felix’s is old-school, all the time. You get a blast of saltwater and brine the moment you step in which is a great sign! Diners happily slurping down beautiful oysters at the counter, it reminds me of the classic Swan Oyster Depot in SF. Lots of white tile, boisterous activity and motion, I ask for a quieter table in the backroom. In the back they’ve got their liquor bar along with a flaming grill for those famous roasted oysters. My waitress is Louisiana sweet but a bit inexperienced, no big deal. I order up some jambalaya and a fried shimp-oyster combo plate, how can you resist seafood in New Orleans?! As I wait for my food I sip on an Abita and listen in on the conversations: SEC football, crawfish and more, the drawls here are a bit different than what I run into in North Carolina.

My small cup of jambalaya comes out with a sprinkling of parsley on top. Spicy with small shrimp and chunks of sausage, it’s comforting but seems a bit over-cooked, a bit mushy but the taste is still there. My main of fried shrimp and oysters with some fries look great! Home-made cocktail sauce on the side, 8 medium to large golden brown shrimp and 4 or 5 oysters, Felix’s uses a very fine corn meal giving their fried seafood a nice texture and non-greasy crunch. The fried shrimp is excellent but that’s pretty much the case for all the shrimp down here. A dab of cocktail sauce, a bit of tartar and deelish! The fried oysters have the taste and texture of a fried clam belly and are pretty decent but not my fave. The hushpuppies are interesting and tasty, small little nuggets with pepper and corn bits inside. All the food on the plate has a bit of a kick in it, even before the Crystal hot sauce goes on. At $18 or so, it’s a decent plate of food and filling. Service is ok but Felix’s gets pretty busy with all the locals coming in for dinner. Sitting back, I feel like I could have been on the set of the movie, The Help! But overall I really enjoyed my experience here. New Orleans is fantastic when it comes to Southern hospitality and a place like Felix’s is a prime example of that hospitality. Just don’t ask the waitress here to split the check and you’ll have a great meal!