During my first visit to New Orleans last year, I really went out of my way to try local favorites rather than hitting up more popular, tourist destinations. Visits to Cafe Beignet and Felix’s Oyster Bar were good but during my return visit to Nawlins, I was curious. While I’m not a fan of huge lines, I really didn’t want to miss anything decent when it comes to dining. So I mentally committed myself to visiting tourist favorites, Acme Oyster House and Cafe Du Monde. And yeah, Acme surprised me in a good way! Here’s what I experienced….
Down on Iberville Street, right off of the busy Bourbon Street, lies Acme Oyster House. I had seen lines out in front of the place many times which is why I chose the lesser-known Felix’s across the street. But an early 11:15am lunch and some rains kept the crowds down so I walked right in. Inside Acme it’s got a darker, nautical type feel with plenty of dark woods and neon. Maybe 30 or so tables, it was smaller than I expected. I grab a seat at the bar and peruse the menu but I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted: oysters, shrimp and… Well, something else! The specialty here at Acme is their char-grilled oysters which are a bit pricey at $11 for 1/2 dozen but I’m a tourist today. Order up some of those along with boom boom shrimp and boo fries. I can’t resist all those letter B’s!
Service here is professional as it would have to be for a busy spot and the oysters come out pretty quickly. Smallish oysters slathered with butter, parmesan cheese and served up with some bread. You could split the app between two people. And the oysters are yum but when you put butter and garlic on things, that’s usually the case! Use the bread for dipping into the leftover garlicky sauce to tide you over. As I’m finishing up the meal, my apps show up so again, service here is quick.
The boom boom shrimp is a pile of bumpy fried shrimp in a slightly sweet sauce. Very nicely fried with good substantial fry coating. The sauce makes for a good contrast between textures and flavors, there’s quite a bit of shrimp in the bowl. And the boo fries are a large flat plate of crisp fries covered in a deep rich gravy flecked with stewed beef. Some cheese melted on top completes the dish and it is interestingly delicious. The savory beef across the crisp potato is pretty simple but a tasty combo. I’m thinking that the boo fries may be up there on the list of drunken foods to eat after a night on the town. No surprise given I’m in New Orleans near Bourbon Street.
The place is filling up by 11:45, I grab my check and slip out. I can see why Acme Oyster is popular, they serve up delicious seafood and pretty darn quickly. Only drawbacks are the lines and I think slightly higher prices across the board. So it just depends on what you’re looking for. If you are willing to deal with the above, go for Acme. They do an excellent job in a slightly more touristy atmosphere, you won’t be eating with locals. If you’re up for a quieter and basic experience, Felix’s does a great job too. The beauty of it all is you’ve got either choice within 50 yards on Iberville. Bon appetit!
724 Iberville Street
New Orleans, LA 70130