Monday, August 16, 2010
Shreveport and Herby K's - Here We Come
1833 Pierre Ave
If your travels ever take you to Shreveport, Louisiana - I have found a must-try in Herby K's. You know it has to be pretty special if it's been around for almost 75 years. The founder passed away years ago, but his granddaughter, Angela Doe, and her husband are carrying on the family legacy and great Southern Seafood tradition. The signature sandwich is the Shrimp Buster - jumbo shrimp that has been butterflied, pounded flat, breaded, fried in a special batter and served on a toasted, buttered French role - served with a special cocktail sauce - they make in-house.
That shrimp was the bomb - so was their boiled variety which also came jumbo style and derived its unique flavor from being cooked in beer. Who knew? Their gumbo, a decades-old, closely guarded family recipe, was a nice dark roux base - the seafood variety chock full of shrimp and oysters... and my personal favorite - the chicken and sausage mix full of okra not boiled but fried, battered with their special seasoning. The crawfish etoufee was a delight - not thick and overpowering but a nice creamy gravy for the sauce. Another treat is the jumbo lump crab salad topped with a spinach marinade (pesto like mixture with spinach, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and spices; served on a bed of mixed greens with sliced cherry tomatoes.
Coupled with the restaurant's amazing family recipes - the preserved ambiance - almost just as it was in 1936. The "stuff"" on the counters and lining the shelves - gives it a museum-esque like appearance. Customers have donated the bottles, fans, cans and what-nots over the years and owners leave them just like they got them so customers always have a unique connection to the eatery. Also fascinating - the restaurant got its start as back-in-the-day kind of convenience store - Herby K, a budding entrepreneur, sold tobacco and adult beverages to men working on the nearby railroad and soon expanded his operations to a full service restaurant. He could even possibly be credited with operating the first car-hop type service because in those day's customers could pull up to the front of the business and have their meal and drink delivered to them on a tray.
The restaurant is so old-school, the bathroom is outside - not to worry - not an "out-house" but connected to the "side" of the building. There are few bar stools for seating, a couple of tables and a couple of booths inside the dining room... but in recent years, owners expanded the patio area - covering it, connecting it to the old family home next door and even designing a special netting to preserve the literal family trees.
The family is great - Angela, a former Veterinarian student, and her husband, moved back 4-years ago to help her mom run the family business. Rachael Bean - Angela's sister, is an actress who lives in New Orleans (Shreveport is becoming the LA - Los Angeles - of the South) but comes home often. ( She says as the kid sister, she was an excellent silverware wrapper -
Click on link to Herby's website for more information about the restaurant, hours, menu and price. You'll Definitely worth the visit!!!!
Posted by Pam's Picks at 9:45 AM