The Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter was already ancient when I was born. I cannot remember when it did not exist.
The one in Metairie is a little newer. It is on the Veteran's Highway in what I think of as "new" Metairie. The Veterans Hwy was reclaimed from the swamp when I was in high school. The first time I drove on it there was nothing, no thing, on its entire ten mile length. Now, sixty years later, it is fully and solidly developed.
The Acme Oyster house is one of many New Orleans institutions that have contributed to this development. Now we all know that ancient institutions are not completely portable. Many of us have been disappointed by attempts to replicate them in new locations. So it was with some trepidation that I accepted my niece's recommendation to choose it for a family dinner near her.
I was not disappointed. However, that occasion was about family and I do not remember much more than that. This past weekend I chose it because I wanted a shrimp po'boy near my hotel.
The atmosphere is neon beer signs, TVs behind the bar, and classic country and western ballads. You know what else goes with that.
I ordered the half shrimp po'boy with a cup of gumbo and a beer. Though not the best I ever had (see my review of Domilise's) the po'boy was good. The gumbo is best described as an "old" gumbo, one that had been tended on the back burner for a week or so. It was mellow, with just enough fresh cooked rice on top. I will go back for that gumbo.
Ooops! I almost forgot to tell you about the beer. Good seafood is not about the beer, but a good beer is part of the experience. This was cold fresh Abita Amber served in a very cold frosted schooner.
I did not have the oysters but the guy next to me at the bar did, so I can tell you about them. When I sat down, he was working on a dozen raw oysters. I could see that they were fresh, cold, and plump, just like those that made the French Quarter famous. Just about the time he finished those, they brought him a second dozen char grilled. They looked great too.
Now, if you are looking for fine dining on white table cloths, The Acme is not the place. Try Emeril's Delmonico. They too serve oysters. But if you are looking for oysters and other great seafood, well served in a family friendly atmosphere, you will enjoy The Acme Oyster house.
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