The dining options in LaPlace keep getting better

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2008

By Kevin Chiri

Looks like we’ve got another great addition to our local lunch or dinner spots here in LaPlace.

The wife and I made a stop on Saturday at the New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Company, which opened its LaPlace branch this week.

The restaurant is located in the Riverlands Shopping Center on Airline Highway, almost next to Matherne’s Grocery Store, where the old CiCi’s Pizza used to be.

The restaurant is officially open to the public starting this week, with hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., plus 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday; and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

I had previously talked with Managing Partner/Owner Paul McGoey about a month ago when they were renovating the building and I’ve got to first say that they did a great job with it.

The place has a nice, warm feeling to it, and as my wife mentioned, the music is just right in terms of quality, and volume.

And talking about the seemingly simpler things, she even mentioned how comfortable the seats were. It’s funny that we don’t often think about the chairs or booths at restaurants, at least not unless they are at a bad height, or in poor condition. That’s definitely not the case here.

But let’s get to what counts….THE FOOD!

We tried a number of different items on the menu, and all I can say is that nothing disappointed.

I’ve always been a big burger guy, and I like to try the burger at a new place that advertises that they have a great hamburger.

Obviously the Hamburger and Seafood Company has its name on the line with that one, so I got the basic burger without any of the special things on it, just to get a real test. In a word, “Great!”

Paul came and sat down with us for a few minutes and told me that they actually get the bun made for the hamburger at Leidenheimer’s Bakery in New Orleans, and it is specially made for their store.

My wife tried some seafood and a salad, and then we got some of their onion rings, which may have been my favorite along with the burger. The dipping sauce with the onion rings was outstanding.

Paul had explained to me previously that the company is going through a big change that began several years ago. Not only did they revamp their menu to offer a wide variety of new items, but they also are opening new locations.

Besides the three New Orleans spots that have been around for years, they have now opened in Houma, LaPlace, and Mandeville to come in about six weeks.

I especially got a kick out of Paul telling me about one of his own special creations, which is the “One-Handed Po-Boy.” Trust me, this is not a joke. Paul wanted to have a po-boy people could take from their drive-thru in New Orleans, so he created one from a po-boy bun that has the bread in the center hollowed out.

So far they only have a couple of po-boys that work, but the BBQ shrimp one is perfect and he hustled one out of the kitchen for us to see and try. It’s really kind of amazing, and definitely quite creative to have thought of that.

And don’t let me forget about the dessert, which was a huge piece of strawberry cheesecake. My wife put her stamp of approval on that one, which says a lot since she is an expert at making cheesecakes.

Don Noel is the chief operating officer locally for the restaurant  and hopes to see you soon.

As for this week, expect a big crowd as they are now officially open to the public, since this is a new restaurant in town that I have no doubt will succeed in a big way.

I know there are plenty of summer Vacation Bible Schools to pick from, but knowing my buddy Mark Bray, pastor at First United Methodist Church in LaPlace, I’m going to suggest you make sure your kids take his in.

Mark asked me to mention the VBS at First Methodist, which is scheduled for the week of July 14-18 at their church off Highway 51.

They have a theme of “Beach Party: Surfin’ Through the Scriptures,” and it is open for kids age three through fifth grade.

The Methodist Church VBS is taking the route of more and more churches by holding it at night, so parents can participate more freely as well. This one will be from 6-8 each evening, with a snack supper at 5:30.

To sign up, call 652-6560, or check online at

For more information, call Shelly Bray at 651-2706.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at