The Hammond Highway’s chicken, liquor & seafood cafe opened in 1934 by Louis and Josie Middendorf on the shores of Lake Maurepas at Pass Manchac endures. The building’s facade had a single hump back then and grew a second hump as the restaurant went “inter-generational” over the years. It has survived floods, Interstate-55, an ever-changing local dining scene and even many of its old customers. People who may have visited the place as kids in the 1950s and 60s to fish and crab with their families from the old, wooden Hammond Highway bridge next door and ate in the restaurant now bring their children and now their grandchildren here. One secret of the restaurant’s popularity, besides their famous thin-fried catfish/coleslaw/hush-puppy/french-fry plate, is the nostalgia factor of its original decor, reliable menu and lakeside ambiance.

Now, the dynamic couple of Horst and Karen Pfeifer have brought their prodigious restauranteur chops to the place, amped it up while honoring its traditions. They painstakingly restored it after Hurricane Katrina to be bigger and better than before (it’s even grew two more humps!), brought in even more customers and are now duplicating the phenomenon in Slidell at the other end of the Pontchartrain Basin.


Hosts Horst and Karen Pfeifer.
The Manchac Volunteer Fire Department, protector of all; across the street from Middendorf’s
One of many "Fun Runs” leaving Middendorf’s up and over Pass Manchac.
View of Pass Manchac from the Middendorf’s waterside porch.