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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
Like the Acme Oyster House in the Quadda (they way locals pronounce "Quarter" as in French Quarter), Felix's is a real gem of a place.
I'm really going to date myself but when I first sampled my first dozen oysters at this New Orleans institution they were selling for a nickel each! As with the oyster shuckers at Acme, you'd just flip a nickel on the bar and in mere seconds a freshly opened oyster would appear before you.
The question often pops up in the Big Easy about which restaurant is the best - Acme or Felix's - and there's no easy answer. Even their location is very close. I'm perhaps a little partial to Felix's because that's where I had my first raw Louisiana salt oyster. But both places are sensational.
As with the Acme, after inhaling the raw oysters, I usually order a Po Boy sandwich and in most cases I go with the oyster Po Boy. Fried shrimp Po Boys are also a great choice. And what makes these beauties is the wonderful French bread that they are served on.
If you like calm intimate settings for your dining, Felix's wouldn't be a good choice. Again, like the Acme, Felix's is a loud place and at times it can get a little on the boisterous side.
Felix's turns out some good Creole dishes and you can have your oysters "fancy style" like Rockefeller or Bienville. But for me, plain raw with cocktail and horseradish sauce is the way to go. Oh yeah, you've got give 'em a little squirt of lemon and a small shake of salt and pepper if you're like me. And here's a tip. Never dip the oyster into the cocktail sauce. Instead take a spoon and dab a little sauce on the oyster. That way you're not diluting the sauce each time you stick an oyster in it. Again, repeat after me: "The oyster doesn't go in the sauce. The sauce goes on the oyster."
The next time you visit New Orleans I hope you will sample this venerable fine gal. And walk down the street to Acme, too. And try to figure out which one is best!
Felix's has a web site but I couldn't get it to work. I'll list it in the event that it's up and running now. Try it here. The restaurant was down for repairs necessitated by Hurricane Katrina for a while and that may be why the web site wasn't working. Checking with TripAdvisor.com, it indicates the restaurant is open.
They are located in the Quarter at 739 Iberville (they also have an entrance off Bourbon Street at 210 Bourbon) and their phone number is (504) 522-4440.