Franky and Johnny's
Neighborhood Restaurant & Lounge
321 Arabella Street
New Orleans, LA. 70115
Frankie and Johnny's is pretty much the base definition of a New Orleans neighborhood restaurant. Off the tourist beaten track and a popular destination for boozing locals and those who really very much enjoy large pitchers of beer, it's a good spot to hit up for some no-pretensions seafood. Don't expect any fancy BS here: that's just the way folks around here like it.
(If you ate at Commanders or Galatoire's every single day, you would develop hardened arteries and an enlarged heart and poor vision and all sorts of deleterious maladies, you would sicken and become ill. Man must not subsist on butter and lard alone).
We tried out one of their stuffed crabs. If you are some sort of infidel and did not know, a New Orleans stuffed crab involves bread crumbs, herbs, and crabmeat, baked in the crab's original shell. They are exceeding tasty. This was a nice version with lots of plump crabmeat, though coulda been a bit warmer.
Frankie and Johnnie's does a real fine boiled shrimp by my estimation, and I am very particular about boiled shrimps. These are 1. very large and 2. come complete with shells and delicious, flavorful heads and 3. are boiled in some sort of tasty spiced substance and thus satisfy all my parameters.
I also tried out a Muffaletta salad. Okay, but could have used more olive salad on top - the key to a Muffaletta salad is excess amounts of olive salad. I am told Frankie and Johnnie's does reputable muffalettas so you should try one and report back post haste. I saw one once and I think I had a bite but there may have been some Drunk Memory involved there. I could not confirm or deny.
We also tried out the fried oysters. These guys do a very fine rendition of this New Orleans treat: not too heavily breaded, big fat fresh specimens, simple and good. Not the airy perfection of say, Casamento's, but still mighty fine. The fries weren't half bad either.
Last up: crawfish etouffee. Simple stuff but pretty tasty: nice tomato and spice flavor, decent roux, good quantity of crawfish meat. It's pretty much what F and J is up to: simple and good New Orleans food, unpretentious setting and service, acceptable cleanliness levels, a jukebox, and large quantities of inexpensive booze. I recommend it.