1833 Pierre Ave.
I know what you’re thinking.
You are thinking, how do I find so many cool places to eat and drink?
Good question, my dear reader, good question.
Well, the truth is, I’ve learned a few things traveling along the backroads and alleyways of America.
If you find a crowded parking lot in a really, really bad part of town, you might have found a cool place to eat and drink.
That, or a meth lab.
Could be either one.
As I sat in the dilapidated parking lot between Herby K’s and an abandoned brick building, I noticed the folks going in didn’t come back out five minutes later.
Probably not a meth lab. People actually come here to eat.
And what Herby K’s has been serving here since 1936 is way more addictive.
Their world famous “shrimp busters.”
Four or five fresh from the boat shrimp that are butterflied, flattened, and fried, served on toasted French bread with a wildly tasty red “shrimp buster” sauce on the side.
Addictively crispy and delicious, they remind me of shrimp potato chips.
Some regulars eat it the way it comes – like a shrimp crustini.
Most folks just eat the shrimp one at a time, dipping them in the sauce before each bite.
Oh, that sauce. I’m still dreaming about it.
Sweet but zesty, it pours thin like a hot sauce and soaks into the fried batter of each shrimp.
No wonder self-respecting Shreveporters have been venturing to this forgotten side of town for 85 years.
But this wasn’t my first rodeo here.
On this particular visit, I had to try something different.
An oyster loaf with a side of peppery coleslaw and perhaps the world’s most perfect onion rings.
Oyster loafs are famous all over the great state of Louisiana.
Herby K’s version starts with an entire loaf of freshly baked French bread. The middle is carved out and filled with freshly fried oysters, a drizzle of that famous “shrimp buster” sauce, and a few pickles.
The crustiness of the bread, the crunch of the oysters, and the zesty flavor of the sauce and pickles will leave you in a state of Cajun nirvana.
And the bread they carved out? What happens to that? Fed to the neighborhood stray dogs?
They toast it up with butter and serve it on the side.
I also tried Herby K’s appetizer of “marinated crab claws,” a popular starter in Shreveport.
Each little crab claw was covered in a garlicky pesto sauce and sliced garlic French bread came on the side. Sure, the pesto overwhelms the delicate flavor of the crab a bit, but I can see why it’s so popular.
And while no one comes to Herby K’s just to drink, the bar offers plenty of beer.
Icy fishbowls of draft beer are the perfect companion to shrimp busters and oyster loafs. The enormous and heavy bowls of suds are impressive to look at, but I still ran out of beer before I ran out of lunch.
Hey, it’s 95 degrees out and that shrimp buster sauce has a kick to it. I was thirsty, okay?
So I ventured onto the bottled beer selection and, against my better judgment, ordered the summer seasonal from Abita — Louisiana’s favorite microbrewery. Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit is a wheat beer seasoned with real Louisiana-grown Satsuma oranges.
Sweet and sour with a funky aftertaste, I’d toss it in a pile with all those other fruity beers.
Give me a Turbodog to expunge that nasty aftertaste.
Alas, Herby K doesn’t have Turbodog.
Like I said, eating takes precedence over drinking here at Herby K’s. Next time I’ll just order a second fishbowl of Miller Lite.
Shrimp busters. Oyster loafs. And icy bowls of beer.
Yeah. I’ll dodge the pot holes, broken glass, and stray dogs for THAT any time of day.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!