You can’t say Horst and Karen Pfeifer aren’t persistent.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed their New Orleans restaurant in 2005, so two years later they bought the venerable (1934) Middendorf’s, the Pass Manchac seafood place popular with Baton Rouge and New Orleans diners for thin-fried catfish, huge boiled crabs, etc.
In 2008 Hurricane Ike flooded Middendorf’s, and after extensive renovations the Pfeifers reopened the following year.
Then Hurricane Isaac struck, and Facebook photos showed flooding that appeared to have wiped out Middendorf’s.
So it’s a surprise to learn that it’s back open on Wednesday.
In a letter to customers, Karen said, “While the new dining room did stay ‘high and dry’ and the new, also elevated kitchen had no water, it is so painful to see the rest of our property under water …
“The generous amount of offers we have received to assist us with our recovery has been astounding. …
“Horst and I do understand that the true owners of Middendorf’s are the guests that have been dining here for 78 years. …
“Middendorf’s is more than a restaurant, it is a community. And it is that community that jumped into action and have been helping us get the restaurant back together.
“Without the help and support of our ‘village’ from our staff, our friends, our purveyors, our neighbors and you, our guests, we would not have been able nor have the energy to have gone through this drama once again. …
“Please know that there are still so many families and businesses that are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. Keep them in your prayers and offer your time and assistance. …”
MawMaw Betty, of French Settlement, says our mention of an “ice box’ reminded her of her childhood days:
“When we were growing up Mama use to make ‘lost bread’ (French toast) for breakfast.
“I didn’t know then, but I know now that this was the bread that was getting stale.
“And with seven children to feed we could not afford to lose that bread, so she made ‘lost bread’ out of it.
“With the economy being what it is now, I think we will all be eating a lot of ‘lost bread.’”
(It’s interesting that two of the most iconic dishes in Louisiana are bread pudding and “pain perdu,” or lost bread, both using leftover bread.)
Calvin F. Balencie says, “With cool weather and the approach of October and thoughts of Oktoberfest, I wonder if you or any of your readers can recommend a good German restaurant here in Baton Rouge.
“Being new residents (since 2006), it was through your column that we discovered the Pastime and Pastime Jr.”
(Good question, Calvin. Since the closing of the Black Forest on North Boulevard downtown, I don’t know of a strictly German restaurant in town, although Pinetta’s on Perkins Road has a number of German dishes. But since I lead a very sheltered life, there may be some I haven’t visited yet.)
Blair Broussard of Community Coffee Co. tells what happened after I ran a letter from a resident of the Louisiana Veterans Home in Jackson requesting coffee:
“Since the request ran we have received many calls and Facebook posts about the donation — other customers asking if we could make the donation. Such an overwhelming outreach of support for these veterans!
“Of course, Community Coffee supports our veterans and active military with coffee donations through our Military Match program as well as other donation programs.
“We delivered coffee, cups, cream and sugar to the home.
“A representative from the home assured me that the residence is well stocked now, through not only our donation, but from other members of the community making their own contributions to the request.”
Dalton Stitt thanks Deputy Perry Frith, who spent some of his off-duty hours searching for Dalton’s lost dog — and found it 14 days after it went missing.
“That was unbelievable,” says Dalton. “It was truly beyond the call of duty.”
Special People Dept.
Marguerite “Rete” Johnson celebrates her 92nd birthday Wednesday.
The hours are divine
Peggy LeBeau says, “Recently my husband and I took our 8-year-old grandson Beau to Sunday Mass at St. Patrick Church.
“During the Mass celebrated by Father Jerry Martin, Beau asked me if priests had other jobs, because they only work on Sundays.
“I gave him a brief explanation and expounded on it later. After Mass, knowing that Father Martin had a good sense of humor, I shared Beau’s question with him.
“He said that actually Sunday is his only ‘day of rest.’ ”
Obviously a prank
Della Stout, noting our recent “Creep of the Week” nomination, has one of her own:
“Someone replaced all the blonde hairs in my hairbrush with silver ones. Did they creep in to do it?”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.