In search of New Orleans’ most beloved sandwich in the Big Easy
The Crescent City’s Greatest Po’boys
So just what is a Po’boy?
Po boy sandwiches are typically either seafood or roast beef (although I had a roast duck po boy near Grand Isle, Louisiana recently), and the best ones use remoulade, a Cajun version of the classic French mayo-mustard sauce. But the bread is the real star in a po boy.
A po’ boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional sandwich. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast beef, or fried seafood The meat is served on roll-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust and fluffy center.
My search took me to Johnny’s in the French Quarter…
When locals get “character” overload, they drive to an industrial section of Jefferson Parish to this yum-fest run by kitchen dervish Jacques Leonardi (above). It’s all about the cochon (pig), rabbit and duck he brings with gusto to the po’boy plate. “Over-stuffed” is an understatement. The slow-roasted duck po’boy with gravy and jalapeños is love-me tender, sophisticatedly rich. A classic born. 428 Jefferson Highway, crabby-jacks.com
Owner Gautreaux’s restaurant
Fried Shrimp-and-Oyster Po’boy at Domilise’s Po-Boys
Get the half-and-half, large, dressed with lettuce, catsup, mayonnaise and hot sauce. It’s so amazingly good. They have Leidenheimer bakery deliver the bread twice a day, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so it assures freshness. They change their grease regularly, and don’t take short cuts. Everything is made to order. Sit at the counter with the lovely owner, Dot Domilise.
The Shining Pearl
Unconventional hours haven’t kept this 89-year-old oyster mecca from drawing lines outside its tiled quarters. Accolades and food shows have followed, mainly for its blissful po’boy hybrid: the fried oyster loaf. Made with thick-cut white Bunny Bread, it is packed four inches high with lightly corn-floured oysters simmered in lard in cast iron pots. 4330 Magazine St., casamentosrestaurant.com
Co-owner, Patois and Ste. Marie restaurants
Fried Shrimp Po’boy at Parkway Bakery & Tavern
They use a light batter on the shrimp, which are decent-sized and fresh. If they didn’t serve po’boys, it would still be a cool place to drink. I sit in the original storefront, and belly up to the bar.