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Top 5: Places for a Po-Boy in New Orleans

by Justin Barisich

Sep 22, 2014

© Olgany | Dreamstime

North America

The now-famous New Orleans po-boy sandwich is not only delicious, but also a part of the city’s history. In July 1929, streetcar motormen and transit employees went on strike to protest their wages and contract negotiations. To show their support, the Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market promised to the local union, “Our meal is free to any members of Division 194,” and to keep that promise, they provided large sandwiches to the strikers. Owner Bennie Martin later said, “Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy,'” which is how the sandwich earned its unique name.

The Martins worked with baker John Gendusa to develop a 40-inch loaf of bread that gave it an unusual, eye-catching shape and earned the restaurant renown and hundreds of new customers, even through the Great Depression. And today, we celebrate the po-boy by giving nods to the restaurants still providing overflowing mounds of deliciousness on oversized loaves of bread at affordable prices. (P.S., dressed means it includes lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo).

 

Parkway Bakery and Tavern

While overlooking Bayou St. John in Mid-City, enjoy the best golden fried shrimp po-boy in the city with a basket of fresh fries, both to be washed down with a Barq’s Root Beer right from the chilled bottle.

 

Domilise’s Po-boy and Bar

Though it has a little bit of a dive-y, homey feel with its handpainted sign, “Miss Dot” Domilise, the Po-boy Queen of Uptown New Orleans, cooked here for 75 years until she passed away in 2013. But her recipes and traditions outlived her, and you should enjoy one of her phenomenal Catfish Po-Boys in her honor.

 

Mahony’s Po-Boy Shop

The Peacemaker po-boy — packed with fried oysters, cheddar cheese and bacon — is award-winning and has probably put a family feud or two to rest. Find peace here.

 

Mother’s Restaurant

Try the Famous Ferdi Special, which is a roast beef po-boy with Mother’s Best Baked Ham slathered in their delicious debris (roast beef bits) and gravy. You’ll get messy from it and love it.

 

Singleton’s Po-Boys and Mini Mart

Bringing in the tastes of banh mi, this Korean-Vietnamese-French fusion and family establishment knows how to combine complementary flavors. The Korean BBQ Po-boy is as good as it sounds, and every Saturday, the cooks also offer a special Vietnamese menu featuring their secret Vietnamese Po-boy.

 

BONUS: The Oak Street Po-Boy Preservation Festival

This is one of New Orleans’ newest and most-loved festivals. With eight blocks of experimental po-boys baked up by renowned, local chefs and restaurants, you get to sample a little of every kind of po-boy imaginable. The fest occurs every November, and it features a lot of the po-boy’s history as well.

 

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