The po-boy is a classic New Orleans food, it is the sandwich elevated to a whole new level. The po-boy’s beauty is in its simplicity and accessibility. You’re as likely to get a phenomenal po-boy in an unheralded hole in the wall as you are to get one one of the world famous joints around town. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all po-boys are equal, because they certainly aren’t. Now the po-boy is a very personal experience, whether you like it dressed (meaning with all the fixin’s), no mayo, extra pickles or something else. In fact, put 10 New Orleanians in a room and ask what the best po-boy in town is, you’re going to get a minimum of 15-20 answers, almost all starting with “well, it depends . . .” With that in mind, here are 5 great po-boys, in no particular order, and the best restaurants to get them.
Shrimp Po-Boy–Domilise’s. While you may have to brave a line at this Uptown institution, the shrimp po-boy will be well worth the wait. The huge, crispy fried shrimp, piled atop shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles, spill out from the French bread on all sides. A dash of hot sauce and you’re in heaven. Be warned your po-boy may take a little extra time, because the shrimp aren’t hanging out under a heat lamp. They don’t hit the fryer until after you’ve ordered.
Roast Beef–Parkway Bakery and Tavern. The Parkway roast beef po-boy is a sloppy, sloppy mess. Ranking in at about a napkin a bite, Parkway knows that when you can pull together tender roast beef, you can’t withhold the tender debris and juices that helped you get there. Plus, if you can’t quite decide between the shrimp and the roast beef, at Parkway you don’t have to. Check out the Surf n’ Turf for a killer fried shrimp/roast beef combo. Plus with Parkway over looking Bayou St. John, a picture perfect picnic is just steps away.
Oyster–Tracey’s. Tracey’s may be a new restaurant, but it is built upon years of po-boy know how and knowledge. While Tracey’s casual, laid back atmosphere is worth going for alone, the oyster po-boy will keep you coming back. Plump, crisp oysters pull this oyster po-boy ahead of others. Order up some gravy and cheese fries, and you’ll be full for weeks!
Sausage–Vaucresson. Good news and bad news about the Vaucresson sausage po-boy. First, the good news: Vaucresson has kicking crawfish sausage po-boys and amazing hot sausage po-boys. Both are perfect on their own without any dressing or condiments (although a touch of spicy mustard will kick in a little more heat). Now the bad news: You’re only going to find Vaucresson at our festivals, like Jazz Fest (which starts today) and French Quarter Fest. And now the best news: you can always order your own Vaucresson sausage for making classic New Orleans cuisine at home!
Wild-Card–Korean Barbecue Beef Po-Boy from Chef Scott Boswell’s Stanley. Without a doubt this is the fanciest po-boy on this list, but don’t let you think the silver spoon is anything less than an absolutely worthy contender. Marinated tenderloin with house made kimchee, this spicy po-boy is like none other you’ll find in town. In case you’re not quite sold (don’t worry, you will be once you have a bite), Stanley offers a slider platter of the Korean BBQ, Club Stanley, and oyster po-boys. A taste of it all!
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