Saturday, May 18, 2013

Po' Boys & Pickles review

Po' Boys & Pickles

Po' Boys & Pickles is one of those places that I love almost in spite of itself.  First, there's the location on Forest Ave near Morrell's Corner, a particularly unattractive area of the city.  Then there's the building itself which used to be a D'Angelo's sandwich shop which means that whatever goes into that location until the end of time, it will forever look like a D'Angelo's sandwich shop.  Add to that the sometimes death defying driving one has to do just to get into the parking lot during peak traffic periods and you've hit the trifecta of things working against the place.

In spite of all it has working against it, Po' Boys & Pickles has one thing working for it; they make some of the best sandwiches in the city.  Once you get past the location and the building itself, you enter into what unfortunately still resembles a D'Angelo's sandwich shop even though it's been spruced up a bit with a TV and some poster sized pics of New Orleans and, although I don't remember specifically seeing any, I'm willing to bet there are some Mardi Gras beads hanging somewhere.  You order and pay for your food at the counter.  Very friendly service.  Basically, it's comfortable enough to eat your sandwich inside but I most often get my food to go.

The Po' Boys are their specialties.  If you haven't eaten down on the Bayou before, a Po' Boy is what they call a sub (or an Italian, hoagie, grinder, etc.) in Louisiana.  Regardless what they're called, these are some tasty sandwiches.  Starting with my favorite, the creole sausage with lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, onions and their red pepper mayo, this is not for someone on a diet.  The sausage is shipped up from Louisiana and has just enough kick, combined with the mayo and other ingredients on a nice roll, to take care of any hunger.  Other favorites are the pulled pork with Cajun coleslaw which is usually a hit with the less adventurous eaters.  The blackened fish and fried oyster Po' Boys are also very good but I'd eat those in as the seafood doesn't travel as well.  A buddy of mine always gets the dirty bird, a sort of chicken club and he swears by it.  There's the Ray Nagin, Muffaletta and the debris po' boys - all with some interesting combinations.  Most of the sandwiches come small or large.  Small is half the size of a large - think Subway 6" vs 12" - but more than half the price.  If two of you are going to have the same sandwich, you order one large and they'll gladly wrap up the split halves separately.  You'll save a bit doing that - which they actually encourage.  My creole sausage is $6.35 for a small and $11.00 for a large.  Two of us split a large and it's down to $5.50 each which is a good deal as a small is plenty for all but the biggest appetites.

I'm not a big fan of their fries and I haven't tried their salads as they appear to be borderline healthy and I ain't eating at this place for health reasons. Each sandwich comes with a little cup of pickles which are pretty good.  For dessert, there's a toffee pudding which looks decadent and another friend raves about their coconut macaroons but I haven't tried either.  You can get a limited variety of beer both on tap and in bottles.

Oh yeah, one last thing.  The sandwiches are incredibly messy.  You have to be careful when eating one.  Get a firm grip on the sandwich or you risk taking a first bite only to find that half the ingredients just plopped out of the other side of the sandwich.  I'm sure we've all had this happen in our lifetime.  Do not, I repeat do not, try as I once did and eat one while driving.  It may not be as dangerous as texting but it's pretty damn close. 

To summarize: if you're in an ugly part of town and want a really great sandwich in a no-frills setting, Po' Boys & Pickles is well worth the stop.

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