When this little off-downtown eatery opened about a year ago I gave it a try. I was turned off by the overly enthusiastic menu, slow service and ho-hum fare. I went back this week to find a leaner, more efficient menu, a real penchant for doing things from scratch and a survivor's attitude.
I was assuming the sliced, deep-fried pickle were from the same SYSCO foods box as every other eatery. I was wrong. The pickles get homemade breading and are then served piping hot with cooling Ranch dip or kick-yer-behind Texas Pete sauce. Both were nice additions to the pickles and the nicely spiced breading.
My little sampler of fry goods also offered crispy Mozarella sticks with marinara sauce and a tastefully done sweet potato French fry - dusted with a hint of sugar to bring out the potato's natural sugars.
When I learned that owner Darrell Hearne smokes his own meats, I had to sample the pulled pork Po'Boy. I asked for the sauce on the side, in this case a black molasses sauce that was nicely sweet, mildly bitter and just the right touch for this rustic, smokey flavor of Hearne's pulled pork.
The huge Mufaletta-style bun wrapped around a sandwich that I shouldn't have, but couldn't avoid finishing, due to its size. That, ladies and gentlemen, was a sandwich. I was so busy eating, I almost forgot to take the photo!
The menu offers a variety of Po'Boy style sandwiches, including classic versions made with fresh, fried oysters or shrimp. There's also a huge selection of Muffaletta sandwiches, salads, appetizers and, wow, a large number of choices for vegetarians.
The neat-as-a-pin dining room offers plenty of seating - but the restaurant's stock in trade seems to be its robust carry-out business. Space does not allow me to delve into the extensive menu, instead, check it out online at www.po-boy.com.
Getting your fists wrapped around one of these traditional New Orleans-inspired sandwiches is a job to be sure, but worth the work.
609 ½ Abercorn St./944-2700