Going to New Orleans for the first time, I had my eyes set on the Po’Boy. It was something I felt was unique to the city and something you can’t get anywhere else.
Upon my arrival, I made sure to quickly scratch the Po’Boy off my bucket list so I stopped at Johnny’s Po-Boys in the French Quarter for lunch around 1pm without having eaten anything the entire day.
This is important because the hungrier you are, the better food generally tends to taste. I knew I wanted the fried shrimp Po’Boy, and I asked the waiter which Po’Boy he’d recommend for someone who’s never had one before. He said the fried shrimp one would do. Worked for me.
As I ate the Po’Boy, I recorded these observations.
- The bread seemed to overpower the fried shrimp, a huge no-no for any sandwich. The meat should always be the focal point. That’s sandwich making 101.
- The Po’Boy was remarkably simple. All it entailed was fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, pickles and not nearly enough mayo.
- The Po’Boy may as well just have been a bland fried shrimp sandwich. It desperately needed more sauce to give the sandwich some assemblance of flavor.
Overall, my first Po’Boy experience was highly disappointing. I was looking for something unique to New Orleans and left wondering what all the hype was about. I could easily replicate the Po’Boy myself and do it better, much better.
For good measure, I gave the Po’Boy a second chance at another prime eating hour. It was around 1am New Orleans time and the bar I was at on Frechmen Street called Bamboula’s (Bamboula’s has phenomenal music BTW, but I digress) had Po’Boy’s on their menu so I went for it.
Once again, I left disappointed. The Po’Boy tasted almost exactly the same as it did the first time I ordered one.
If I had to grade the Po’Boy, I’d give it a C-. It’s definitely not something you should go out of your way to eat.