New Orleans is one of the best cities not just in the United States but in the world. From its vibrant jazz music scene to the rich history of Creole and Cajun cultures, The Big Easy certainly has a lot to offer any visitors. One of the greatest traditions, though, is the most delicious sandwich ever created: the po’boy. When visiting New Orleans, it is nearly impossible to not give this local treasure a try during your stay. After you book a hotel room at the Best Western Bayou Inn in Westwego, take a couple minutes and continue reading below to learn all the information you need about the po’boy.
The History of the Po’Boy
The name of the po’boy sandwich is one of legend dating back to the 1929 streetcar strike in Louisiana. During this strike, which lasted four months, two brothers who were former streetcar conductors themselves would allegedly give free sandwiches to their former peers. The men, named Benny and Clovis Martin, had given up being conductors to open a restaurant, and the restaurant would joke that the men eating the free sandwiches were “poor boys.” Because of the natural dialect of The Big Easy, this was then shortened into the name we know today: po’boys.
What’s On A Po’Boy?
Although the makings of a po’boy can vary a little bit, typically the sandwich consists of meat served on a French baguette known as a Leidenheimer loaf. The meat is traditionally seafood such as fried oysters, catfish, crawfish, or shrimp, although versions using other meats such as roast beef or fried chicken are fairly common. In fact, there is a specific style of New Orleans po’boy made with roast beef and served with hot gravy that is similar to Chicago Italian beef sandwich.
What About The Toppings?
In addition to the meat and bread, most po’boy sandwiches contain a combination of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dressing. In most cases, the dressing of the sandwich will change with the type of meat. For instance, seafood po’boys will often feature a house dressing that is similar to a remoulade while lunch meat po’boys might only have mayonnaise.
What’s On The Side?
Most New Orleans restaurants serve po’boy sandwiches alongside other NOLA classics such as gumbo, etouffee, and bisques. The sandwich itself is often served with french fries or potato chips, depending on the sandwich shop’s preference.
Which One Is The Best?
In New Orleans, one of the most popular po’boy shops is Parkway Bakery & Tavern, which serves classic varieties of the po’boy sandwich. However, many restaurants around the city have been creating new versions of the sandwich. One of the most popular versions is similar to the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich served up at Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery.
As you prepare to visit New Orleans, it definitely would do you a bit of good to do your po’boy research. Nearly every sandwich shop in town serves at least one variety on this delicious sandwich, and depending on your personal tastes, you may find you prefer one version over another. During your stay at the Best Western Bayou Inn in Westwego, you can do all the research you need using the hotel’s free wifi. But no matter where you go in New Orleans, make sure you give the po’boy a chance; it may become your new favorite sandwich!