I met my fiancee, Frank, today for lunch at the fairly new Parkway Bakery on Hagan Street, which as Frank's pal Tommy said is just a long spit from Bayou St. John. Yes, he WAS trying to gross me out. It was my first visit. I hear from the future in-laws that this was once the BEST po boy joint in town.
I ordered a roast beef po-boy, which I thought was pretty much as perfect as a roast beef po-boy could be. Although the meat wasn't reduced to scraps like the debris at Mother's, it was very well cooked by New Orleans standards (and that means over-cooked by Martha Stewart standards) and the gravy was slightly salty but in a good, delciious way. I loved it! Washed it down with a 2004 vintage Barq's and all was well with the world. THEN my fiancee asked me to take a stroll along the bayou and help him look for stolen cars in the murky depths....talk about heaven.
Frank had a Ham and American Cheese po boy, dressed. What I'm told used to be called a combination.
Tommy had the roast beef and his friend Jeannine(SP) had a fried potato po boy, with a LOT of brown roast beef gravy. Smelled delicious but I felt my waistline bulging just from a couple of surreptitious sniffs.
It was the first of that breed of po boy that I've actually seen.
Frank has told me three or four times AT LEAST that while in high school, he and some high school friends used to go to bars uptown and try to pick up girls from Newman and McGeehee and would end their activities, when unsuccessful, at some po boy joint in Gentilly that specialized in the fried potato and gravy po boy for $2 apiece. He says that back then (1988-1990) this was the best sandwich value in New Orleans.
Alas, that po boy was the last sandwich, bread, bruschetta or battered food item for me until one month after the wedding. I made a solemn vow Sunday to Our Lady of Mount Carmel that if she helped me lose my saddlebags for the wedding, I would cooperate by running more, swearing off the afore-mentioned foods and throw in an extra month of abstinence as lagniappe. I hope she heard me. I lit a candle at church as a sign that my end of the deal was ON. Wish me luck!