An Open Letter to SouthCoast Restaurants: More Po’ Boys, Please
Dear SouthCoast Restaurants,
It’s me, Tim. You know me. I’ve been visiting you for decades now, writing about you, talking about you, broadcasting my show from you, and most of all, spending my money in you. Over the years, my love of SouthCoast restaurants has made me a poor boy, but very few of you have actually made me a po’ boy.
In case you are not familiar, a po’ boy is a sandwich, one that originated in Louisiana. I won’t get into all the details about its many variations or how it got its name, mainly because so much of it is nothing more than legend. The most commonly accepted recipe for a po’ boy, though, consists of fried seafood – oysters, shrimp, catfish, really anything you can fry – on New Orleans-style French bread, which is softer and less chewy than traditional French bread.
You make a po’ boy by slicing the bread, slathering it with a remoulade (a spicy tartar sauce) or some other sauce, shredded lettuce, thin-sliced tomatoes, dill pickle slices, and whatever fried seafood you want to feature in the sandwich. It’s simple to make, and they’re absolutely delicious. I love sandwiches, and it just might be my favorite sandwich of all time.
What I don’t get is why so many of you don’t offer one.
Yes, they’re more something you’d expect to find in New Orleans rather than in New England, but I still can’t understand why if a SouthCoast restaurant has all the ingredients to make a po’ boy already, why don't they just put one on the menu?
I’ve had a few here. Just this past Sunday night, I had a fried oyster po’ boy at the Star Drive-In in Lakeville, and it was fantastic (the Cajun seasonings in the oyster breading made all the difference). Rosie’s Deli, which you can find in a few local gas stations, offers a shrimp po’ boy which is pretty good, even though the “fried” shrimp are actually heated in a toaster oven. The Popeye’s in New Bedford used to have shrimp po’ boys on the menu, but not anymore.
Look, every place around here has a lobster roll, and while lobster rolls are certainly delicious, they’ve become so expensive that it is only a once-in-a-while treat to be able to have one for lunch or dinner. A po’ boy, though, is something that you can enjoy anytime; at around $10-$12 for a sandwich, it could easily become the next big thing from New Bedford to Fall River and everywhere in between.
I’ve been to New Orleans and had some of the best po’ boys they have down there. I know that here on the SouthCoast, we could easily match up with them. Give it a try. Put it on your daily specials for a bit. Let’s make this a thing.
If you already have a place where I can get a good po’ boy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be sure to pay you a visit.