An ode to a great sandwich... and I do love sandwiches!
There are classics and then there are, well, true classics. Some people say the roast beef and ham poboy with "debris" at Mother's is a New Orleans classic. In some senses, maybe it is. However, for my mouth and money, I won't go there. I'll go to the Parkway Bakery in Mid City. My good buddy Brandon Brown had been telling me about Parkway for years but I hadn't taken the journey over to Bayou St. John to check it out. But then I did. And I ate. And I told my soul that I'd be back.
The order at Parkway Bakery is simple: Large Surf and Turf Poboy and a side of sweet potato fries. The New Orleans sandwich features classic French bread, slow cooked roast beef, golden fried shrimp, and Parkway's roast beef gravy. Obviously you don't order a poboy in New Orleans without lettuce, tomato and mayo as well. I haven't ever been told to get anything else at Parkway... though I think more than 10 people have indepently suggested the Surf and Turf. There were only a few variations. Andrew Rose said to get an extra side of the roast beef gravy for dipping. Noted, sir. Matthew Colosino of LunchBoxFab likes to get his Surf and Turf as a shrimp poboy with the gravy on the side. Close enough. I suppose.
I went to Parkway, finally, with Jeremy Wells and his family. It was after we competed in the New Orleans Food Experiment, yet we still found a way to be hungry. It's a good thing. That sandwich, the Large Surf and Turf Poboy at Parkway Bakery, is what dreams are made of. Beef. Shrimp. Gravy. Sandwich. Simple. Messy. Amazing. I need another. My stomach grumbles at the thought of it. My soul yearns for another bite. I polished off the whole thing. I could have eaten more... and been miserable. The most amazingly awesome miserable imaginable. The crunch of the French bread made with New Orleans water. The textures and flavors of melted beef and fried shrimp smothered in gravy. The lettuce and tomato and mayo to make the sandwich complete. I'll have another. Very soon.
And yes, the sweet potato fries were good. Get them. Some of the best I've ever had. Hands down.