Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Po Boy for a Po Boy

From its history, the cuisine and the sheer funkiness of the restaurant, Guy's Po Boys on Magazine St. is a New Orleans institution through and through. Guys does not have a website, nor is there much information about anywhere on the internet besides Yelp and Urbanspoon. This a figured to be a good sign for a authentic New Orleans institution; no heavy marketing or advertising, no trying to be something it's not, just an honest, old-fashioned hole-in-the-wall with delicious greasy Po Boys.

I was able to gleam some basic information from the articles and reviews, however. Guy's has not been owned by the original "Guy" in many years (if my math is correct it was established in 1952). The current owner, Marvin Matherne, purchased the restaurant in 1992, and has owned it ever since. His strategy for the restaurant is to change it as little as possible from Guy's original vision, which he seems to have accomplished.

Aesthetically, the restaurant is, well, ugly. The tables are beaten up, and from the outside it looks similar to a lot of the funky mini marts that can be found on Magazine. Matherne doesn't mind however, and focuses solely on producing delicious, affordable sandwiches.
Now we get to the important part: the food. After pouring over Yelp reviews for 20 minutes, I was understandably conflicted about what my greasy lunch adversary would be. I've had a decent amount of Po Boys since I moved out to New Orleans, mostly at Mahoney's as well as the Po Boy Preservation Festival on Oak St. I finally decided upon a Roast Beef and Gravy sandwich, which was promptly delivered. Armed with a glass bottle of Barq's Root Beer and a bottle of Tabasco, I delved into my sandwich. My girlfriend had a pastrami Po Boy, which was also excellent. The main thing I noticed about the sandwiches was the bread. Most Po Boys I have had have been served on bread that seemed more mass produced, but this bread seemed to have come from a local bakery; it was crunchy, chewy, and covered in flour. The only other roast beef and gravy sandwich I have had was from Flambeaux's the Po Boy place on campus, and this was much, much better. There's dozens of great places to get Po Boys in New Orleans, but many lack the real authenticity of Guy's. If you want a REAL Po Boy uptown, this is your place.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Red Beans and Rice; Isn't That Nice

     This Monday I, like many of those who reside in New Orleans, took part in the tradition of eating Red Beans and Rice. The Monday tradition comes from when women would wash clothes on Mondays and would set out red beans to cook with a leftover ham bone from the Sunday's dinner. I usually eat red beans and rice every Monday in the campus dining hall, but this Monday I decided to get something better.

     Mahoney's Po Boy Shop on Magazine St. serves the dish on only Mondays and I had been eager to try their rendition after eating their Po Boys. The Po Boys are some of the best I've had since I've moved here, and it is one of my favorite places to eat in New Orleans. At Mahoney's, Red Beans and Rice is served with a side plate of delicious cornbread drenched in butter and your choice of hot sausage or fried catfish, the latter of which I opted for. Mixed in with the beans is sliced smoked sausage and ham, which adds much of the flavor, as well as a ham hock. The dish is then garnished with green onions. On the table there was both Tabasco and Crystal hot sauces, which are definitely an essential part of eating red beans and rice.

Red Beans and Rice at Mahoney's

Click here for a brief history of Red Beans and Rice (and a recipe!)