Monday, May 10, 2010

In Search of Monday Lunch: Freret Street Po-Boys & Donut Shop

No one has ever accused Blackened Out of being overly stereotypical in our dining preferences. While the guidebooks sing the praises of jambalaya, crawfish pie, and file gumbo, we're usually blathering on about steaming bowls of pho, chicharron tacos, and sweetbreads with truffled grits. But a recent lunch at a neighborhood joint served as a revelation of just how delicious simple, everyday New Orleans food can be.

This past September, Troy Rhodes and his wife Myra opened their restaurant just a few blocks from their children's school. Troy had been in the air conditioning business for years and decided he had become tired of climbing into attics all day. After dropping the kids off for school one day, they passed a royal blue corner building and a few months later they were open for business.

Counter service and a friendly smile make for a fast and affordable lunch. The menu is full of recipes culled from generations of family. "I just cook like I cook at home," says Troy. The gumbo is thin on roux but loaded with shrimp, chicken, two kinds of sausage, and plenty of flavor. Creamy red beans are complete with bits of ham hock (both meat and bone). This Monday staple is available everyday, either as a stand alone meal or paired with hot sausage or 2 pieces of fried chicken for $9. A rotating selection of plate lunches include smothered cabbage with potatoes, fried seafood, and stewed chicken.

Some people measure the deliciousness of a roast beef po-boy based on how many napkins are needed to consume one. The roast beef at Freret Street is not nearly as messy as Parkway Bakery, but several napkins are still required. Whole roasts are studded with copious amounts of garlic cloves and then cooked down till the debris style shreds of beef are cloaked in a gravy with plenty of body and soul.

And just in case you missed them for breakfast, the homemade donuts make an excellent dessert.

Freret Street Po-Boys not only serves quality, affordable New Orleans home cooking, but the restaurant is an example of the revitalization of the area. "I remember when Dunbar's was here," Troy recalls. "Maybe one day down the road, people will look back and remember us as a pioneer for this whole area." With food like this, Troy is well on his way.

Freret Street Po-Boys & Donut Shop
4701 Freret Street


Anonymous said...

I go to Freret Street Poboys often and highly recommend the fried oyster poboy (for as long as you can get it) - small, perfectly seasoned and crispy oysters - it is one of the best I have ever had.

Anonymous said...

It's a gre4at place for donuts on sat. morning. my kids love it.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, that picture alone of the roast beef got me in a car and over to the shop today.

Yum. :)