Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Parasol's... er... I mean... Tracey's?

Unless you have been completely blackened out for the last 24 hours, you probably already heard that Parasol's, the crown jewel of the Irish Channel, is being sold to new owners and that the current operator is setting up his own shop. From what we can gather from other's reports, the split is the result of a classic case of an operator's right of first refusal plus an apparent oral contract to sell which the parties failed to memoralize either in writing or with earnest money and thus the obligation was nullified via lesion beyond moiety.

But what about the roast beef? And the signed picture of Admiral Thad Allen which was prominently displayed to the left of the ordering window? And all of those people who are smoking cigarettes and drinking Guiness in the bar at 11:30am on a Tuesday? The answer is simply: I don't know, but I am quite jealous of those aforementioned bar flies and want to know (a) what they do for a living and (b) where that job was on career day.

If history is any indicator, sometimes divorces work out best for both parties. (See La Petite Grocery and the Schultes; Tommy's and Irene's.) But it is nearly impossible to replicate atmosphere, especially when it is based on 58 years of history. Will Tracey's have the raffish qualities of Parasol's dining room - the low ceilings, school cafeteria chairs, and dim lighting? Will customers order their sandwich at the kitchen window and then make their way to the bar to pay separately for their Barq's in the bottle and bag of Zapp's? Will the bar flies follow to Magazine Street?

Then again, does any of the above matter? Isn't it all about the roast beef? The one-size only, 8 inch po-boy filled with a hybrid of sliced and shredded beef in a thickened gravy. Jeff Carreras has been running that kitchen for a decade, which means that he can cook that same roast beef in his sleep. Why should we expect anything different at Tracey's? On the other hand, we know nothing of the po-boy skills of the alleged new owners who hail from Florida.

Truth be told, I have always been a Parkway guy, but I respect Parasol's and indulge in their po-boys about once a year, most recently two months ago to the day. But even though I may not be a regular, I take comfort in knowing that I can always pull up to 3rd & Constance when in need of a dose of "only in New Orleans." As the future has yet to be written, we don't know the fate of Parasol's or Tracey's. But I do know one thing for certain:

You are seriously craving a roast beef po-boy right now, aren't you?


Fatz said...

Its "Poor" Boy. You loser.

Anonymous said...

And it's "It's" grammar police.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord that picture makes me hungry. Here's a project I'd like to see Blackened Out undertake: create the perfect roast beef poor boy at home. What do you say?

Rene said...

You got it, Anon. Look for it in the coming weeks.

Will not bake on po boy bread though. SCIENCE!!

Anonymous said...

It's just as much PoBoy for locals, Fatz cuz that's how it was originally said. Maybe you live in a DEBUTANT world but then that's just a small minority of New Orleans.