Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Parkway Bakery: Is It Worth It?


Like any European cathedral of note, Parkway Bakery & Tavern is always undergoing renovations. Isaac blew through recently and bent portions of the sign on the Hagan St. side but left much of the building in tact. If you are from out of town, make sure you stand in line to order at the counter before fighting for a place to sit and waiting on your name to be called.

As Parkway is often crowded, grabbing a seat at the bar is the quicker, more civil way to eat. The bar is cozy, and has all the traditional trappings of a New Orleans corner bar. There is a poster of Tulane Stadium, a chalkboard of specials, and bric-a-brac no one can quit identify. A cross segment of civilization sits at the bar debating weighty topics such as sports and local based conspiracies.


I don't really care what kind of po boy you order, but you should order a beer to wash it down. Either a traditional root based one, or a more adult grain based varietal. The grain beer selection is better than your average po boy shop and showcases more than a few craft beers in cans.

On our most recent visit, we ordered a three po boys: roast beef, meatball, and patty hot sausage. Oysters are only available on Monday; and I've never been a huge fan of the batter on their fried shrimp, which I find too coarse. Of the three, the hot sausage was the standout carrying a fiery, crusty coaster of juicy sausage adorned with the trappings of a well-made po boy. Whether or not you believe in religion, their is something magical about the confluence of cold mayo, a pickle, and spicy, warm pork that can convince you there is a god.


Whoever is supplying them with meatballs is running a con. They were rubbery, industrial, and twice as large as they needed to be. Roast beef was stringy, bland, and dry. The dryness would appear to be impossible based on the fact that the moisture from the gravy had soaked through the bread. This is a neat party trick and perhaps it makes the sandwich more Naturally N'Awlins or some other T-shirt ready slogan. However, both the meatball and roast beef cease being a po boy and become a puddle of disintegrating bread, meaty detritus, and clumps of shredded lettuce. It quickly becomes impossible to get a bite incorporating all of the various elements of the po boy. The effect is a po boy deconstructed.


I want a po boy I can eat with my hands; not one that requires a fork.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern: Is It Worth It? Nope.
Closed Tuesdays
538 Hagan Ave.
482-3047

15 comments:

thomas cook said...

Very Bold. Lots of folks may be up in arms after this post.

adrastos said...

I agree. I've long thought Parkway is wildly overrated. Hope y'all have some asbestos undergarments handy.

n3rdw0p said...

The shrimp is the one to get! The ones you ordered suck! Even fish is better than meatball, who orders that at Parkway.

RBPoBoy said...

Gotta say I love their shrimp po-boy. Haven't tried any of the ones reviewed here (I know, I know...). Didn't know they were doin' ersters again on Monday - good to know.

Moe said...

I absolutely adore their Caprese Po' Boy. And don't even get me started on the awesomeness that is their Thanksgiving Po' Boy. It's everything I hate about Thanksgiving dinner on a sandwich that I absolutely drool over.

Libellula Jewelry said...

I've only gotten the catfish po-boy at Parkway and really like it but I've also heard that the Caprese is excellent.

My personal favorite for po-boys is Johnny's.

Kevin said...

You're throwing a beehive into a hornet's nest on this one.

Gotta say I disagree. Parkway's cheeseburger po-boy is incredible. Same with hot sausage. The caprese is delicious. So is the Thanksgiving po-boy.

And they do one of the best Reubens in the city.

Jody said...

Parkway is my 2nd favorite place for a reasonably priced poboy in the city. The catfish and shrimp poboys are great. Yeah, it's not anything flashy, but those have the best of the best poboys I grew up on. The thanksgiving poboy and caprese poboy are great.

My favorite poboy place is Kid Creole in Metairie on Airline just before you get to Causeway. Sure, it's in a gas station but the poboys are delicious and priced just right. In my opinion, if you're paying over $8 for a poboy, you're betraying the very essence of the sandwich.

Bloggle said...

R & O's called, they have instructions on how to do a sloppy poboy that holds together to the end.

Parkway has become a "hope you get there on the right day" kind of place. A hot sausage po-boy with a cold beer at the bar is a great thing indeed, on a Wednesday at 4 pm when no-one is there. Other than that its so hit and miss its not worth braving the crowds and the roast beef, while tasty, has become a caricature of itself. The shrimp poboy is great if you get 10-12# shrimp, anything smaller and you're eating a fried batter poboy. At this point I like the idea of a Parkway po-boy as opposed to an actual Parkway poboy.

Fat Harry said...

Surf and Turf. Winner winner.

kibbles said...

strange. ive had one of the best skrimp poboys of my life there.

do agree that the RB is too damn soggy.

kibbles said...

oh and the Thanksgiving Poboy is a god. unfortunately they told me it's a pain to prepare for and deliver, so they dont like doing it.

New Basin said...

Absolutely agree. Only go there if out of towers insist. Overpriced and overhyped.

$16 for an oyster po-boy?? No thanks...

Superdeformed said...

Maybe you should try New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood. :P

Caro said...

I don't understand why you would order 3 meat items and then give them a crappy review... Their fried shrimp, grilled turkey and onions, and caprese po boys are amazing. I wouldn't go to Camelia grill and order a salad and then complain when it wasn't up to the hype. I say, give parkway a second chance.