Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Guy's Po Boys: Is It Worth It?

Who among us hasn't searched for the ideal po boy spot?

I like Freret St. Po Boys, which has dispensed crusty loaves stuffed with deliciousness since before Freret was FRERET. But Freret St. Po Boys hasn't been around long enough to qualify for Is It Worth It status. So I looked for a po boy spot to fill the void that Parkway couldn't. And yes, I know there are hundreds of other spots I should check out. Please leave them in the comments. (Editor's Note: I love all po boys, even bad ones.)

An Italian sports car designer would have a tough time designing a more prototypical po boy shop than Guy's. A corner store on a quiet, yet close to activity, corner of Magazine, where the walls are studded with Dr. Bob-esque art and stacks of alternative newspapers. Drinks are tucked into a corner cooler. You order at the counter and grab a seat. Wait with baited breath for your name to be called.

What arrives is a loaf of real French bread. Allow a tangent here: if you are a po boy shop and you are serving this iconic sandwich on that soft. squishy imitation po boy loaf, what is your major malfunction? Get in the basement, you maggot. That bread is awful and you know who you are. Stop using that crap. I am not saying that a soggy roast beef po boy cant taste good on bread types different than a traditional po boy loaf, but it certainly doesn't taste good on that pillow you are passing off as bread. So bite the bullet and stop using it.

Suffice it to say, Guy's uses a good loaf. It's slightly dense and chewy, requiring just enough tug to separate a bite from the rest of the po boy. The loaves may be filled with your standard choices or more Galactic choices, like the The Bomb which is a sandwich combining catfish, shrimp, and Swiss and English cheesemakers. One admittedly, I've never had the courage to order. I judge a po boy shop on two criteria: its roast beef and its hot sausage. So that is what I ordered, along with a Barq's in a glass. Halfway through the meal, someone made a t-shirt out of this lunch.

PS I also judge them on fried seafood, but I was dining solo for this visit. Three sandwiches might have drawn suspicion. A hot sausage topped with fried shrimp would be awesome though.

The roast beef is thinly sliced and adorned with a solid gravy that clings to the meat like a well-tailored suit. I do wish there was a touch more flavor or that one po boy shop would throw a roast beef po boy on garlic bread. But a man can dream. The hot sausage would inspire Ernie K-Doe. Crisp Patton's hot sausage, slightly warmer than cold mayo, crisp, cool lettuce, and a half dozen pickle slices rounded out one of the more perfect bites of food in the Western Hemishphere.

The prices are reasonable and the food solid. The only downsides? Cash only and no beer.

Guy's Po Boys: Is It Worth It? Yes.
5259 Magazine St.


Ryan Lee Waldron said...

How can I pass up the opportunity to share my thoughts on poboys.

Roast Beef, the good:

- Shortstop - This is my favorite RB Poboy (the best kind of poboy at that) in the whole metro area. They cook the beef until the whole roast is debris and pile it on the bread with a gravy that is almost an Au Jus. Eat it quickly before the bread becomes completely soggy from the gravy.

- Bruno's - Yes, that Bruno's. The Debris poboy there is actually really really good. the only problem is that the Debris Fries are still better, and unless I'm in a truly gluttonous mood, I'd never order both.

- Tracey's - This is the poboy that is the steotype; it reads like a definition; it marches along the party line. This poboy isn't the best, but it is the roastbeef poboy embodied.

- Mother's - Yeah, I know it is an unreliable tourist trap, but I love their debris so much. The trick here is to call in and order your poboy to go, They'll give you more than a reasonable amount of debris in a separate styrofoam container.

Roast beef, the bad:

- Parkway - flavorless, chewy, full of fat. to get that, one must only wait 20 minutes in line, then 45 more for his order.

- Mahoney's - don't get me wrong, I love the food at Mahoney's. Even ignoring the wait time though, I cannot recommend the roast beef. There are so many better roast beef sandwiches in the city and so many better poboys here. They've taken ham and cheddar to a nirvana like state. Yes, basic ham and cheddar. I don't get it either, but it is amazing.

Ryan Lee Waldron said...


Other Poboys I enjoy:

- Cochon de Lait from Walker's
- the aforementioned Ham and Cheddar at Mahoney's
- BBQ Oyster at Redfish Grill
- not really a poboy, but the Cuban Sandwich at The Grocery
- Crazy Johnny's Filet Mignon Poboy on the lunch menu
- anything fried at Vucinovich's

Also, I forgot to mention one Roast beef poboy on the previous one. If you're in baton rouge looking for a good roast beef poboy, the Pastime is THE place to go.

Beth said...

I second Ryan on debris from Mother's. Get it on a biscuit and it's sublime.

I can't break the code on breads, though. What bread does Guy's use?

Celeste said...

Make your next two sandwiches RPBs at Joe Sepie's on Jeff Hwy (at Central) and at the St. Rose Tavern in St. Rose.

QB said...

Totally agree about Guy's. Just an all around classic. Wish they were open on Sundays.

Worst roast beef: Domilese's

Anonymous said...

Agree on the comment on Shortstop and Parkway. If you like Debris, Shortstop is my #1. Parkway Roast Beef left me hanging in a big way. To me it tasted like leftover, bland pot roast.

Andy said...

The Roast Beef at Parasol's is a lightyear better than Tracey's - crisp bread that does not disintegrate and flavorful beef. Even after walking five blocks to my house the bread was the perfect texture.

And I have dreams of Singleton's Korean BBQ Pork - it's not Bahn Mi, it's a real poboy for $7.

Barryfest said...

And your dream of a roast beef po boy on garlic bread is a reality at Parasol's. I'm pretty sure they slather some garlic butter on all their sandwiches and it's delicious.

Anonymous said...

im so confused about the two Mother's recs here. when i had it, it was a watery, flavorless, excuse for a poboy. awful, in fact.

contrast that with the goods at Kid Creole on Airline, or Tracey's or Parasol's.

im having a difficult time reconciling this.

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