I normally write my posts in order of when I eat at a place, but hubby and I had such an enjoyable lunch, that I decided to bump this one up and let a few of the others linger a bit more in the back of my head. Hubby has been mumbling about this place since he first heard about it because, as I have said before, he lived in New Orleans for 4 years in college and loves a good po boy. We have found a few around town that we enjoy, but had not one found one as authentic (according to him) as B’s.
The far and away best thing about the sandwich is the bread. Hubby was very happy and declared it “perfect.” It is a very light, soft French bread with a crispy crust, but is in no way overly chewy or hard. Super soft and super easy to eat. Apparently, they order their bread from Leidenheimer bread in New Orleans for the real deal. And according to hubby, they are nailing it.
We ordered a half fried shrimp po boy (all half po boys are $6) and a half fried oyster po boy and a side of fries ($2) and a side of red beans and rice ($3.50). They all come “dressed” with mayo, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato and pickles (unless you ask otherwise). Right away we both liked what we ordered—the oysters were super juicy (apparently also from the Louisiana Gulf coast) and had the perfect crispy fry. There were three oysters on a half sandwich which was fine, although one more would have been awesome.
The shrimp po boy was really good too—the shrimp perfectly tender and not chewy with a freshly house made breading. Our only complaint was that the breading was sort of falling off—but it wasn’t a big deal because it just sort of blended in with the sandwich, so either way you were still eating the shrimp and the breading together. The main improvement we both thought the sandwich needed was more shrimp though. There wasn’t quite enough to get shrimp in every bite. Hubby’s fond memory is of shrimp spilling out of a po boy with every bite. Since we weren’t totally full when we ate what we had (we were hungry!) and we ordered a second half fried shrimp po boy and asked for extra shrimp on it (there is a $3 dollar charge for this). Obviously, we weren’t the first to ask. Once we had the extra shrimp, and added some hot sauce, this was an awesome sandwich. Honestly, they should just add the “extra shrimp” option to the menu (and maybe “extra oyster” too?) because I bet people would go for it if they saw it as an option (also, since you are reading this, take my advice and just ask for it the first time). Ok, one other small thing hubby wanted me to mention—mainly they offered Sriracha as their hot sauce option, and a few other random ones. Curious why they don’t use Louisiana Hot or Crystal to be a little more New Orleans-ish? The Sriracha tasted fine, but was just a little surprising. Anyway, our perfect order next time: A whole shrimp po boy with extra shrimp. And we’ll split it. OK, maybe a half an oyster one too.
We also had the fries and the red beans and rice. Both were good but neither blew me away. The beans and rice were a little bland for me, although admittedly, I am not a huge red beans and rice fan. The fries were nice and crisp and salty and enjoyable alongside. Not sure I would waste the calories next time though—when I could potentially eat more sandwich. And more of that bread.
There are a lot of other things I like about this place besides the food too. First, we were there on a beautiful day, sat outside with a nice breeze. They have a lovely, very clean but casual deck with tables all with umbrellas. It has a very vacation feel too it even though you are right in the heart of Fountain Square. They have a couple of bocce ball lanes (lanes? Is that the right word?) and it looked like fun. I also thought the service was great. Exceptionally friendly and efficient—any server would bring you things, they were certainly working as a team here. Finally, I love the simplicity of the menu and the way it is laid out. They are focusing on just a couple of things and doing a good job. There are po boys (ranging in flavors from the fried seafood to pulled pork), sides, and salads. That’s it.
Once we doctored it up with extra shrimp, hubby declared it to be the best po boy he has had outside of New Orleans and that it is a place that needs to go into “the rotation.” That is one of his highest compliments. So there you go.
B’s Po Boys
1261 South Shelby Street
8/1/2012 Update: I rarely do this, but I wanted to update my post with some new information about B's. First of all, I am happy to report they have updated their menu with the additional shrimp (1/2 order= $3, full order = $5) and oyster option (each additional oyster is $1.50). Hubby and I just went back and got a full fried shrimp po boy with extra shrimp and it was outstanding. They breading stayed on the shrimp better and all the extra shrimp made the sandwich really, really good. They have also added a side of remoulade sauce ($.50) as an option. I can now forgive the hot sauce issue (which they have not changed) and just put the remoulade on the sandwich. It is nice and spicy, but also adds even more creaminess. We also had a half oyster po boy with an extra oyster and it was really, really good as well. This may very well be hubby's new favorite lunch spot. They have also added beignets as a dessert, although I was disappointed with these. While the outside crust is tasty, they were just too dense for us. (Hubby says real beignets should be practically hollow inside). But all around, B's was really good to start with, and has just gotten better!
P.S. Who has gone since reading my post? Would love to hear your thoughts!