I met up with Kate this afternoon for a bite to eat at one of Portland’s newest eateries, Po’ Boys and Pickles. To say that I got giddy when I first read this place was opening is a severe understatement.
As you may have gathered from a few recent posts I fell hard for New Orleans when I was there over a year ago. And for all of the food that we had, there was only one Po Boy eaten and, truthfully, it was part of a very disappointing meal. Originally, the Mrs. and I had reservations at Stella!, for what was going to be a late anniversary celebration. But, as our luck would have it, she came down with a sinus infection on the way to NOLA and the airline lost–and thankfully found–our luggage. Because we had arrived in shorts and t-shirts, and didn’t have the money to buy new clothes, we were greatly outside of the dress code. So, with a miserable girlfriend at my side, we wandered around Bourbon Street for dinner and found our way into Desire Oyster Bar.
The food was horrible, especially the Turtle Soup that was so salty it was rendered inedible. My Po’ Boy was picked apart and left mostly uneaten, the breading bland and the sandwich came sans dressing making it a gummy mess. This could have been taken care of if our waiter ever reappeared after dropping the food off, but he didn’t, until he brought the check an hour later, and his non-existant tip reflected that. Everything we ate in NOLA was amazing, except this meal and I left feeling that, while we had eaten like kings, I had missed having a bit of true New Orleans food.
But, getting back to the here and now and the Po’ boy at hand. From the first bite of the Oyster Po’ Boy($6.95 for the regular or ‘shortie,’ as it’s called in Louisiana) I knew this is what I had missed out on. Packed with fat, spicy fried oysters, dressed with roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce and tomato, this was a perfect sandwich. I don’t believe it was served on the traditional Leidenheimer bread, instead this seemed more like Italian, but it didn’t matter. I inquired later, as I ordered another for myself and a shrimp for my gf at home, as to why the mayo instead of a remoulade and was told that the owner preferred this dressing and, as I reflect on it, I think the remoulade would have drowned out the oysters.
I also ordered my Prailine Bacon ($1.50) on the side. It was sweet and crunchy and wonderful, but would have been a bit odd on the sandwich. I recommend, for your first time there, get it on the side and treat it like a candied snack.
The Sweet Potato Fries ($3.00) were good, but definitely were underwhelming compared to everything else had. The spicy vinegar (see below), that was noticed after our meal, would have really given a bit more life to the fries.
For a brand new place this meal was flawless and quite filling. The only bad part about it is that it’s so far up Forest Ave., directly across from Susan’s Fish and Chips. But, I’ll be making the trek again and quite soon.