Cooking Up Authentic New Orleans Po’ Boys
Mother’s Restaurant has been a New Orleans staple almost since it opened in the late 1930’s. And, they are still roasting, baking and frying up some of the most authentic New Orleans Po’ Boys around the Big Easy. Many even claim Mother’s Po’ Boys are the ‘must-eat’ version of one of the most popular types of Sandwiches found along the Great American Sandwich Trail. When we asked Sandwich Nation about their top choices for authentic New Orleans’ Po’ Boys, last year, Mother’s was a 10Best Reader’s Choice Award Winner.
This Thanksgiving, we took the opportunity to visit New Orleans to spend the holiday with family. While there we jumped at the chance to take full advantage of all the city had to offer via a Segway Tour. For a true taste of New Orleans, we ‘sandwiched’ the tour between a beignet breakfast at Cafe du Monde and a late lunch at Mother’s Restaurant.
Mother’s is located in New Orleans’ Central Business District, so it’s just a quick walk from the French Quarter. Always expect a wait, as this is a popular choice for authentic New Orleans’ Po Boys and cajun food. The line was out the door when we arrived, but it did not look too crowded. Once we got in the door the line continued to wind through a husting, bustling, cafeteria-style restaurant. But, we were also rewarded with the smell of baked ham, roast turkey, fried seafood and cajun spices. YUM!
What the Heck is Debris?
Once inside, we faced some hard decisions. What to eat for a late lunch when faced with an early dinner? As we studied the menu, another perplexing question arose – what was ‘Debris” and why was it offered on multiple sandwiches?
Other than NOLA Natives, everyone who walks into Mother’s Restaurant wonders these same questions. Debris is a Mother’s Original.
Pronounced \ˈdā-ˈbrē\ it’s a must try. It’s the name given to the homemade roast beef that falls into the au jus pan gravy when roasting in Mother’s oven. It is sloppy and messy and, yes, as delicious as it sounds!
We opted for three Po’ Boys between the four of us: a Turkey Ferdi, a Turkey Po’ Boy and a Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy.
A Different Take on Dressing Authentic New Orleans Po’ Boys
Most Po’ Boys at Mother’s come “dressed”. Rather than the typical shredded lettuce at most restaurants, Mother’s uses fresh, shredded cabbage. This gives a unique crunch to the fluffy french bread enrobed sandwiches. Pickles, mayo, and both Creole and yellow mustard finish off the “dressing”.
The Turkey Ferdi Turkey is an alternate to the Ferdi Special which is the house famous Po’ Boy. It includes in-house roasted turkey and roast beef PLUS Mother’s Original Debris & au jus gravy. The extra crunch from the cabbage and pickles is important when paired with the Debris as it soaks into the thick bread and makes for a soggy – yet tasty – sandwich.
The Turkey Po’ Boy and Shrimp Po’Boys were also served piled high. And, they were also devoured by our hungry family. While similar to the standard fare that can be found at other restaurants serving authentic New Orleans’ Po’ Boys, both were fresh and tasty.
The Turkey Ferdi was the standout and should not be missed as it is a unique take on a classic sandwich.