Lunches Philly Needs from the South: New Orleans

So I have snuck away to our slightly warmer, southern States and the eating here is not letting me down. I clearly love Philly lunching and am proud of the variety our city has to offer, but I can’t help being jealous of a few southern specialties. Here is a run down of what I have been drooling over in New Orleans .

The #1 wish list category  goes to the availability of awesome muffulettas and po boys.

A half shimp po boy, half seafood gumbo from Johnny’s Po-Boys (511 St. Louis St). The gumbo was so heavy with flavor and there was no skimping on the seafood pieces. The shrimp was shockingly greaseless. For an even crazier po boy, go for the surf and turf which features the same fried shrimp on top of juicy, perfect roast beef. We got there just in time, as soon as we brought our food to the table Johnny’s ran out of food and closed up shop for the day. At least I console myself with the po boys at Beck’s or Khyber Pub when I get back, but I wish there were more options.

Muffuletta is so simple but so satisfying. I had versions from  Central Grocery Co (923 Decatur St) and Serio’s (133 Saint Charles Ave). Central Grocery is in the heart of the French Quarter and had quite a line to get through, while Serio’s is away from the crowds and has the added claim to fame of having beat Bobby Flay in a muffuletta throw down. I liked the exta olive oilyness and the salami in the Central Grocery version and the excessive use of whole olives in Serio’s.

The chargrilled oysters from Acme Oyster House are certainly worth writing home about. The freshest, sweetest oysters are covered in parmesan, oil, and garlic and placed straight on the grill. I pulled each oyster out of the shell onto the french bread served with it and doused the bread in the garlicy, oil mixture reminding me of eating classic French style escargot. These decedent oysters define vacation eating, but it would be so lovely to have the option of gobbling them locally. The boo fries, fries covered with roast beef gravy and cheese, came in close second for Acme’s dishes of decadence list.

Can someone bring tasso to Philly? I had am amazing meal at Coop’s Place (1109 Decatur St). One of the dishes was spicy alfredo pasta with crawfish and tasso. Tasso, according to Wikipedia, is Cajun smoked pork shoulder. Though my enthusiasm was Abita enhanced, every element of this pasta dish was outstanding. Philly needs to get in on the tasso game.

And of course, no trip would be complete with out beignets from Cafe Du Monde.

Wouldn’t Philly be a bit of a happier place with more po boys, muffulettas, oysters, tasso, beignets, and hard liquor/wine/beer available at CVS? And to all you New Orleans experts, what did I miss?



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