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.