Food in New Orleans is nothing to joke about. Not only are we serious about food, but we have some serious food! By far one of the most beloved New Orleans dishes is the po’ boy, from the unassuming roast beef to the fried oyster, shrimp, and catfish varieites. The origin story of the po’ boy is a bit murky, although there are three versions that are the most popular tales surrounding the first po’ boy. The first of these, the Lunch and Beer story, states that the sandwich was derived from a bar that used to offer a free sandwich to patrons buying a 5 cent beer which became known as the Poor Boy Lunch and later became so popular the name was simply shortened to the Po’ Boy. The second story is the Pourboire or Pour Boire which tells the tale of the sandwhich as the peace offering brought home after late nights out with the boys. Although a cute story, the linguistics don’t really hold up under further scrutiny, but the Pourboire version is still cited by many in the city. The third and perhaps most popular story is that of the Martin Brothers, Clovis and Bennie, who were former streetcar compay employees that later opened a cafe. During a strike in the early twentieth century the Martin brothers took pity on those poor boys and started offering striking Union workers free Po’ Boys at the end of their shifts until the strike concluded. Whatever the true story, pretty much everyone in the city agrees that the po’ boy is one of the tastiest New Orleans staples around! If you want the authentic local experience be sure to head over to Parkway Bakery or Liuzza’s to get your taste of the New Orleans sandwich.
The Po’ Boy
Sep 16, 2013 | History