1/2 Fried Oyster Po'boy, dressed, no mayo
Yes, the classic New Orleans po’boy formula is simple: crusty French bread with a chewy center, dressed (mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle) or undressed, and some protein. (But if you don’t go with shrimp, oyster, sausage, or roast beef with debris, you should really go get a second sandwich.)
But Domilise’s stands out so much (in my heart/to my stomach) that I once almost signed a lease on a basement apartment that had one window and a hotplate instead of a kitchen, just so I could live a block away. Someone else signed first, and I cried. Last time I was back in New Orleans, it was unexpectedly closed for the day. I cried again. Actually, I shouldn’t lie to you: I cried a lot.
They batter and fry their seafood when you order, so it’s hot and crispy and so fresh. And if you’re lucky -- meaning the line was wrapping around the corner and you had to wait even longer, teased by wafts from the fryer -- they might just throw a few golden pieces, still dripping with grease, onto a paper plate on the counter for you to eat while you wait to pay. The secret sauce -- uh, it’s ketchup and hot sauce and, probably, love -- gets in the dressed mix here. But still add more Crystal at the table. And get a bag of Cajun Crawtators and a Barq’s.
I’m not saying you will cry when you leave, but, also, you might not have a heart if you don’t immediately miss this sandwich. -- Liz Childers, associate editor, Food and Drink
Barbecue Roast Beef Sub
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. Go to Linden Deli on a Wednesday around 11:30am. Ask for Mark or Greg. Tell them Kevin sent you. They will say, “Kevin who?”. Tell them my last name. They will still pretend not to know me, but they will. OH THEY WILL. Because I have eaten over 2,000 sandwiches from Linden Deli in my lifetime, and that is a low-end theory, friends.
Anyway, get the Wednesday special, which, for as long as I’ve been out of diapers, has been the barbecue roast beef sub, and add American cheese and hots. Watch them ladle that hot, simmering beef and cooked onions over the melty American and cold hots in the fresh sub roll, and wrap it up in white paper. Now order another one. They will look at you. “You sure you want two?” they may ask. “YES, OF COURSE I DO! I COULD PROBABLY EAT, LIKE, FOUR IF I WASN’T DIETING”, you need to respond, never showing any doubt in your face, because Mark and Greg can sense that doubt. Also, that second one will be way too much food. But it doesn’t matter. You’ll need something to eat on Thursday anyway.
-- Kevin Alexander, executive editor, Food and Drink