Let’s Make: French Fry Po’Boys

I have seen po’boy spelled all sorts of ways. “Poor boy”. “Po’ Boy”. “Poboy”. And the obligatory “cajun” spelling of “Peaux Boy”. Regardless of how you choose to spell it, the end result is the same: a big ass sandwich.

Not too long ago I was chatting with an acquaintance who just moved to the area from somewhere in the North. We were discussing some of the good places to eat around here.

I said, “Oh! Ya know who has a good roast beef po’boy??? So-and-so place!” (Name changed to protect me from having to wait for my next roast beef po’boy)

To which he replied, “You mean, they put shrimp right there on top of the roast beef?”

Rather than smack this person, I understood that he was not from the area and was clearly misinformed about po’boys.

“No, man! You can put anything on a po’boy! It’s just a sandwich!”

While many times a po’boy may consist of some sort of seafood (shrimp being the most popular), it is certainly not a necessity. I blew this chap’s mind when I told him of a local joint that had a killer cheeseburger po’boy.

Like a gumbo, a po’boy is almost foolproof. Meaning you can put whatever you want in it and not fuck it up. Sure, there are people out there who believe every po’boy should have “this” or should never have “that”, but I would argue that some of the best ones I’ve ever had stretched beyond the boundaries of what a traditional poboy is considered to be.

With that said, some people may not like meat of any sort. This year during Lent I am abstaining from meat. And by meat, I mean the Catholic definition. I call it the “every day Friday” Lent. So, basically, I’m a pescetarian until Easter, which is weird, because I’m not really religious at all. I just feel like the act of denying oneself is good occasionally, and the period after the decadence of Mardi Gras is as good a time as any.

Yesterday I made one of my best friend’s favorite dishes: a french fry po’boy. In case you’re feeling extra dense, this is a po’boy with french fries instead of meat. The reason I did this, and am posting about it here, is because he was the first person to comment on the new Bayou Babylon facebook page, and also because I just enjoy making him happy.

I also should point out that I am lazy. I did everything in this po’boy as easily and quickly as possible, including buying all the ingredients at my local supermarket, rather than different places for fresher and better items.

You will need:

#1. A baguette or something similar. I like a french bread that is as chewy and hard as possible. This is different than stale.


#2. French Fries. as you can see in this photo, I went all out and got the fancy “crinkle cut” fries. I went with frozen over cutting up a bunch of potatoes myself. I’m sure that would be better, but like I said, I am lazy and I was hungry.


#3. Lettuce & Tomato. L&T are two of those things that some people don’t think should be on a po’boy, but I like it. Once again, I got lazy on it and bought the pre-prepared lettuce.

#4. Condiments. Another thing some may say is a no-no. In this case, I bought some tartar sauce and some cocktail sauce. Some areas of the world (like Willieland) may not stock these items. Cocktail sauce is just ketchup and horseradish, so make some yourself if you can’t find any. Tartar sauce is just mayonnaise, dill relish, and a little lemon juice. You would think the esoteric “Cream of Tartar” might be in there somewhere, but it isn’t. I guess you could throw some in there, if you want. Let me know how it turns out.

20140319_113733#5. Cheese (not pictured). Once again, this is yet another thing that some purists may not want on their po’boy. Obviously if you are vegan, you can skip this step. And the tartar sauce. Cheese makes almost anything better, and po’boys are no exception.

Take your ingredients and pile them up:

20140319_120133In this photo, I have lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce already on the bread.

20140319_120215Put your cheese on next. This will act as a barrier between the hot french fries and your lettuce, so the lettuce doesn’t get all soft and slimy and gross. I like the cold crisp lettuce, mixed with the scorching hot french fries, right out of the oven or fryer.

20140319_120511Pile your french fries high! Dust them with some Tony’s if you want. I like to do that, but it’s not necessary, of course.

20140319_120551I went extra crazy-go-nuts with this one and put cocktail sauce on top of all of it! Tartar sauce and Cocktail sauce?!?!?!?! I have lost my daggum mind!!!

How did it turn out?

Well, this is not my first rodeo. Nor is it my first french fry po’boy. But this one turned out ok. As a carnivore by nature, I would’ve rather had a roast beef po’boy with shrimp on top of it, but for vegetarians or others who don’t want to eat meat, this is something different that is good and, more or less, authentic (with my sack of frozen fries, ha!).

And really, if you put enough cocktail sauce on it, I might could be convinced that there was a shrimp in there somewhere.

So that’s it, the first post on Bayou Babylon and it’s about something as ridiculous as french fry poboys. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll make your own at home and enjoy that too. If you followed me here from fitfordragoncon, I appreciate your continued support, and if you’re new here, welcome.

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10 Responses to Let’s Make: French Fry Po’Boys

  1. Pingback: Bayou Babylon Launches Today | Fit for Dragon*Con

  2. Allan "Bloody" Quatermain says:

    While it’s not Lent exactly (I gave up Lent for Lent this year), today marks the beginning of the fourth and final week of a strict liquid diet, and that PB looks positively divine.

  3. Allan "Bloody" Quatermain says:

    In your expert opinion, what’s a fair asking price for a well-made PB? I’m recalling an old photo of a sandwich used as a fluff piece in The Onion long ago, captioned “Po’ Boy $12.” I’m guessing the irony is that’s a fairly steep price for grub that was originally intended for those unable to afford something better. In my part of the world, it’s all about the “hoagie,” and one of the best theories for the monicker was for dudes who were down on their luck and scrounging for whatever they could get for lunch–they were “on the hoak [sp?].”

    • bayoubabylon says:

      I guess it depends on what is on it. I’ve seen huge po’boys stuffed with about 50 or so shrimp go for $15 or so. But you can go to some little bywater joint in a gas station and get a “debris” po’boy that is just as good, and sometimes better, for less than $10.

    • Allan "Bloody" Quatermain says:

      “On the HOKE,” alright–another nameless, faceless victim of public education…

      • bayoubabylon says:

        No worries, I went to public school (in the South, no less) and a public University, and I turned out ok. Not great, but ok.

        Also, I received a communique from you yesterday! A Carnival gift from the O.G. Mardi Gras: VENICE MUHFUGGIN ITALY! Thank you SO MUCH! That was very thoughtful and kind of you. I love them!

      • Allan "Bloody" Quatermain says:

        No worries, dood. What I *really* wanted to do was get you guys some His & Hers Carnivale masks. They’re surprisingly affordable over there, honestly. There was a nice little shop; one of many, right in the shade of Il Campo San Barbara (that’s the Last Crusade church for non-fanboys) where the nice old couple there were making them by hand. However, I soon learned that there’s a real art to it, and not being able to provide them in my broken Italian with exact measurements, I did what I felt was the next best thing.

        May they support your coupons for many Mardi Gras to come!

  4. Allan "Bloody" Quatermain says:

    Hope this works…

    (The green awning on the left? That’s them.)

  5. Nathan Grantham says:

    (Where’s my cake?)

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