Departing New Orleans I kind of felt cheated because I hadn’t really experienced the cuisine of New Orleans to its fullest. I had tried gumbo, jambalaya, a muffuletta, fried alligator, Acme Oysters, the beignets from Cafe Du Monde and just about everything else except a po’ boy sandwich. It seemed that everyone served a po’ boy, but they were most all notably the same ingredients of shrimp, oysters or roast beef regardless of where we traveled in New Orleans.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has just been rebuilt into a new terminal that had opened just a few weeks before our arrival. A beautiful terminal with all of the latest amenities and features of modern construction, technology and the most popular trendy restaurants known for their eclectic cuisine.
Just weeks before our travel I met Nashville recording artist and fellow veteran Renee Wahl, that was heading to New Orleans after her performance here in San Diego. She wrote to me after visiting The Big Easy and recommended a BBQ shrimp po’ boy that I ‘just have to try’, but I never made my way to that part of the city. Until our final day in New Orleans I had searched for a different take on the po’ boy because I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ the standard po’ boys I had seen in most all of the restaurants. Mostly those were just an over-abundance of the standard po’ boy ingredients stuffed into a French sandwich roll, often times served as a semi-open-faced sandwich because they so overly stuffed. I was looking for something else on menus that was just a bit different.
Having some time before our flight I had a chance to peruse the eateries in the new terminal of MSY. I happened upon Emeril’s, a bar-like establishment, and looked at the menu. I mostly saw finger-type foods and I saw he had a Paneed Pork Po’ Boy Sandwich. I grabbed a menu and took it back to where our group was seated and had to look up the word ‘paneed’ since I had heard the word before but didn’t immediately recall what I had learned in culinary school. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. Paneed means to coat in breading or bread crumbs and quickly pan fry. Emeril’s had the breaded pork cutlets fried and served with pickled vegetables, collard greens and a creole tomato jam. Definitely a different take from the standard po’ boys I had seen over the last several days. I’ll try it! It was messy and good.
I can’t say that Emeril’s Paneed Pork Po’ Boy was the best po’ boy I had ever eaten, because it was the first ‘po’ boy I had ever eaten . . . if a sandwich in New Orleans is most often referred to as a po’ boy.
I am sure there are other po’ boys in New Orleans that are equally delicious and characteristic of the particular eatery that they are purchased from; but having a final chance to enjoy a po’ boy that was different, I definitely got what I was looking for at Emeril’s Table in the MSY airport.