Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Domilise's Po Boy & Bar

5240 Annunciation St.
New Orleans, LA 70115‎
(504) 899-9126

Ding, ding, ding. The bout is over. The champion has risen from the ashes like a deep fried Phoenix, or dragon, I suppose, if you are into the "Of Fire and Ice" series. Domilise's is what I was told is THE place to go for a po'boy. My god, I would have eaten there my whole trip, if I would have realized just how incredible it was.

This place had it all, from the decor, to the atmosphere, to the beer, and of course, sandwiches. I took a long walk one day, casually strolling down Magazine Street and drinking a tall can of domestic beer, which is legal, truly enjoying myself. The only thing I had to do was eat at Domilise's, so it was an "all about me" day. Which, if you know me, you may just call "a day."

A Bud in its chilled chalice and a bag of Vodoo Zapp's were heaven on earth while I waited.

I went with a half and half shrimp and oyster. Unreal. The Leidenheimer roll was perfection, the hot sauce was slightly smoky and BBQ-esque, and the seafood was fried to a crispy & seasoned bliss. This was one of the top five sandwiches I have ever eaten, of any kind. It probably is in the top three. I can't remember something better. Non cheesesteak and hoagie, it is the best I've had. Definitively.

Salty pickles, cool shredded lettuce, a crunchy yet soft roll, and love make for a sandwich that would be suitable to be served in heaven. And I will change my wicked ways as soon as I find out the menu.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Verti Marte

1201 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 525-4767

My po'boy-fueled trip to the Big Easy included a number of spots I didn't feel the need to share. Verti Marte, however is one that mad the cut, specifically because they are the drunk food you need when you stumble off of Bourbon Street.

By day, it's a mild mannered deli/grocery. By night, it's a party spot with all of the things that suck about tourists, but with heavy sandwiches to sop up those Hurricanes.

The mac and cheese was calling my name, and given that it was actually spaghetti with heavy cheese sauce, it was tailor made for the night crowd. If you don't have room to eat it, you can attach a rope and keep your boat securely positioned in the strongest of currents.

The "All that Jazz" po'boy is not for the faint of heart. While some variations of this regional specialty entertain subtleties like variations on hot sauces and different pickle providers, Verti Marte managed to cram more ingredients in here than I thought possible.

From their menu: "a medley of grilled ham, turkey & shrimp, swiss & american cheese accompanied by grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, on grilled french bread with our original 'wow sauce.'" This sandwich was no joke. I couldn't even finish it. There was a level of sloppiness and spice that made it a nice way to sober up before crashing from a long day of drinking, or as it's called down there, Thursday.

I loved walking around and seeing things like this on the sidewalk.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New York Bagels

7555 Haverford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19151
(215) 878-8080

Well, let it be known - Philly Phoodie has officially moved out of the city. That's right, welcome to suburban life. This doesn't mean that my search for the best food is winding down, on the contrary, I am casting an even wider net.

Keeping busy with a new house and the move has been arduous (hence the shortage in posts) but all of the long days full of monotonous tasks facilitate an extraordinary need for a filling breakfast. First catch in my official suburban net happened to be an authentic kosher bagelry. New York Bagels is located in a very non-descript strip mall on Haverford Ave just off of City Ave/Rte 1 - you can't miss it though because it's right behind a very obnoxious McDonald's.

When you find it, you'll be so glad that you did. There is a lot to see inside and the overwhelming smell of fresh baked & seasoned bagels will have your mouth watering right off the bat.

On top of the standard bagel case are a few additional offerings (including the above pictured bagel sticks) and one item, in particular, was calling to me.

Just look at the coverage on these everything bagel flats. They're so thin with such a dense coating of salt, garlic, seeds and deliciousness, I couldn't wait to place my order.

When I finally got to the register, I was greeted by the man himself - owner Nick Abdoul. He is very kind, helpful and he definitely knows his bagels. For about 15 years, he's been boiling and baking the best bagels in Philadelphia. Full disclosure, don't even try to go on a Saturday - they're closed to keep Shabbos. This shouldn't come as a surprise, after all it is an Orthodox operation!

There's a "serve yourself" coffee station, so don't be shy - pour your cup as soon as you walk in.

Being the whitefish salad lover that I am, I couldn't not order it here.

Even with those amazing bagel thins on my mind, I had to try the classic everything.

Crusty outside, chewy inside, these bagels don't need toasting. Not even for a second. They are perfect.

The whitefish got a little sloppy, as to be expected, but the flavor was right on. Creamy texture with that punch of smoky fish in every bite. My only critical comment here is that I would have liked some other accoutrements like tomato, red onion and/or cucumber to add some crisp, vegetable variety.

Next up was that gorgeous everything flat with a smear of house-made veggie cream cheese.

Amazing. Thin, but not so thin as to lose that perfectly chewy inside. So flavorful. The vegetable cream cheese had larger than usual chunks of red pepper and cucumber that added just the right amount of crisp freshness that I was looking for.

We got 4 bagel thins to go and ate them over the next 2 days. Day 2 was probably pushing it, they were a little rough on the jaw by then, but my god, these things are good. Don't even think about getting your bagels anywhere else.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mother's Restaurant

401 Poydras St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 523-9656

Mother's is like the Pat's and Geno's of the po' boy. It's the landmark, the one everyone has to try, and one of the originals. I spent a blurry weekend in New Orleans, for the first time a little while ago, and I managed to hit some of the more famous places. Given my penchant for eating sandwiches and my undying love for a good po' boy, they were the main focus of my trip. Oh, and the music and beer.

There is a walk-up counter where you order your food. They offer a variety of hot foods and po' boys. I went with the roast beef. This was based solely upon a recent recommendation by the esteemed Hawk Krall, and I was not disappointed.

The dining room is a 'seat yourself' type of event, and they will bring your food out to you. It's pretty much perfect.

Of course, po' boys aren't the only thing on the menu. There's a wide variety of home cooked selections that are "prepared daily from scratch," including jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée - the list goes on...

Pickled chili peppers and Crystal hot sauce make for a nice kick, one of my requirements on a po' boy.

Now don't look for fancy seeded rolls here. They are called po'boys for a reason.

The beef was tender and juicy, soaking the bread with au jus, and lending a nice salty dipping pool. The bread holds up okay, but it's not the kind of thing you can take to-go. It's an "eat it and get out" type of meal. Couple it with a cheap domestic and you have great base to go out drinking 'til all hours of the night. Which is pretty much the norm down there.

Next time, the baked ham will be mine.

Monday, June 10, 2013


1205 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 551.8080

So, you have been drinking, it's late, and your friends from out of town want to hit the two most overrated cheesesteak shops. You can make a bad decision or a good one. Though I am no stranger to bad decisions, I would recommend walking a bit further north up 9th street and hitting Underdogs. (Also applicable if you are in Center City, if you are near their 17th street location.)

I went with the Chicago dog, chili cheese dog, and some fries.

One thing I really like is that they don't use a giant hoagie roll that completely dwarfs the encased meat, but rather a hybrid hoagie/hotdog roll that allows the fillings to really shine.

The Chicago Style was not quite authentic, but it was more of an interpretation. No neon green relish, no poppy seed bun, no Chicago dog. Nevertheless, it was a delicious substution. The thick dog with its snappy casing did wonders for this offering.

The Michigan style dog came with beef chili, cheddar, chopped onions, and spicy mustard. Again, this was a nice frankfurter, with tried and true toppings.

The fries were the surprise hit of the meal. These fresh cut, crispy fried spuds had just the right amount of salt and grease. A wide variety of dipping sauces were available, the fry sauce being my personal favorite.

If you don't feel like supporting the pretension for a cheesesteak around the corner, some fries and a dog is a safe bet at Underdogs. And they are open till 3am on the weekend. Perfect.