Po Boy Factory

21 Feb 2012
Average Cost ($8-$14)
Downtown Huntsville
3 out of 5

Po Boy FactoryMelanie’s Take

Mardi Gras always sneaks up on me every year, and it always seems like there’s not a lot to do to celebrate if you’re not in New Orleans or Mobile. This year, I decided that Shane and I should try the fare at Po Boy Factory to give our readers a taste of New Orleans on Mardi Gras. Po Boy Factory is a dive that’s full of character. Its tables have bright green vinyl cloths, and it is accessorized much like you would expect a college sports bar to be. Like New Orleans itself, you’d only go to Po Boy for good food or a good time, not the refinement. Luckily, we were in the mood for good food, and that’s exactly what we got.


Being the Saturday before Mardi Gras, the place was packed, and the waiters were trying to keep up but needing another hand or two. After being seated in one of the garish dining rooms, our orders were taken. We waited for about thirty minutes to get our food, which seemed like a lifetime since we’d just ordered sandwiches. When my muffaletta arrived, I was a little surprised to see that it was served warm. I am used to the cold variety piled high with cold cuts, provolone, and olive salad, but this was a smaller and warmed version with ham, salami, pastrami,¬†mozzarella, provolone, and olive salad. Although not what I was used to out of a muffaletta, this one was delicious. The melty cheese, meaty cold cuts, and sharp olive salad reminded me of a pizza. My fries, which came standard as a side, were crinkle cut and fresh. My favorite thing about the fries was that they allowed me to eat the tasty remoulade served at the table.

Po Boy delivered a solid dining experience for us, but considering the fare served there, the wait was too long, and the prices too high. My sandwich was $10.99, and even though it was composed of premium ingredients and was gut-busting, it seemed too pricey. If you’re looking for a spot to get your Nawlins fix, this place might do the trick, but if dining there on Fat Tuesday, be sure to bring a fat wallet.





Shane’s Take

Po Boy is an in-your-face New Orleans-style joint. Purples, yellows, beads, LSU paraphernelia, beer ads, and posters of that jokerish Mardi Gras face cover the place. It’s redneck with a flair for bright colors, trashy with a touch of art, and crazy without a care. Tables are crammed in every corner, and it’s loud, even without music.

Everywhere you turn, it screams “I’m a New Orleans restaurant!” I didn’t care for the atmosphere, but if you want to pretend you’re in New Orleans or have a hankering to eat in a joint, Po Boy delivers.

Being the “Po Boy Factory”, I chose a crawfish and oyster po’ boy with standard toppings of lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. The bread, which the menu says is baked in New Orleans, had a nice texture and flavor–it was much better than the bland French loaf you get from a grocery store. The crawfish was fried well and had a good, but not great, flavor. I don’t want to say it was previously frozen or anything less than fresh, but it didn’t strike me as being noticeably fresh. On the other hand, the oysters seemed to be the real deal. Like the crawfish, they were nicely battered and fried to a nice golden color. Although it sounds gross (and, honestly, it was), the crunch of the batter contrasted nicely with the sliminess of the oyster. I prefer my oysters to be a little less slimy, but I imagine a Cajun would say “like it or lump it” to a slimy oyster in the same way a New York City chef would say “like it or lump” to rare beef. Despite the slimy oysters and the less-than-great crawfish, I enjoyed my sandwich: it was large, full of meat, and freshly-made, just as it should be.

Some of the best food Melanie and I have eaten was in New Orleans, so we have high expectations for food that claims its Cajun or “Nawlins” in some way. Although Po Boy factory doesn’t deliver great Cajun food, it’s not bad for North Alabama. Plus, although not my style, the joint atmosphere is a nice reprieve from the many vanilla restaurants in this town.

* Having opened only in 1998, Po Boy seems to be a joint by design.
Think of Beauregard’s with a New Orleans flavor.
* The prices are too high. $26 is a lot for two sandwiches, tax, two
waters, and a tip. (In their defense, the cost of the ingredients at
Po Boy surely is higher than at other restaurants.)
* If you’re in a baggy jean gut-busting mood, this is the place to go.





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