The po-boy sandwich isn’t the most exciting food in New Orleans, but it’s about the city’s most common lunch.. These “po” man’s subs are served at gas stations, Creole restaurants, Italian restaurants, Southern restaurants, diners, pretty much everywhere that serves food. It’s a simple genre of sandwich that, like all popular lunches, inspires endless debate about which is best and what makes it the best. New Orleans is the epicenter of po-boy country. The most consistent award-winner is Mahoney’s.
Mahoney’s started as a sandwich shop Uptown and expanded to a large bar and po-boy eatery in the French Quarter, thus giving tourists a chance to try one of the city’s best alongside greats like the new-wave Killer Po-Boys and the wonderfully divey Verti Marte. Mahoney’s sandwiches pay respect to the conventions of the po-boy, but use the knowledge of a classically trained chef to improve the details.
A favorite version is the “peacemaker” — a combination of fried shrimp and oysters. Mahoney’s does the formula one better by adding thick, smoky bacon and a slice of cheddar. All-dressed and done, this sandwich is incredible. The bacon especially dances well with the oysters. The roll is overloaded with plump shrimp and juicy oysters, which we enjoy with a fork when they inevitably fall off.
The menu is choc full of tempting creative variations alongside the classics. A cochon version includes slaw and creole mustard dressing along with plenty of slow-roasted, shredded pork. It’s a city version of a country delight, and mighty tasty.
Mahoney’s also is known for onion rings. They were rated among the best in the U.S. We disagree. They are unusual for the region, in the style of Northeastern seafood shack onion straws (thin with a thick, jagged batter), but other than that we found little exceptional about them. They do make a salty foil for the large selection of beers and cocktails available to drown your sandwich.