Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: Michael Stern
A New Orleans Classic
They say you should never eat at a restaurant named Mom’s. But we say you definitely should eat at Mother’s.
Po Boys Are Grand
Of the many must-eat foods in New Orleans, a po-boy sandwich rates high on the list. Of the restaurants where you want to eat one, Mother’s belongs among the elite.
A blue-collar cafeteria with blue-ribbon Creole fare, this venerable establishment makes what is known as a “Ferdi Special,” which is baked ham, roast beef, and plenty of gravy, along with cabbage, pickles, mayo, and mustard, all piled into a length of crisp-crusted bread. It is a kaleidoscopic eating experience, but to our tongues, confusing. We prefer getting an all-roast-beef po-boy, with sliced beef and plenty of “debris,” which is the New Orleans word for all the tiny bits and pieces that fall of the roast and wallow in its juices as it cooks and is carved. Beef, debris, and enough gravy to moisten the fleecy insides of the bread make one deliriously delicious sandwich! It is even possible to get a po-boy made ONLY of debris, which is simply too luscious for words.
Oysters, soft-shell crabs, fried shrimp, and pork chops are among the other available fillings for these grand sandwiches, so whatever’s your pleasure, we can practically guarantee that Mother’s will satisfy.
Breakfast In New Orleans
Although po-boys are its main claim to fame, Mother’s also happens to be a great breakfast spot. Big, serious biscuits come with all sorts of good fillings, including regular and smoked sausage, black ham and baked ham, and nothing but debris. We love the idea of grits with debris: a perfectly well-balanced meal. There are omelets of red beans, shrimp Creole, and crawfish etouffee; and even the scrambled eggs have a flavor that simply does not exist beyond this city’s limits.
At lunch, other than po-boys, you want to eat gumbo or jambalaya or what is, in our opinion, the finest red beans and rice in town since Buster Holmes closed, followed, of course, by Mother’s bread pudding with buttered brandy sauce.
For us, the savor of these meals is accented by the fact that they are doled out cafeteria-style to working people as well as to high rollers and tourists, at one-fifth the price of the city’s more self-important culinary Meccas.
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