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.

Lunch Favorites

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.

Humble Excellence

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.

Directions & Hours

7am - 10pm
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

What To Eat


red beans and rice

Ferdi Special

John G

Crawfish Etouffee

Sausage Biscuit

Black Ham Biscuit


Red Bean Omelet

Cream Coffee

Debris Biscuit




Grits and Debris

Bread Pudding

Baked Ham Biscuit

gumbo with chicken and sausage



Mother’s Recipes


What do you think of Mother’s?

2 Responses to “Mother’s”

Jim Dudlicek

January 12th, 2011

This was our first dining stop on our latest trip to NOLA, just a short walk from our hotel. I guess we lucked out: the line started inside the building. Every other time we passed Mother’s during our stay, folks were lined up out the door.

It was Ferdi Specials all around for me, the wife, and our six-year-old daughter, who eagerly snarfed up her half-length po’boy. It was unanimous: one of the best sandwiches we’d ever eaten. However, there was some debate over whether it was better than Central’s muffuletta, which we had two days later.

Mother’s is replete with history, great aromas, and sumptuous flavors. I would gladly wait in line out on the street for another meal there.


Sarah Kelly

July 7th, 2009

Upon Roadfood’s recommendation I planned my short stop in New Orleans around lunch at Mothers. I must say, I was not disappointed! Though the line was at least 20 people out the door, it was not 20 minutes before we entered the building.

I was surprised by the size of the menu. I decided to order the Ferdi Special because it is the specialty of the house. Again, I was not disappointed. As I have told everyone I’ve recommended Mother’s to, I will spend a fair amount of time trying to recreate that taste sensation. As a first real New Orleans experience, Mother’s made me want to come back again for more, so I would say they did their job. It was outstanding and I would highly recommend planning a trip into New Orleans for a Ferdi special.


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