Mother’s

Cafeteria | Cajun/Creole
Memorable
One of the best
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Of the many must-eat foods in New Orleans, a po-boy sandwich rates high on the list; and 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. Continue reading

Of the many must-eat foods in New Orleans, a po-boy sandwich rates high on the list; and 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.

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.

Dishes to try
Mother’s, po-boy
po-boy
Must-Try
Perhaps Mother's has the best shrimp po' boy in town as well. The pink, succulent shrimp were cooked just until done, not a minute too long.
Mother’s, Sausage Biscuit
Sausage Biscuit
Must-Try
McDonald's, it ain't! This sausage is buff and muscular, redolent of garlic and spice.
Mother’s, Black Ham Biscuit
Black Ham Biscuit
Must-Try
The excellent black ham biscuit and a side of delicious sausage.
Mother’s, Debris
Debris
Must-Try
I asked for a debris biscuit, but the waitress reminded me that I was going to get a pair of biscuits with my omelet. So she put the debris in a bowl from which I could retrieve it as needed.
Mother’s, Debris Biscuit
Debris Biscuit
Must-Try
A debris biscuit cannot be lifted from its plate. It's one of our favorite things to eat at Mother's.
Mother’s, Biscuit
Biscuit
Must-Try
When Mother's biscuits are fresh they are good ones.
Mother’s, Grits and Debris
Grits and Debris
Must-Try
You can order grits. You can order debris. Or you can order grits and debris, a particularly felicitous combination.
Mother’s, Baked Ham Biscuit
Baked Ham Biscuit
Must-Try
Although the black ham biscuit is more exotic, there is no faulting the perfect sweet-salty balance of Mother's hunky baked ham, especially piled inside a biscuit.
red beans and rice
Ferdi Special
John G
Crawfish Etouffee
Mother’s, Red Bean Omelet
Red Bean Omelet
Almost inevitably when a New Orleans menu says 'red beans,' it means red beans with sausage, as in this red bean omelet.
Mother’s, Cream Coffee
Cream Coffee
What other restaurants refer to as cafe au lait, Mother's calls 'cream coffee.' It comes standard with full breakfasts.
Grits
Coffee
Bread Pudding
gumbo with chicken and sausage
jambalya
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 10pm
Monday7am - 10pm
Tuesday7am - 10pm
Wednesday7am - 10pm
Thursday7am - 10pm
Friday7am - 10pm
Saturday7am - 10pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
5 stops | 27 min total driving
Information and Policies
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Reservations Accepted
No
Delivery Available
Yes
Takeout Counter
Yes
Website