Monthly Archives: May 2010

Interview: Michael Bordelon

Michael Bordelon, Owner, Liuzza’s

Michael Bordelon was kind enough to take a few minutes to speak with me about Liuzza’s, his personal life, and the Po’ Boy business.

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Interview: Don and Joan Radosta

Don and Joan Radosta, Owners, Radosta’s

Don, Joan, & Martin Radosta

Don and Joan Radosta took some time out of their busy schedule to answer a few questions about their restaurant.

How did Radosta’s get started?

Don: Well, my family has been in the grocery business for four generations.  I used to work in our family grocery store out in New Orleans East.  We moved to our current location 30 years ago and about 15 years ago we made the switch to a Po’ Boy shop.  We had always made cold Po’ Boys in our deli but about 15 years ago we moved almost all the groceries out and opened up the the kitchen.

How did Katrina effect you?

Don: Not at all

Joan: It actually helped us.  We were back 6 weeks after the storm serving sandwiches.  We were driving around trying to scratch together some bread for Po’ Boys and Don had to drive to Denim Springs every day to get ice.  Even with all that sh%$ we were still selling about 200 Po’ Boys and 100 Hubig’s pies a day.

Don: But since we were one of the first back we built customer loyalty and now those kids over at Country Day that go off to be doctors and lawyers come right back here.  When they get home from college they skip seeing their parents until they come have a Radosta’s Po’ Boy. Believe that

What’s the best part about being in the Po’ Boy business?

Don: It’s fun.  We have the best customers and friends in the world.  It’s not a greed thing.  We’ve been offered to franchise in other cities but we’re fine right here.

Worst Part?

Joan: You really have to be devoted to it.  You really have to love it.  We are here 6 days a week and our kids don’t see nearly enough of us. Kids today think they can just walk in and open a business, it takes a lot of work.

What’s your favorite item on Radosta’s menu?

Don: We make our own gravy and cut our own tops of Roast Beef so that’s our best seller.  But I’ll tell you one thing, not one Po’ Boy on our menu doesn’t sell.  We sell at least one of everything everyday.  I’d also say the Don special is pretty good.

Joan: I wonder why you’d say that…

What is your favorite Po’ Boy other than Radosta’s?

Don: Well I don’t really eat Po’ Boys any more, I gave up fried foods.  You’ll have to ask Joan.

Joan: The fried shrimp Po’ Boy over at Grand Isle is damn good.  I’d say that one.

What makes your Po’ Boy special?

Don: We make our Po’ Boys with love.  Plenty of people  bulls$# about that but we really do.  We care about each and every customer and want them to be satisfied.

Thanks for your time

Don: Come back anytime.

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Liuzza’s Restaurant & Bar

Liuzza’s
3636 Bienville Avenue, 504.482.9120

Three out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: 11 AM-10 PM, Open Tuesday-Saturday.

Prices: Meal Cost, $14 to $28.

Credit Cards: None, ATM

Parking: Street.

Website:http://www.liuzzas.com/

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Best Bets: Frenchaletta ($14), French Fry Po’ Boy ($7.5), Meatball Po’ Boy($9), Sausage Po’ Boy($9)

Review

Liuzza’s started as a tradition Italian Neighborhood bar in 1947 but over the years it has developed a large repertoire of traditional New Orleans Dishes.  It is now well known as one of the original Po’ Boy restaurants of New Orleans.  Liuzza’s reflects their strong Italian heritage in their menu, serving items such as Italian sausage and meatballs.   The sausage Po’Boy at Liuzza’s is simply delicious.  The sausage is spicy and the meat lack s the grainy texture found in many low quality sausages.  The sausage snaps when you bite off a piece of it, like it should.  The kitchen at Liuzza’s places these sausages in between two aged(crispy) pieces of french bread that compliments the snap of the sausage.  Liuzza’s also serves an excellent take on a more traditional type of Po’ Boy, Roast Beef.  The roast beef at Liuzza’s is also a bit spicy and is more of a chunky debris than at most places.  Liuzza’s pride and glory is their Frenchaletta, which is basically a Mufaletta Po’ Boy with Liuzza’s special olives.  Unfortunately the oyster and shrimp Po’ Boys are sub-par at Liuzza’s.  Liuzza’s does well with beef Po’ Boys but lacks strong seafood.  Therefore, they receive a generous 3 out of 5 stars.

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Mother’s Restaurant

Mother’s Restaurant
401 Poydras St., 504.523.9656


Three and a Half out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: 7 AM-10 PM, Daily.

Prices: Meal Cost, $14 to $26.

Credit Cards: Most Major

Parking: Street.

Website: http://mothersrestaurant.net/

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Best Bets: Ferdi Special ($10.75), Shrimp Po’Boy ($13.75), Ham Po’ Boy($10), Ralph Special ($11.25)

The Ferdi Special

Review

Mother’s opened it’s doors in 1938 and has been charming customers with it’s delicious deli meats ever since.  It was started by the Landry family, a clan filled with lifetime military servicemen.  It was from this heritage that Mother’s gained earned its name (a mother is a gunnery sergeant in the marines).  To this day servicemen in uniform eat for free at Mother’s.  The highlight of Mother’s menu are its deli meats, which are made in-house.  They cover their ham and turkey in a delicious special secret glaze containing Barq’s root beer.  The best use of these meats is in the Ferdi Special.  The Ferdi Special Po-Boy consists of  Ham, roast beef, debris and gravy. Debris is the roast beef that falls into the gravy while baking in the oven. The sandwich is named after Mr. Ferdi, a local merchant and regular Mother’s patron, who supposedly asked for ham to be added to his roast beef po’boy. The Ralph special, named after his nephew, has cheese.  Both of these sandwiches are truly delicious.  The seafood at Mother’s, however, is relatively mediocre.  Patrons should stick to the Ferdi and Ralph Specials.  Mother’s mediocre seafood prevents it from being truly elite but because of its excellent Ferdi Special it still receives 3 1/2 out of 5 Stars.

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Parkway Tavern & Bakery

Parkway Tavern & Bakery
538 Hagan Ave., 504.482.3047

Five out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: 11 AM-10 PM, Closed Tuesday.

Prices: Meal Cost, $8 to $18.

Credit Cards: Most Major

Parking: Street.

Website:http://www.parkwaybakeryandtavernnola.com/

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Best Bets: Shrimp Po’ Boy($12), Oyster Po’ Boy($13), Roast Beef Po’ Boy($13), Surf N’ Turf Po’ Boy($14)


Review

Parkway has been in business near bayou St John for decades, but it is only in the last 15 years or so that it has gained widespread popularity outside that area.  The distinctive yellow restaurant has copious amounts of indoor, outdoor, and bar seating to handle this popularity.  Once you bite into a Parkway Po’Boy you realize one thing, this is what a Po’ Boy should taste like.  Seafood and condiments blend between two pieces of french bread forming a harmonious relationship of flavor.  The main reason for Parkway’s excellent Po’ Boy’s is their high quality ingredients.  Parkway uses seafood that is noticeably fresher than almost any other Po’Boy joint and their roast beef isn’t too shabby either.  One fan favorite at Parkway is the the Surf N’ Turf Po’Boy, which consists of roast beef underneath a mountain of golden shrimp all of which is slathered in gravy.  The perfectly fried and crispy shrimp Po’Boy would be my last meal on death row.  Parkway is simply that good.  If you come to New Orleans and only go to one Po’Boy shop, make it Parkway Tavern & Bakery.  Parkway is perfect: 5 out of 5 stars

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Radosta’s

Radosta’s
249 Aris Ave, 504.831.1537

Four out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: 11 AM-5.45 PM, Open Monday-Saturday.

Prices: Meal Cost, $6 to $22.

Credit Cards: Most Major

Parking: Street.

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Best Bets: The Don Special($14), Roast Beef Po’Boy($12),  Shrimp Po’Boy($13)

The Don Special

Review

Radosta’s has been in business at it’s current location for nearly 35 years but 15 years ago it underwent a drastic change.  Don Radosta made the decision to switch from being a small grocer to a Po’ Boy joint.  While Radosta’s had always made cold Po’ Boys for their deli counter, this switch allowed Radosta’s to move onto more glamorous fare.  Thousands of satisfied locals sure are glad they did.  Roast Beef is the most popular sandhwich for good reason.  The roast beef is butchered and cooked in-house and is very moist and rich.  The best item on the menu is the “Don Special”, named after owner and proprietor Don Radosta.  It consists of fresh Italian sausage, swiss cheese, an olive spread, and freshly cut vegetables.  Despite all of this attention paid to meat, Radosta also has pretty good shrimp and oyster Po’ Boys.  Radosta’a provides surprisingly delicious fare for it’s residential Metairie location.  Radosta’s receives 4 out of a possible 5 stars for it’s excellent roast beef and special sandwiches. 

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Domilise’s Sandwich Shop & Bar

Domilise’s Sandwich Shop & Bar
5240 Annunciation St, 504.899.9126


Four out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: Lunch, Closed Thursdays.

Prices: Meal Cost, $12 to $25.

Credit Cards: None, ATM.

Parking: Street.

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Best Bets: Shrimp Po’ Boy($15), Oyster Po’ Boy($15)

Review

For decades Domilises has been a New Orleans institution on the corners of Annunciation and Bellecastle. It is run by Dot Domilise and her merry band of Po’ Boy matrons.  These old ladies may not look like much but they sure can crank out the Po’ Boys.  You can often stop by Domilises and see Dot, the Po’ Boy matriarch herself, fixing your Po’ Boy.  The ladies of Domilises will fry your seafood in front of you after you order.  They will then top it off with some of Domilises famous hot sauce.  The sauce is more like a spicy cocktail sauce, but it provides some welcome zest to shrimp and oysters nonetheless.  Domilises also uses excellent Leidenheimer bread, which they let air out for a few days so it is extra crispy.  For many decades out of town publications have touted “Doms” as the be all and end all of New Orleans Po’ Boys.  These publications are unfortunately mistaken.  While Domilises is very good, I do not feel it can measure up to some other Po’Boy shop’s offerings (especially in the roast beef category).  Therefore, I give Domilises a very good but not perfect 4 out of 5 stars.

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Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant

Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant

2533 Constance St., 504.899.2054

Parasol’s is located on the Corner of 3rd and Constance Streets

Four and a half out of Five Stars

What the Stars Mean: The ratings are from 1 to 5 stars.  Po’Boy quality is the only factor in rating.

Open: 11-2 AM, Closed Tuesdays.

Prices: Meal Cost, $8 to $20.

Credit Cards: None, ATM.

Parking: Street.

Website:http://www.parasols.com/

Wheelchair Access: Bar, none for main dining room

Best Bets: Shrimp Po’ Boy ($9); Gravy Fries ($4); Cheese Fries ($4); Roast Beef Po’ Boy ($10); Sausage Po’ Boy ($13); Cheddar Cheeseburger on French bread ($8); Catfish Po’ Boy ($9).

Review

Parasol’s has been perched on the corners of Constance and 3rd St. for over 50 years and in this time has established itself as the premier Po’Boy shop in the Garden District. When you walk into Parasol’s you cant help but think “Wow, the food must be really good if a place this crappy can stay in business.”  Fortunately for Parasol’s the food  is absolutely unbelievable.  The shrimp and oysters are bought fresh from a fisherman on the West Bank and the roast beef is bought raw and cooked in-house.  All of these premium ingredients are laid upon airy locally-made Leidenheimer French bread.  The roast beef Po’ boy is slathered in gravy and topped with tomatoes, mayonnaise, and lettuce.  As you bite into it gravy will inevitably drizzle down your chin, but the Po’ boy is so good you don’t care.  This magical gravy is the key to a Parasol’s Po’Boy.  It’s so good they even put it on the fries.  Gravy and fresh bread puts Parasol’s ahead of the curve as they earn 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars.

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