Po' Boy Quarter
When two charismatic cities known for their charm and amazing food collide, the result is beautiful, indeed. A wonderful blend of Melbourne's creative flair and the unparalleled flavour of New Orleans, Po' Boy Quarter delivers a delicious menu straight from the heart of Louisiana itself.
Appropriately, the venue is split into two worlds. The front dining area leaves no doubt about providing an experience with huge heart: the walls are coated in '20s subway-style street tiles, direct from Derby Pottery – the pottery creator in New Orleans that deals with the actual street restorations for the city's iconic 18th century French/Spanish architecture. With the team behind Gumbo Kitchen, Po' Boy retains that passion for explosive taste and authentic, unique cuisine, but the scale of its ambition delivers even more, with cozy surrounds and charm in the middle of Smith Street.
It's here that you can order the po' boys themselves: zesty submarine-style sandwiches with a generous helping of fresh toppings. Chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, smoked Angus brisket, fried oysters and even catfish are available. Generous lashings of hot sauce couple perfectly with the refreshing crisp bite of Cajun slaw, all encased within the fluffy egg shell crust bread.
You can also order the likes of the 'The Dom' (tender, slow-cooked shredded beef served with Cajun gravy on fries and pickles), Gumbo (with chicken and smoked sausage, or crab fish and prawns), Louisiana red beans and rice, and a succulent selection of fried chicken (maple and bacon-glazed donuts stuffed with Cajun-battered fried chicken, anyone?).
Starters include freshly-shucked and fried oysters, skillet-baked jalapeño cornbread with Cajun butter, succotash salad and popcorn-fried shrimp. After 5PM, the second section of the building opens and the smoky dive-bar aesthetic of Huey Long's emerges. A world of burnt timber amongst the warm glow of neon light, Huey Long's serves an enormous selection of American craft beers, fine rye whiskey and classic New Orleans-style cocktails, such as the sazerac, hurricane and the traditionally breakfast-based corpse reviver.
There is only so much that mere words can do to adequately describe the warmth and pleasance of a great po' boy sandwich. Much like the city it hails from, it's in community that it's true flair reveals itself. Bring some friends, experience it for yourself – and make sure you're hungry.
Words by Jacob Colliver
Image by Sara Tansy