Thursday, November 17, 2005

Po' Boy Sandwiches Ain't Po' Tastin'

My summer visit to Maryland was like a 24-hour all-you-can-eat seafood buffet. In fact, as part of my daily outfit, I would tie a paper bib to my neck every morning in anticipation of the messy seafood I would gorge myself with in the afternoon and evening. Although the outfit made me look like I just escaped from the insane asylum, hey, it worked!

Although Maryland is not known for its crawfish production, some friends and I stopped by Copeland's of New Orleans for dinner one evening, where I had my first taste of the tasty sea delicacy.

I started my dinner with a small bowl of gumbo ya-ya, a smoky, chocolate-colored Cajun gumbo with tiny, tiny bites of shrimp. (The penny-sized shrimp reminded me of those pre-cooked kinds you purchase at chain supermarkets.) Gumbo ya-ya was invented by Chef Paul Prudhomme and was named "Ya-Ya," because after one taste, everyone will talk at once in celebration of the delicious and spicy gumbo. The Copeland's menu alleged that the gumbo also included scallops, but I wasn't fortunate enough to partake of any in my bowl.

I also ordered a crawfish po' boy sandwich. The french baguette housing the sandwich was toasted, well-buttered, and slathered with mayonnaise, and the deep-fried crawfish tails were crunchy and heavily-seasoned with cayenne pepper, and other piquant spices common to the bayou. Thinly-sliced tomato, leaves of iceberg lettuce, and quarter-sized slices of pickles rounded out the ingredients for the po' boy. Overall, I was satisfied by the spiciness and crunch to the sandwich and the steaming pile of freshly-fried onion strings beside it.

My companion ordered blackened pork la boucherie, which consisted of light strands of angel hair pasta covered in a creamy sauce with sliced mushrooms and bell peppers. The blackened pork tenderloin was already cut into manageable bite-sized pieces, but the pork was a little tough. However, some toughness is probably to be expected since the pork must have the spices seared into its surface.

I thought that the pasta was pretty good, however, my companion complained about the richness of the cream sauce--and considering his appetite and non-finicky nature, that's saying a lot.

However, we had a good experience overall, and it was a great way to celebrate the liveliness and vibrancy of the historically and culturally rich city of New Orleans.

Excuse the poor resolution of the images--I took these pictures when I first started photographing for my food blog, and my inexperience shows. These pictures clearly do not do justice to the meal, and the pictures are of the leftovers too!

Just to make up for the pixelated images, here are a few gratuitous shots of some delicious regional sandwiches I had the other day: Philly cheesesteak and beef gyro (if you can technically call a gyro a sandwich).

Also, I am throwing in a picture of a greek salad I had with the gyro, for good measure!


  1. Hi P.E. - You don't mind the abbreviation do you? This should come with a disclaimer - "Do not view on an empty stomach, before lunch". ;o)

  2. I don't mind the abbreviation at all Kirk! Thanks for the kind comment, I try to emulate the photographer of the most DELICIOUS food pictures I know of on the web--you might know his site! ;)


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