Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getting Dressed (Po' Boys) at Domilise's

My favorite po' boys in the City may be found at Domilise's.

Although Domilise's po' boys are delicious enough alone to attract the masses, you will find that the most potent reason to go to Domilise's is for Dot Domilise, the beloved proprietor of Domilise's. If you greet her with a genuine smile and pleasant conversation, she may invite you into her nearby home to meet her family dog, and share with you stories about her grandchildren and the Manning brothers (whose many pictures--from childhood to adulthood to the NFL--are carefully hung upon the restaurant walls). Dot's generosity abounds, and she epitomizes Southern charm, grace, and kindness. However, Dot has encountered her share of struggles since Hurricane Katrina. Although her sandwich shop is still standing, Dot had to rebuild her restaurant, replacing costly refrigeration equipment and refurbishing other damaged areas of her business. It is evident that New Orleans has not fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina, however, it is heartening to see how Domilise's bounced back as far as it could, and Dot has retained her loyal clientele and managed to keep her business bustling, even despite the rising costs of food and fuel.

As for Domilise's sandwiches, it is not hard to see why Dot's customers are so loyal. The large "half & half" (for any 1-2 combo of fried oysters, shrimp, or catfish) is the most delicious option. The freshness at Domilise's is palpable. The servers do not start your sandwich until you order. Therefore, you can watch first hand as the gurgling cascade of bubbles bristle and rise to the surface when your battered seafood is dropped in stainless steel frying baskets into hot oil. Po' boys at Domilise's are always assembled as you wait.

Every po' boy at Domilise's starts with torpedo-sized loaf of fresh French bread. If you order the oyster and catfish half and half, with each bite of your po' boy, you will inevitably been greeted with a piercing crunch, and then the chewy tug of the yeasty French bread against your tightened jaws. Each green-tinged oyster is gummy, perfectly briny with the saltiness of the sea, and mouthwateringly savory. The tender, pristine flakes of white catfish are so delicate and fresh, they exude a soft fishy sweetness with each bite.

Peer into the depths of yo' po' boy sandwich, and notice the shimmering, glistening specks of "dressed" goodness, or hot sauce and mayonnaise, peeking underneath the heavy bread roof and through the rugged terrain of shredded lettuce, pickles, and golden-fried oyster nuggets and catfish filets. Now, that, my folks, is a sandwich to write home about.

Ah, heaven. I hope you enjoyed my description of my po' boy, as much as I enjoyed eating it!


  1. I have got to stop reading your posts before lunch. And there is nothing close to Domilise's here. I'll head over to Pete's and get fish sub and dream of a shrimp and catfish po'boy.

  2. Hi PE - I'd like to un-dress that Po' Boy! ;o)

  3. O-M-F-G

    Only in New Orleans.

    I'm making a note to grab one of those next time in town.

    Thanks for this post.

  4. Up until the storm, we visited N.O. at least twice a year to enjoy the food.

    Unfortunately, we have avoided the town since Katrina, but decided just a week ago that we're coming back in October for a week's stay.

    Thanks for the photos of the wonderful po'boys (especially the catfish ... my favorite).

    You reminded us about what we have been missing.

  5. Domilise's is definitely my favorite spot in NOLA for a fried oyster and fried shrimp po-boy. I always try to stop by there when I go home to visit.

  6. Hi hi!

    I know you probably get ALOT of this, but please do yourself a favor.....get to the Delachaise [on St. Charles and Delachaise] and soon! Case in point: they make pommes frites in duck fat, and offer spicy satay and garlic aioli dipping sauces. Their wonderful chef, Chris DeBarr recently left, but the kitchen is still under his influence. You won't regret it. A few others? [in order of priority]:

    Dante's Kitchen
    Coop's Place [on Decatur. I love their red beans and rice w/fried chicken, but the duck quesedilla and special jambalaya are AWESOME too]
    Irene's Cuisine [yummy italian-best cannaloni I've ever tasted]
    Rock n' Saki [best sushi in NOLA--nothing too fancy but it's yummy]
    Guy's Po-boys
    The Gumbo Shop [share their trio platter w/jambalaya, shrimp creole and crawfish ettouffee and try their chicken andouille gumbo]

    And I know what you mean about the chain restaurants....I lived there for 3 years and sometimes I'd kill for some Olive Garden salad....

  7. PE I'm stuffed from a late lunch and am still drooling! And that recommendation from someone for duck fat fries with spicy dips and the duck quesadilla! You certainly picked the right town to move to...

  8. I'm drooling. Nothing at the Tulane student center can exactly compare...

  9. Haha, I am so glad that I made you all hungry AJ, KirkK, Syd, DocChuck, Anonymous, FoodHoe, and Faine! Those po' boys are the best!

    And Erica, thank you so much! I must absolutely try out your recommended places! You did me a GREAT favor! Thanks for taking the time to list those places for me and the readers!

  10. Of course, Passionate Eater! I just moved from NOLA to D.C. a month ago, and Hurricane Gustav set me into a fit of homesickness. Now I can live vicariously through your blog, so thank YOU. ;) Also, I forgot to mention--Voodoo BBQ on St. Charles, their macaroni and cheese is to die for. And anything at Cochon is amazing, too. Ask your server about their favorites--they've never steered me wrong.

  11. you are cruel lol

    awesome blog.. my fav

  12. thanks for that i want to hop on a plane. made it to NOLA better late than never this year for my 1st jazz fest. Liked Couchon a lot, enjoyed Pascal's Manale, great oyster bar. but the real gem was Brigsten's I thought. www.brigstens.com
    the seafood platter was outstanding, the night's special soft shell crab was out of this world and the people there are so nice, it is like eating in a friend's living room! un. be. lievable!
    thanks for your blog, my new fav site! if in sf check out www.sf.eater.com
    best, tom montgomery berkeley ca

  13. I had my first Po' Boy at Domilise's:


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