Poor Boy !!EXCLUSIVE!!
A po' boy (also po-boy, po boy derived from the non-rhotic southern accents often heard in the region, or poor boy) is a sandwich originally from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, which is usually roast beef, chicken fingers or some sort of fried seafood such as shrimp, crawfish, fish, oysters or crab. The meat is served on New Orleans French bread, known for its crispy crust and fluffy center.
A popular local theory claims that the term "poor boy" (later "po' boy", etc.), as specifically referring to a type of sandwich, was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benjamin ("Benny") and Clovis Martin, former streetcar conductors originally from Raceland, Louisiana. The Martins established their eatery in 1921, but it was not until 1929 that the bakery of John Gendusa first baked the bread to be used for this sandwich. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, the Martin brothers served their former colleagues free sandwiches.
The Martins had been interviewed on record regarding the origins of the sandwich. Benny Martin reminisced that they at the restaurant jokingly referred to an incoming diner as "another poor boy" if he turned out to be one of the strikers. The Martin brothers were also posed the question of whether the name was inspired by some French or French patois word such as pourboire, but they denied that was the case.
One New Orleans historian finds the Martin claim suspicious for several reasons, starting with the fact that it was not described by the local press until 40 years after the strike, and that prior to 1969 the story from the Martin brothers themselves was that they had created the po' boy for farmers, dock workers and other "poor boys" who frequented their original location near the French Market. (The Martin brothers did write a letter, reprinted in local newspapers in 1929, promising to feed the streetcar workers, but it referenced "our meal" and made no mention of sandwiches.)
So, SO good! The shrimp poor boy was to die for! The shrimp itself was perfectly battered, light and crisp with seasoning. Not greasy at all. The bread was pliable without being sponges. So delicious and fairly priced. The restrooms were spotless and smelled and looked freshly cleaned, patrons and staff masking appropriately. Just an overall great experience!
According to an account on the website of the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Benny Martin once said: "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, 'Here comes another poor boy.'"
According to John Chilton in his "Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz," the clarinetist who wrote of eating po-boys as a young man became estranged from his family and rarely returned to his hometown. Bechet came back to New Orleans for 10 days in 1944, then played a one-night stand at Municipal Auditorium in 1945, a dark period when the po-boy seemed at risk of extinction. (On Nov. 11, 1946, the States wrote that "the 'poor boy' sandwich, a New Orleans invention whose notoriety ran ahead of its nutrient worth, is today little heard of in the land of its birth.")
Battistella gives his telephone number in the ad: Main 1407. Years earlier, that phone number had been used by a prominent local real estate agent named Armstrong Donaldson. Donaldson ran his own advertisements in the local papers in the 1910s and 1920s. He signed them "A. Donaldson, poor man's agent."
In the mid-1920s, the Bienville Meat Market, which had several locations in the city, regularly advertised its prices "in our flyproof markets." One fixture: the "poor boy's special for hard times," stew meat for 10 cents per pound. It was perhaps not a bad base for making a sandwich, though any connection to a restaurant is unclear. 041b061a72