Friday, May 11, 2012

As Regular Readers of this Blog…

might remember, I was less than enthused with my most recent poor boy. In fact, I described it as THE WORST POOR BOY EVER. Realizing that our time in New Orleans is quickly coming to an end, I didn’t want that to be my last poor boy remembrance. We narrowed our alternatives down to three. First, Tracey’s which is now run by the former managers at Parasol’s and was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Second, Parkway Bakery & Tavern which we had visited
on our two previous trips to New Orleans and liked less on the second visit than on the first. Third, Domilese’s in Uptown which is one of our favorites and which has been seen on a number of TV food and travel shows. On to Domilese’s.

We pretty much covered the history of Domilese’s in our February 19, 2011 blog, so I don’t see any need to rehash it again. What one needs to know is that this place hasn’t changed since our first visit twenty-five or so years ago. Dot Domilese still lives behind the bar/restaurant and still makes daily appearances. Most of the day-to-day management is handled by Dot’s daughter in-law and is now
helped by her grandson (the large young man in the green t-shirt)—when he is not busy fighting fires. He is a fire fighter but comes in to help on his days off. To his left is one of his fire fighter buddies, who also pitches in.

But what makes Domilese’s eternal is the presence of Raymond behind the bar. And since we have never managed to snag a table (there is only table seating for twenty), we always end up eating at the bar and talking with Raymond. He has worked at Domilese’s for over forty-two years. As he explains: “I’m trying to decide if I like the job.” Before that he worked for over four years at a warehouse a few blocks away. He and his co-workers
would get sandwiches from Domilese’s every day for lunch. “I am a lucky man” he said. “After all these years I still look forward to my lunch.”

When I go to Domilese’s, there is only one thing I order—the Shrimp Poor Boy. It is what I ordered on my first visit, and I haven’t deviated since. Except that I have learned to order the small. Leftover shrimp poor boy is not a good thing. And today’s lived up to Domilese’s standards.

It was served on a crusty Leidenheimer roll and held more shrimp than could be contained by the roll.
While Domilese’s dresses their poor boys with the traditional lettuce, pickle, and mayo, they depart by using a catsup and hot sauce mix in lieu of tomatoes. I know that I have told this story before, but I remember an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain on the Travel
Channel. He is sitting at the bar at Domilese’s with Chris Rose, the author of a post-Katrina book entitled 1 Dead in Attic, and notes that his poor boy is lacking tomatoes. To him, this is a good thing, and he maintains that tomatoes on a sandwich act like a skid allowing the contents to slide out from the bread. Or as he is quoted on as saying: “…Tomatoes would cause ‘Layer slide. A tectonic shift in the sandwich.’”

Just as I always get the shrimp, Chuck orders the catfish poor boy except--being a manly
man--he gets the large. Like at Black Velvet, his poor boy contained whole filets rather than the thinner strips. I think that the fish are both flakier and moister when presented in filets, but if crust is your thing you might prefer the strips. And his was dressed with the same mayo, lettuce, pickles, and catsup/hot sauce mix.

Chuck, like the couple sitting to my right, washed down his poor boy with a bottle or two of Barq’s root beer. “For many decades Barq's was not marketed as a ‘root beer.’ This was in part a desire to avoid legal conflict with (a company) which was attempting to claim a trademark on the term root beer.

It was also due to differences from other root beers at the time. The base was a sarsaparilla drink of the style of the late 19th century, in a formulation with caffeine, less sugar, and higher carbonation than other brands, though with less of a foamy ‘head.’ It was decided to market the soft drink simply as Barq's.... The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation ‘Drink Barq's. It's good’”(

We left full—but not too full. We had time to stop at another of our favorites, Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream & Italian Desserts. In our December 27, 2011 blog, we have an extended history of this revered spot on Carrollton Street. And for us, no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a heaping dish for Brocato’s gelato
to share. Fortunately, the woman behind the counter was patient, because it took us a l-o-n-g time to choose the four flavors in our four-scoop sampler. Finally, we settled on the Baci (chocolate and hazelnut), praline, and apricot along with a scoop of blackberry Italian ice. We tried to eat slowly and make the dish last but, alas, it was gone too soon.

What a day. Two of our 5.0 Addie favorites in the space of a few hours.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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