New Orleans is known for its rich culinary scene but there’s no food or dish quite as inherently New Orleans as the po-boy. The po-boy, short for “poor boy” got its start during the summer of the 1929 Streetcar Strike. Because of the strike, men on the picket lines could not afford to buy lunch. The Martin Brothers, who owned and operated a Mid-City restaurant, contacted local bread baker John Gendusa, to get Gendusa’s to make a loaf of bread that was longer and narrower than what they had. They took this new, long loaf of bread, sliced it down the middle, loaded it up with fried potatoes and roast beef gravy, and cut them up into 12”-15” sections. Once finished, these “poor boys” were wrapped up and brought to the strikers. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, there are many different kinds of po-boys and dozens of different places to get them. There’s even a po-boy festival every November to honor our most famous fare. In this edition of GoNOLA TV our host Fresh Johnson explains the po-boy — what it is, how it’s made and how to order one for yourself the next time you’re in town!
Like this video on New Orleans po-boys? Check out the GoNOLA TV YouTube channel for more fun videos about New Orleans!