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Dec 21, 2008 05:07 AM

somebody shoulda warned me

Somebody shoulda warned me that the roast beef poboys at Liuzza's are inedible. Oh, they look fine, but the beef was badly sliced & school-cafeteria chewy, the gravy was thick but absolutely flavorless, and a barely 6" segment (a half-poboy) cost me $6.50. On the other hand, the onion rings were perfectly fine.

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  1. After a few mugs of the ice cold beer the poboy gets better--not good, just better.

      1. re: chef4hire

        Bienville. The bushwhackers & fried pickles are still peerless, but stay away from that sorry excuse of a roast beef.

        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          what is bushwhackers?
          wikipedia and the google are no help...

          1. re: pitu

            I knew Wikipedia was a useless reference source. A bushwhacker is a frozen drink: kahlua, rum, creme de cacao, coconut cream, and sometimes milk or cream. Dangerously sweet & snowball-like, and the Liuzza's version is even available in a commemorative plastic go-cup.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste


              Thanks for the clarification on that. I too, had no earthly idea, but I don't get out much...

              Interesting, your report on the RB po-boy. With such a heritage of these in NOLA, it surprises me that some spots just do not get it. Next to the muffaletta, shrimp/catfush/oyster po-boys, the ultimate statements of RB po-boys have come from NOLA and these should have been enshrined in some culinary Hall of Fame.

              Sorry about yours,


          2. re: Hungry Celeste

            I took it for granted you meant the Bienville address since you did not specify By teh Track. Things have been erratic since the The Flood. The stuffed artichokes are more bread-crumby than before. Hadn't had the po-boy though. Appreciate the warning. Still, we all know ther can be off-days. I'll give them a whirl in the new year and see what happens (but to have the meat dry is is easy to prevent that with just a modicum of care, as you well know).

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Yeah, I think this roast beef wasn't just an off-day. Gelatinous, overly thickened flour gravy--the color must have come from a bottle of kitchen bouquet, as no mailliard reactions flavored anything in this hot mess. I went to Parkway in the first place, but the line was ridiculously long on Saturday just after noon, so I hopped over to Liuzza's, thinking I'd outsmarted the masses when I saw the half-empty dining room. Now I know why it was half-empty!

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                I figured Bienville- I have had 2 horrid lunches there in the last 4 months- roast beef with barely any beef (mostly fatty gristly stuff) and some god-awful soups (lumpy, cold)

                not sure what's going on there- the beer is still cold, though

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  As I was typing my earlier response, I was asking myself the question, "what do I really enjoy and expect from a RB po-boy." In very general terms, the opposite of what you got.


          3. Next time try Jacques-Imo on Oak Street for the MOST perfect sloppy roast beef in the city. I've been looking for the perfect RB for several years whenever I go home....found it!
            Tastes just like I remember they should.....deep rich gravy (not flourey) just enough debris....yummmmmmm

            12 Replies
            1. re: saurage

              Or Domilise's Uptown. OR Parkway Bakery near City Park.

              1. re: NOLAcritic

                Domilese's roast beef is terrible. No thanks.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  What in the name of da Holy Muddah has gone wrong around here? Is this all apres le deluge development? I usually have the shrimp at Domilese's but I'm distressed to hear this news. Roast beef is not rocket science. BTW I appreciate your comment on the Kitchen Bouquet but I have seen that trick used to great effect on occasion. It is a sad comment, though, when a good roast beef poboy is becoming problematic. Maybe the closing of Acy's was a portent of lean times ahead as when Merlin was sealed in his cave.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    Sorry, hazel, but the Domilese's RB went downhill years before Katrina.

                    1. re: Hungry Celeste

                      In brutal honesty I say that I last ate a Domilese RB in (maybe) 1986. THe Standard in those days was Parasol's. THe Bright Star was pretty damn good, too. Ye Olde could hold its own--but it's shrimp loaf was the one by which all others were judged.

                      I am just wondering about the Decline of the RB Poboy in general--I did not intend to suggest that Domilese was the sole casualty of Katrina (although I can see how it reads that way in the earlier post). What I was thinking was that the whole city seems to be suspect now...the need to ferret out a decent RB poboy (and I am not even talking about a great one) is a travesty. A decent poboy is the God Given inalienable right of every New Orleanian and his guest(s).

                      Well, my flag may be shot to ribbons and the battlements might be shattered by cannon, but I'm going down fighting. I want my poboys, I want my stuffed aw-ty-choke, I want my Sno Bliz, I want my Dixie Beer in a little glass with ice in it the way Joe used to serve it at's my city--and yours---and we gotta keep it that way. (Visitors welcome and always eligible for citizenship)

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        You know, I had forgotten about Ye Olde's RB po-boy. You are right, that it would definitely be "up there."

                        Never dined at either Domilese, or Parasol's, so I cannot comment. Until HC corrected me, I thought that Domilese must have "sprung up," after we left. Do not know how we missed it.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          One of the great things about College Inn was that the Rufin brothers had the bread made to their specifications--the poboy bread was slightly different that other Liedenhiemer stuff and those rolls were particular to College Inn. We used to get the rolls for parties and slice 'em up for notch stuff(with creole mustard, you'll be glad to hear).

                          The College Inn kitchen had those deep pans that the roast beef sat in with the gravy...the gravy was thickened by billions of particles of renderings from roast-beef-gone-before. And you are right (seeing your other post) there was lots of garlic [hell, if it ain't got garlic, I don't eat it...and I ain't Eye-talian except by acclamation of my Italian-heritage Tulane roommate who says I'm a wop--and I wear that badge with pride].

                          It used to be that we had smaller bread...I think the tendency now is to cheat with the huge loaf--which is cheaper, of course and makes it appear you are getting more bang for your, well, many bucks. I recall poboys served in excellent bread that was no wider than a baseball bat and it had a hard crust. I do not like the cotton-y interior that I encounter often today.

                          As HC remarked earlier, the gravy she complained of was crap. It is NOT hard to have a good gravy but it DOES require attention. If a shop starts to cook its daily fare at, say, 0700hrs from scratch, then it canot put forth a decent roast beef nor a palatable gravy. I am thinking this is the fault that HC ran into....the place just cooked a roast--or maybe bought a cooked roast (heresy!) and whipped up some junky gravy with a can o' this and apack o' that. Well, one will ever know, right?

                          Sorry, kids, this is N'awlins...we know. Turn back O man! Forswear thy foolish ways!......I'll forgive a kitchen..I'll forgive the House...if it turns from the dark ways of pre-packaged goo slopped over frozen crud.

                          I end, lest I become emotional.....

                          PS--Bill, can you "dine" at Parasol's? I just wonder about the verb. I don't even dine at Galatoire's. I wonder if I ever do dine....I think I just eat...Well, jist talkin' out loud....

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            To dine, or not to dine... I think that I was jus' revertin' to ma redneck ways.

                            Gotta' get by there and get a po-boy on the next trip. I've been reading about it for sometime, but must have always missed it. Will be rectified soon though. If it gets mentioned in the same paragraph as Parkway, it's worth the trip.


                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              Hazelhurst's words above could serve as a template for food writing.Keep it coming,please.

                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                Hazelhurst, I just found this thread by chance! I remember trading posts with you going back years and years ago on here. I just wanted you to know that you are one of my all time favorite Chowhound memories. You write and express yourself as eloquently and passionately as anyone I have ever read. Thank you for sharing.

                        2. re: hazelhurst

                          Oh the memories - Acy's... how I long for one of those. Same for Frank Gagliano's MIL's roast beef sandwiches. Still, Parkway has come close for me. I think I'll initiate a separate thread on the perfect NOLA RB sandwich. Give me a few minutes to put my thoughts into 1's and 0's.

                          Glad that I am not the only living person, who fondly remembers Acy's RB po-boy. I have faith in humanity now!


                        3. re: Hungry Celeste

                          Couldn't agree more. Domilise's r.b. is awful. 2 slices of store-bought roast beef with reconstituted powdered gravy. G.r.o.s.s. Everything else I've had there has been fine though. I always warn people away from getting a domilise's r.b. Makes me shudder thinking about it.

                    2. Try Spitale's in Metairie. Their roast beef (and the pastrami, as well) is my favorite.

                      1. Joe Sepie's for terrific RB's on Jeff Hwy at Central, if you're in that area.
                        Touche on Harrison Ave. near Canal Blvd. also does a good RB.