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Jan 15, 2010 07:47 PM

Who has the Best Po-Boys in South Mississippi?

I am a food writer living in South Mississippi. Having just moved here from Orlando, I am obsessed with Southern Style Po-Boys. What I want to know is, who has the best?.......I am searching from Hattiesburg down to the Gulf Coast.....if you have any comments about great Po-boys anywhere else, don't hesitate to comment. After I acquire a good off on a roadtrip to find out which one of these delicious sandwiches delights my tastebuds the most. Will keep you updated on my favorites. Thanks for the help!

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  1. I always liked Lil' Rays in Gulfport, down by the coast. Sitting here in a north Illinois winter makes the memory of those fried oyster po' boys "real sharp"! Try them, and let me know they survived Katrina intact.

    1 Reply
    1. re: skokieam

      They did survive Katrina, and emerged stronger than ever- but for some reason they have gone *way* downhill on our last two visits- shrimp poboys used to be overflowing with fresh, large hot shrimp right out of the fryer now just have a few that were lukewarm at best.

      If it happened once, I could write it off to a bad day, but twice in a row? We have moved on to White Cap for our poboy fix (and they are really good). Would love to hear that Lil Ray's fixed the problem, but not confident...

      There is another poboy place in Bay St Louis that is really good- it is called KG's I think...

    2. Pirates Cove hands down! Orange Grove location closed but Pass Christian has reopened in a different location.

      2 Replies
      1. re: stvtunlvzn

        For best shrimp po-boy over in Mobile try Boiling Pot.

        1. re: stvtunlvzn

          I've had the Boiling Pot in Mobile......shrimp piled high! Will put Pirates Cove on the list. A couple I played blackjack with told me Ben's deli on Pass Rd. in's going on the list too. thanks!

      2. Try Kelly's Po-Boy Exit 4 on I-59 in Picayune, Ms.Located in the Exxon Gas Station, they have booths & tables to enjoy your food. Best seafood and roast beef po-boys.

        14 Replies
        1. re: ncgrammie4

          Kelly's......this is the first I've heard of this place. Will add it to the list. Sometime these little eateries at these out-of-the-way gas stations can conjour up some good eats. Thanks for the tip!

          1. re: jarrettpotter

            There are a couple of other places you should try- unfortunately I can't remember the name of either! There are two small poboy places on side streets in downtown Biloxi- one is so small that they just have a couple of tables and the other is much larger. They both feature "pressed" poboys and are both really good! Sorry that I can't remember the names but downtown Biloxi is small enough that you should be able to find both within a couple of minutes- they are both within 4 blocks of Biloxi Regional Medical Center, and both are on streets that run east-west...

            1. re: Clarkafella

              I believe one of the restaurants your talking about is The Schooner. They used to be down on the point at the old Rosetti's location before the restaurant washed away during Katrina. Ive steered away from their po-boys but their lunch specials are really good. The other restaurant you might be refering to is Burger Burger.

              1. re: stvtunlvzn

                You are correct- the Schooner is one of them! I had a poboy there that was pretty damn good! The other place I'm thinking of is maybe 1 block south and 1 block east of the Depot- it's name is something like Joanne's or Ruth's- some female name that I can't remember. Does mostly a takeout business, and if I recall, she got her start making poboys in a gas station somewhere...

                1. re: Clarkafella

                  I think your talking about Renee's. They started out at the chevron station and moved a block up to Water Street. I havnt heard about the place since the hurricane, doubt that its open.

                  1. re: stvtunlvzn

                    I'm pretty sure that they reopened- at least for awhile...

                  2. re: stvtunlvzn

                    Is the Schooner across the street from a Church??? I grabbed a couple of po-boys (to go) in a place across from a Church...Several stools, and several tables...They were not bad...we enjoyed them! Maybe not the best, but worth a mention...Have not been able to recall the name of the place...Definitely on an East/West side street in Biloxi.......

                  3. re: Clarkafella

           is the schooner. It's a real nice po-boy.....during the day. If you go at night.....just average. Can't quite figure that out yet. Working on it though.

                    1. re: Clarkafella

                      We used to go to a place called Rene's (or Renae's?) in downtown Biloxi on a side street. Only had a few tables and had the pressed Po Boys. Only open for lunch I think. They had the best Roast Beef Po Boy.

                      1. re: apistana

                        That is the place I was trying to think of a few posts up! Wonder if they are still there since Katrina...

                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          I remember Rene's - how to find out if they rebuilt? I'm frequently in downtown Biloxi and haven't seen it.

                          1. re: bayoucook

                            Rene's in on Water Street, just west of Lemeuse Street next to the the VFW club/bar. The roast beef poboys are super!

                2. I did happen to go to Pirate's Cove today. Quite good!!! No frills, decent prices and they recommend a bottle of Barq's with your order. I LIKE THAT! The counter girl told me next time to order their Combo....which is Roast Beef and Ham with a bit of gravy. It smelled damn good. I had the shrimp....nice, hot and well dressed. Pressed just a bit. I like that too! Keeps everything nice and neat for us messy folks. Good Po-Boy and they were covered up with customers. They use Liedenhiemer bread from New Orleans......good stuff. I also thought the Deer Hunting Game in the waiting area was a nice was being played constantly while I was there. Enjoyed the trip! Will be going back!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jarrettpotter

                    I too am a Gullf Coast transplant now living in the Carolinas. The best po-boy is no longer available. There used to be a little place in Long Beach called Shak Shac or Shac Shak...either way they had by far the best roast beef po-boy I had ever had! They made theirs with brisket and cooked it tender and then made the gravy from those drippings!Next to them would be Pirate's Cove Roast Beef but they are not as good as they used to be. Their gravy has started to taste like it is from a can. To me, bread is 95% of the po-boy so I go home, buy up at the Liehenheimer's I can get my hands on, come home and cook a roast in the oven and then put it through the pressure cooker and it is as good as I have ever had! Man I sure miss being able to go to a dive and asked for "dressed" and the person behind the counter knows what I am talking about!!!
                    Great thread! I am enjoying picking up a few pointers!!

                    1. re: ps1

                      ps1 - You'll probably enjoy this bit of nostalgia.......


                  2. I'm an NC transplant from Biloxi. Every time I go "home" the top thing on my To Do List is to go the the Biloxi Schooner for lunch which consists of a Roast Beef Po' boy (dressed & pressed) and some Gumbo - accompanied by a Barq's (in the glass bottle of course).

                    Lil Rays was always great too - but I haven't been since before Katrina.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Dkirk1

                      One of the best roast beef po-boys I've had recently was in New Orleans at Parkway Bakery and Tavern. The bread was Leidenheimers ( a must have if your serious about your po-boys ).
                      The po-boy was not pressed, something I believe was started by the Rosetti's in the 30's.
                      I really don't prefer my po-boys pressed although I do like the Vancleave Special
                      ( crabmeat and cheese) which originated at Rosetti's and is still sold at Schooner pressed.

                      1. re: stvtunlvzn

                        I am not a fan of DDD but heres a vid of them at Parasols making a Roast beef po-boy. They boil the roast then slice it thin and make a roux using Kitchen Bouquet (yuk). Dunno about that but it's popular with the locals.
                        I have never seen any kitchen staff using gloves on that show, another yuk!
                        The funniest quote I have ever heard was in New Orleans recently when someone asked Anthony Boudain about Guy Fieri, his reply was " take those douche glasses off the back of your neck ' lol.

                        1. re: stvtunlvzn

                          Jarrett, if you happen to make it over to New Orleans I can suggest several po-boy dives: Verti Marte has a All That Jazz ( grilled ham, turkey, shrimp,swiss &american cheese with grilled mushrooms and tomatoes), Mother's whom I've heard both good and bad reviews has the Ferdi Special (ham, roast beef, gravy and debris), Liuzza's by the track ( Breath Taking roast beef po-boy with nostril searing hoarseradich and their BBQ shrimp po-boy), Parkway Bakery's Surf and Turf (Roast Beef topped with fried shrimp and gravy) and If you happen to make it over to Jazzfest I recommend a Cochon de lait po-boy followed by a Mango Freeze.
                          Since everyone keeps bringing up Barq's root beer I'll have to mention that the Barq's I grew up with and the drink that is sold today are not the same. I asked Sonny Barq many years ago why and his reply was that Barqs was made with Artesian well water back in the day.

                          1. re: stvtunlvzn

                            Have put these on the list.......Parkway is this weekend! Have been to a few of these but never Verti Marte...have heard about it for months through friends though. Thanks for the Barqs info also.......interesting! Will keep you updated on the list. Later!

                            1. re: stvtunlvzn

                              Trivia: Still my favorite root beer, Barq's was originally produced and bottled in Biloxi at Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works.

                              1. re: CocoaNut

                                Me too. Have tried many and for me nothing touches it - straight out of the icy cold bottle.

                              2. re: stvtunlvzn

                                Once they started bottling the Barq's in NOLA there was a VERY noticable difference --- it's all in the water. Still it is good, but definitely not the same. I will make a similar comparison to Yuengling Brewery in Tampa ... I can taste the difference (big time) from the Pottsville, PA brewery.

                                1. re: rhines81

                                  Going way back, there WERE differences between the Biloxi and New Orleans Barqs, but they were both very good. Back then, both came in the glass bottles, with the little raised "diamonds." Then CocaCola bought the label, and things seemed to change fairly dramatically. Now, it's all about a "nostalgia trip" for me, and those are never the same. Like Orange Crush, when the dark amber bottle had a little impression of a "waiter" on the back, down by the base.

                                  It was like drinking the local 7-Up, at shrimp boils on Back Bay - you can never go home again.

                                  Same names, but different sodas.