HOME > Chowhound > New Orleans >

Discussion

Wet Dressed, Dressed or Plain?

I was told not to go near this subject with a ten foot pole......sooooo NOLA how do you enjoy your Po-Boys?! (And the Oyster Loaf at Casamento's which isn't a Po-Boy per say)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. I've lived here my whole life and I've never heard the term "wet dressed." I'd assume it would mean with mayo....but I've always heard just the term "dressed" used to refer to lettuce, tomato and mayo....which is how I like it....with a splash of some hot sauce, of course.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nikinik

      I read that as with gravy, lettuce, tomato and maybe pickle. "Dressed" always translated to lettuce, tomato, mayo, and maybe that pickle. If one was going with gravy, the mayo was usually left off.

      Now, even with gravy, lettuce and maybe the pickle, I often added Gulden's Hot Mustard (kept a special jar at several po-boy shops), and omitted the tomato, as heirlooms were not commonly found back then.

      Just personal observations.

      Hunt

    2. My answer differs based on the type of poboy:
      Roast beef or roast beef with swiss or R&O special (roast beef and ham): Dressed with mayo, extra gravy and then I add Tabasco.
      French Fry poboy the same way. On the rare occasion I get a meatball poboy, it will still be dressed with mayo. When I ask for a meatball sandwich up here and ask them to put mayo and lettuce and tomato, you would think that I was speaking a different language.

      Seafood poboys (which I don't really eat anymore) used to be dressed with mayo, then I would add ketchup and tabasco.

      1. yeah i've never heard of "wet dressed" either. dressed refers to mayo, lettuce, tomato and (sometimes) pickle. i get all my poboys dressed. some, like my mother, prefer seafood poboys with just butter and pickle. in some places, st. bernard parish comes to mind, you might find that dressed includes ketchup on a seafood poboy. wouldn't be my first choice, as the tomato is usually enough tomato for me, but i have had them with ketchup and it aint bad. some places will serve seafood poboys with tartar sauce instead of mayo, and that's just weird.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shiloh

          "Wet dressed" is new to me too. I don't know too many people that would order a po-boy "plain." I go for dressed (lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickle) - which is the standard "dressed." Although, if you say "dressed" at Domilise's on a roast beef, you will get spicy and yellow mustard.

        2. I third the "wet dressed" ignorance. Never heard of it.

          I get oyster poboys with butter or mayo and extra pickles and add hot sauce. Everything else, dressed extra pickles.

          3 Replies
          1. re: uptownlibrarian

            that's about the same for me except I avoid raw tomato. I lke some extra gravy on the bread for a roast beef (if it is a proper sliced beef po-boy)..maybe that qualifies as "wet dressed" but I'm with the rest of you--never heard that term. (sounds kind like one of those things you see at sub shops with the vinegar etc shot over it all). For seafood I stick to butter and maybe mayo..plus crystal or Lousiana hot sauce...I still wanna pickle, though.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              Piling on: never heard "wet dressed" used anywhere in south LA or NOLA. I will admit to ordering a roast beef with mayo only (don't want bad tomatoes or lettuce getting in the way of a good gravy), but I like a bit of shredded iceberg on a fried seafood poboy. I always ask about the tomatoes before ordering....if they're hard & pink, I decline.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                heartily agree that no tomato at all is preferable to a pink, hard, mealy or otherwise crap tomato.

          2. Never heard of wet dressed, either.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JanetLong

              I plead ignorance! LOL. I'm not exactly sure what program I got the term from but plain is plain, dressed was tomato and lettuce and wet dressed was with mayo. That's why I ask these questions! Just cause I'm not a native doesn't mean I don't wanna act like one. Seems to me like common sense when ordering a po-boy, rabbit food when appropriate otherwise plain jane. :)

              1. re: bourbonstjoe

                So "wet dressed" is with mayo? Hmm. Sounds like who-ever-it-was got a leg pulled or (as sometimes happens) never does any real research anyway ...we've all seen that. (Once, prior to a Super Bowl, the TV gang was in the quarter, at Brennan's, having Oysters Rockefeller and claiming they were invented there. So sorry, just go around the corner...)

                1. re: bourbonstjoe

                  Though I did an individual translation of the term "wet-dressed," mayo was usually, though not always, part of "dressed." I see that I missed the usage, to which you refer. To me "wet" meant gravy, and that could be several Italian meats, or roast beef. In general terms, I have not seen gravies offered with much else.

                  Enjoy,

                  Hunt

              2. Not a native here, but I like any seafood dress. Roast beef plain w/ lots of gravy...mmm.

                1. I'll go ahead and put my preferences in this thread too :)

                  RB I'll get with spicy mustard and sometimes swiss.
                  Oyster I'll get with butter and add hot sauce myself.
                  Shrimp I do get dressed and add hot sauce.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: nola79

                    Oh yes, hot saouce on my oyster and shrimp!!

                    1. re: nola79

                      You ARE a person after my heart. I always added Swiss cheese, and kept a bottle of Gulden's at several counters, just for my RB and gravy with Swiss and shredded lettuce.

                      Now, with shrimp & oysters, I lean towards chipped lettuce. Must be a textural thing.

                      Same with my NC B'BQ pork - gotta' have finely chopped Cole slaw, not the giant chunks that too many places serve.

                      In the end, it's partially what one grows up with, or develops a taste for.

                      Not being much of a mayo fan, I'll ask for just a bit. Seafood po-boys (catfish, shrimp and oyster) will have that dab of mayo, some butter on the bread, shredded lettuce some ketsup that I add, plus the Tabasco.

                      Hunt

                    2. dressed with pickles and hot sauce

                      1. Dressed: Mayo on everything, please. Hold the bad tomatoes (in which case I'll confess to adding a squirt of ketchup, but only on fried seafood po-boys, along w/a shake or two of hot sauce). Shredded cabbage is preferred, but I'll eat lettuce.

                        1. Dressed...Except RB...then mayo, lots of gravy.
                          Tomatoes in season.....depending on how they look otherwise.
                          Just butter and Oysters at times......
                          Tabasco/Louisiana Hot Sauce at the table.....
                          Never Ketchup or Mustard!!

                          20 Replies
                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                            Hopefully the leg pulling is over for now hazelhurst and thankfully 27 days from now I'll be eatin' instead of just talkin' about eatin'!!! Though I've never had an authentic po-boy before I can say from eating at chains like Subway the filling never seems to stand out once all the filler is added. That's one of the reasons I did ask, cause once you pile on the sauce, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, black olives, hot peppers and onions the subs all tend to taste the same :(

                            1. re: bourbonstjoe

                              I know Po-Boys, Po-boys are friends of mine. Subway is no Po-Boy!!

                              1. re: FoodChic

                                An ode to Subway: YOU SUCK!

                                1. re: BayouTeche

                                  Just the thought of relating Subway to a Po-Boy is totally sacrilege .

                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                    Just to avoid being stoned to death when I arrive @ Louis Armstrong International SUBWAY SUCKS!!! I have never had an authentic NOLA po-boy(Yet), though I intend to have more than my fair share after I arrive on the 13th of April. I WILL be hitting Johnny's, Mahoney's, Vigroux's and Parkways and Casamento's for an oyster loaf. I will be having RB, fried oysters, shrimp and alligator, BBQ shrimp with fried green tomatoes, Root Beer glazed Ham and cheese, fried chicken livers with Slaw and someone had a boudin po-boy so I trying that too!!! I J-rod was on a real diet he'd be eating Po-boys 7 days a week and gaining 5-10 pounds per just like the rest of us carnivores. :) Nuff said.

                                    P.S. Oh yeah the Egg's Bennie Po-Boy @ Stanley and the Oysters Fock Po-Boy @ Hermes bar!!!

                                    -----
                                    Casamento's Restaurant
                                    4330 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

                                    1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                      Looks like you've got a full slate, but if you get a chance you might try Crabby Jack's for a poboy as well.

                                      Where are you trying the boudin? I don't know if it would necessarily make a good poboy. And I have not had good boudin in New Orleans yet...

                                      -----
                                      Crabby Jacks
                                      428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                                      1. re: nola79

                                        Sorry for the tardy reply nola79 boudin po-boys are available @ Bergeron's Boudin and Cajun Meats 760 Highway 415 Port Allen LA (225) 338-0921 fax (225) 338-0922. It's one of the two Carnivore shops that I intend to hit on my Roadtrip :)

                                        1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                          Fun-ly enough, I will be whizzing thru Port Allen later today en route to Lake Charles...should be a good excuse for Bergeron's, Best Stop etc. Ice chest in already iced an in the car. And all this after sweetbreads and lamb chops last night at Clancy's (where everything was just dandy...nothing better than a spring day in Da City)

                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                            Bergeron's was recommended to me hazelhurst for jerky and cracklin but when I saw that they had a po-boy I decided to add it to my list to eat. The other meat shop I'm gonna hit is outside of Baton Rouge and I don't believe it had eats associated with it it was just meats.

                                            1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                              Hey bourbonstjoe...you said you'll be there on the 13th? Correct? I'll be there the 14th - 20th.

                                              Let's compare notes at the end of the trip....although this will be my 3rd trip of the year.

                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                Yep I certainly did. I'll arrive on the 13th with the GF in tow and we leave on the 21st.

                                                I'll be more than happy to compare notes with you about the trip...of course we BOTH miss the FQ Festival which runs the 9th-11th :(

                                                Drop by Luke's if you feel brave and I'll buy you a half-dozen shucked ;) lol. Seems like no one else wants free oysters.

                                                1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                  What, no one wants free oysters? We'll be at Luke's for HH/dinner on the 20th!

                                                  1. re: FoodChic

                                                    Seeing as how that'll be our last evening in NOLA I think I can convince the GF that we could splurge and have dinner @ Luke's instead of just going there for Happy Hour(Which for 25 cent oysters and 1/2 price cocktails seems like a popular if not daily event in most threads about the place.) Might see you there then :)

                                                    1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                      Wrong wrong...it's the 14th. We'll be there on the 14th.

                                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                                        LOL. Just give me a time and date and we'll be there! Nothing better than sharing good food :P I think I'll have to take another look @ the menu as a whole and see what's being offered instead of just going for the oysters and cocktails.

                                              2. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                I've never had a po-boy over there--Iuse Bergeron's if I am not all the way over in Acadiana and Bergeron's is LEAGUES better than anything else that was easily accesible around Baton Rouge..I get their andouille, head cheese and often the frozen meat loaf just to have something in the ice box for a quick meal.

                                                Went to Webster's on this trip and got some boudin---more meat than rice, less liver flavor (As usual there) but it was damn good. Got raves from my Lake Charles friends. Found some likely new(to me) joints running around the back roads..did not have the time to stop and check them all out but will probably do so in a week or two.

                                        2. re: bourbonstjoe

                                          the Oyster Foch Poboy at the Hermes Bar is very good, if atypical. nice choice.

                                          Johnny''s has all the classics, and the Johnny Special (rb & ham, american & swiss) is a but-buster. see their website for pics of all available..!

                                          mahoney's is really only good for the meatball for me; love their fresh motz.

                                          Crabby Jack's has some good ones, like the duck, or the fried green tomatoes & shrimp. think they have rabbit, too.

                                          1. re: kibbles

                                            er, "gut-buster". ahem.

                                            1. re: kibbles

                                              Indeed kibbles, indeed. ;)

                                  2. re: bourbonstjoe

                                    My wife, the NOLA native, had to eat at a Subway once. Nothing else was open and we were many miles for real civilization. She did her best, as did I, but in the end, could not eat the food. We went to bed hungry that night.

                                    That was almost 15 years ago, and she still shivers, when she sees a Subway TV ad. I do the same. Rather be hungry, than eat what we got. Maybe some are better than that, but I cannot chance it.

                                    Hunt

                                2. Agree with those who "never heard of wet dressed". I, personally do like tarter sauce on my seafood po-boys dressed with hot sauce. Mayo is great too. I don't eat that much variety when it comes to po-boys, sticking mainly with fried shrimp or oysters. I occasionally have a RB, dressed of course.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Liz Gober

                                    Tarter sauce is something that I never developed a taste for. Seems that I did have a good one, but think that was in Hawai`i. That is something that I pass to my M-I-L, or leave for the kitchen staff. Just never my thing.

                                    Hunt

                                  2. I haven't heard wet dressed either. You might want to hit up Parasol's for a roast beef po boy, they're legit. If you go to Domilise's and get a seafood po boy dressed, they put ketchup and hot sauce on it, as well as lettuce, tomato and pickles. I didn't love the ketchup, but you can specify how you want it there.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: richardhorner

                                      Think I finally managed to track down the erroneous source of the whole "wet dressed" thing. Seems to have been uttered by the Man vs Food guy, the same genius who's at Deanie's and bites the head off of the BBQ shrimp much to the chagrin and double take of the cook that set the plate down in front of him. Sorry guys, he's just annoying. I've seen the Anthony Bourdain episode of No Reservations and I believe the po-boy mentioned at Domilise's was the RB and shrimp with swiss and debris gravy(No tomatoes).

                                      -----
                                      Deanie's Restaurant
                                      7350 Hayne Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70126

                                      1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                        Isn't that the dude, who eats grub worms and spiders? Not sure that I'd rely on him as an epicurian, especially regarding NOLA cuisine. Same for many TV "personalities." Most do not seem to have a clue. I think that some NYC producer writes most of that stuff. The assume that the "unwashed" wil never know, and want to share some "insider" stuff. Yeah, right!

                                        Thanks for the clarification. Another reason to avoid that show. Isn't that one the Extreme Food Network?

                                        Enjoy,

                                        Hunt

                                        PS - going back a bit, I started a "Best Roast Beef Po-Boy" thread here. There are several others on various po-boys, that will offer up better recs. than you wil ever see on TV. Those will likely give you some recs.. Remember, tastes will vary. Some are localized, even down to the block that one lived on, but they will be better than anything that electronic media can offer. The folk here know their po-boys. Listen closely to them.

                                        Enjoy and please report,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Biil, think you might be confusing the "Man vs. World" with the "Man vs. Food". I thought perhaps just to see the reaction to how to have a po-boy and as expected people are as passionate about how the like it as they are about their favorite sports teams...maybe more so. You've certainly given me plenty of things to consider as has everyone who contributed here. 21 days and waiting and I'll be joining you all to find out how I like mine dressed :P

                                          Three weeks till I get to clog my arteries and reach for the Zantac's...I can't wait.

                                          I remember Crabby Jacks being mentioned as having a duck and other less known flavors...any thoughts Bill?

                                          -----
                                          Crabby Jacks
                                          428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                                          1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                            I have to admit that I am not a fan of the various "man vs ____" series, so confusion on my part would be logical.

                                            There are a few food critics, who globe trot, that I do watch. Most, are not on MY radar screen.

                                            I care more for a real critique of food, in the various locations, and less about something that might play across the US (or globe). Guess that I got confused.

                                            For restaurant history, WYES has several DVD series, that cover NOLA - both then and now. Also, many here can give wonderful insight to what exists - some then, and more now. Unfortunately for me, there is more "then."

                                            As for Crabby Jack's, we enjoyed our times there, but have to admit that if one looked back some years, there were better. Seems that I did a review of our last (?) Crabby Jack's visit. It had high points, but some low points. One of the locals, and regulars here, has mentioned a nearby establishment on River Road. River Shack, just up river from the turn off to CJ's on Jefferson. Have not dined there, but I always go with the locals, as I have not been one of those in many decades.

                                            Enjoy,

                                            Hunt

                                            -----
                                            Crabby Jacks
                                            428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              I guess I'll be coming into an (d)evolving food scene with new eyes and a fresh palate Bill. Since the only Cajun/Creole experience I have taste wise is from a recipe book the whole po-boy/dressed/plain/w/(out) gravy debate is best addressed by individuals like yourself and others that have an existing "bar" with which to set a standard of taste. I'm just gonna have to eat everything when I'm down there :)

                                              1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                I always try to keep my eyes open, and taste the food. Though I was once a "local," those days are long gone. Now, I have to stand around a bit and pick up on new terms (this board helps me keep in touch very well)..

                                                Went to Crabby Jacks some time back, but I was armed with tid-bits from here. I stood to the back of the line, and let several others go first, as I took in the menu on the wall, plus the ambiance. Then, I placed my order.

                                                Enjoy,

                                                Hunt

                                                -----
                                                Crabby Jacks
                                                428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  Same approach I usually have Bill...I'll have what THEY are having ;)

                                                  1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                    Yes, I've been known to do that.

                                                    I find that when I sit at the "Chef's Counter" at Alan Wong's (HNL), I go crazy watching the dishes go past. I'll whisper that we've got to try one of those too, along with our 10-course tasting menu - just add it to the tab! Next thing I know, I've dropped $300/person, before the wine - but OH, what great food!

                                                    In Alan's case, exposing people, such as myself, to all that great looking (and tasting) food, is the best sales pitch that one could have.

                                                    I did similar at Crabby Jack's. It was our first trip, and I had some ideas from the CH board. Still, it was tough to stay focused. With the communal tables, we got to see a lot of great looking stuff. "What's that?" I'd ask, and then run back to the order counter. After about 4 hours, we finally got out of there.

                                                    There were some great dishes, and some that did miss the mark. Still, it turned into a 12-course experience, so that was not bad. Wish that some of the portions had been smaller, but that is a post for another day.

                                                    Hunt

                                                    -----
                                                    Crabby Jacks
                                                    428 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70121

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      I've done the living billboard(no pun intended sir) routine as well Bill. A friend of mine used to own an full kitchen Japanese restaurant so you could get grilled, baked and fried items as well as the traditional sushi/shashimi from the cold side. He blessed my Western palate with the more traditional Japanese fare the he and the other Japanese staff knew and loved. Thanks to him I now scoff at things like California rolls and wax romantic about deep fried prawn heads, chawanmushi(savory egg custard with scallop, chicken, prawn & shitake mushroom), zero soba(cold buckwheat noodles), aji no tataki(sashimi of horse mackeral where they deep fry the bones after you finish the flesh), shishamo(whole, pregnant smelt char grilled and served with Japanese mayo and a lemon wedge) and other more elaborate dishes. Sadly now he owns a small sushi bar and my favorites just aren't available with his now limited kitchen. I still love his food Bill but...sigh. Like you said in a previous post remembrances of then and now.

                                                      1. re: bourbonstjoe

                                                        I understand. Back some years back, my tennis doubles partner was a Chinese gentleman, and his family owned several restaurants. We were guests at several celebrations, including two weddings for his sisters, where there were sit-down dinners for 600+ and 13 courses. He always put us at the table with his grandmother, who took us under her wing. She'd outline the next course, and give us tips, like " you will not like this one, so don't take too much." Or, she'd whisper, " you'll love this next dish, but make sure to get it before that couple over there, as they are taking everything good," and so they were. When the platter hit their side of the table, they would empty some into their two plates, and then hand the empty platter to another diner at the table. She'd signal the server and he/she'd make sure that Daryl's grandmother got it first. We got the "good ones" second, and that other couple got it last. At least we got to taste those. OTOH, we did taste everything, every time, though Daryl's grandmother was very close - some were just not right for our Western tastes.

                                                        I've had the same with Alan Wong in Hawai`i. I've been his guest before, at some very traditional lu`aus, and he, or his good friends, have held our hands, telling us which dishes we might like. Still, we try everything, but Alan and his friends are pretty "spot on." The biggest exception is fresh handmade poi - totally unlike the canned stuff that one normally gets.

                                                        Hunt

                                    2. I prefer my seafood po boys w/ butter, pickles, crystal. RB: mayo, gravy, Crystal. I don't like my po boys dressed. Soggy, shredded iceberg on a hot sandwich does not appeal to me. Unless it's creole tomato season, the tomatoes are usually tasteless.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: JazzyB

                                        I'm thinking I'm gonna have to decide on case by case basis JazzyB. The more I think about a lot of the filling choices that I'm gonna be having all that rabbit food's just gonna get in the way of the flavor that I wanna experience!

                                      2. Personal preferences: wet and partially "dressed." However, that depends on the gravy, and also the po-boy. Here, I am thinking of roast beef.

                                        With shrimp, or oysters, I go with partially dressed, and add my choice of condiments.

                                        Enjoy,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. Dressed means mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and maybe pickle.

                                          There is no such thing as wet dressed.

                                          This is the rule.

                                          1. Love mine dressed with a splash of Crystal. With every po-boy type besides sausage. Love creole mustard in lieu of mayonaise on a alligator sausage po-boy. Not sure what wet dressed is......Can only assume roast beef with gravy?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ScarlettNola

                                              Apparently Scarlett wet dressed is an urban myth created by some food network putz who knew nothing about dressed or plain po-boys. I unintentinally perpetrated the myth and have taked my lumps for it. Wet was supposedly the mayo on the po-boy, dressed was the lettuce, tomato and plain was....well none of the above. My apologies again for that part of this thread.