The Times-Pic's restaurant critic Brett Anderson has spent the last several months trying to find the best roast beef po' boy in New Orleans. His most recent stop is at Mother's, the Poydras Street institution that "claims authorship of the term debris," that uniquely New Orleanian ingredient that uses all the bits of beef that fall off the roast into the fat below.
But despite Mother's claims and despite the shop's loyal following (and heavy tourist draw), Anderson was disappointed by the roast beef po' boy there:
While the woman at the counter followed the script when I asked for Mother’s definition of debris — “It’s shredded beef that falls in its own juice while cooking" — the debris I was served on three recent visits looked and tasted more like boiled beef subjected to a blender. It was beef mush of only slightly firmer consistency than the French bread that the beef’s oily liquid — I can’t stoop to calling it gravy – reduced to dough.Mother's roast beef po' boy features two types of beef: regular sliced roast beef in addition to the debris. Yet "[t]he sliced meat exhibits all of the qualities ... that make so much processed deli meat appear as if it were made in a lab."
And in this week's CityBusiness, Tom Fitzmorris gives three stars to Bouche, the bar and "gourmet bistro" sandwiched between Emeril's and Cochon on Tchoupitoulas Street. While the early buzz focused on Bouche's nightlife options ("I heard about the 50 or so wines by the glass and the cigar bar long before anyone mentioned having dinner there"), Fitzmorris writes that the food is pretty good in its own right. But what kind of food is it? "Chef Jason Lewis turns out a list of the current hits of American cuisine, with the inevitable and welcome Creole tinge and attention to the seasons." Fitzmorris always lists 10 essential dishes, a list that in this case ranges from items like fresh potato chips to barbecue shrimp and grits to smoked filet mignon with chocolate demi glace.