Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don’t Think Too Hard in the Big Easy

5240 Annunciation St.
New Orleans, LA
Visited August 23, 2010

Beer selection: “The Champaign of Beer” on draft. What else do you need?

Food: Classic New Orleans po-boys.

Sometimes I can out-think myself.

That must explain my disappointment with the supposedly famous po-boys at Domilise’s.

To a normal human being, a dive bar in the bad part of New Orleans -- whose only attempt to reveal itself to the outside world is a battered, hand-painted sign laying on the cracked weed-infested sidewalk -- would be a place to avoid at all costs.

But to Suit757? No.

After hearing that Domilise’s had some of the best po-boys in the city that made them famous, the sketchy, kinda-dangerous ambiance only served to heighten my sense of excitement about the place.

After all, the best BBQ, burgers and dive bar food on earth is served in places no sober, self-respecting productive member of society would dare to venture.

Finding those nuggets of awesomeness in the back alleys of blue collar America is what makes being a Suit in Strange Places so much fun.

Paradoxically, my expectations of grandeur were overblown by the sheer divyness of Domilise’s outward appearance.

“This place is such a dump, it must be GREAT!”

Domilise’s marketing ambivalence continued once I walked through the front door.

The two young Italian dudes behind the sandwich counter seemed more irritated at my presence than excited about recruiting a new customer. Of course, not knowing exactly how the whole “dressed”, “not dressed” thing (hint: condiments, not clothing) worked probably didn’t help.

But considering I was the only customer in the joint, I really hoped I wasn’t putting them out too much.

While my order of a hot smoked sausage po-boy, “fully dressed” was being assembled, I was instructed to go over to the bar to order my drink.

The 80 year old bartender only seemed slightly less unenthusiastic as I presented myself at the well worn counter featuring a Miller High Life tap handle.

Miller Freaking High Life? “The Champaign of Beers”? On draft? For $1.50?

Now that my friends, is a divey amenity too good to pass up.

A few sips later, I was summoned to the sandwich counter to pay for my po-boy. I then toted it to one of the four tables in the 300 square foot room.

The spicy sausage had a good kick to it, but failed to live up to my over-heightened expectations. The “fully dressed” part (mayonnaise, mustard and lettuce all mixed together) oozed uncontrollably all over the paper plate. A little better structural integrity might have earned this po-boy a higher grade.

I also tried the traditional roast beef po-boy, also dripping in that mustard-mayonnaise-lettuce concoction. This was even more disappointing, lacking in any real flavor or excitement.

To be fair, I didn’t try Domilise’s fried seafood po-boys, which might be out of this world, for all I know.

So I just may make one more return visit to Domilise’s next time I’m in the Big Easy.

After all, my expectations will be much more realistic. Sometimes a dive is just…

…a dive.

Rating: Would Wear Shirt If It Were Free.
Domilises Po-Boy & Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Domilise's does amazing fried shrimp poboys, pretty good fried shrimp poboys, and everything else is barely edible.

  2. Sorry, meant pretty good fried oyster poboys.