Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Po Boy"? Oh No Boy!

McAlister's Deli on Urbanspoon One of the things I enjoy about McAlister's Deli, and many other places, is their frequent buyers program. Each time your purchase a tea or a meal they punch a card. Once you have 9 punches per card you get a free tea or free meal depending in card. Today I redeemed a fully punched card for each a tea and a meal and enjoyed a totally free lunch!!

McAlister's is currently highlighting shrimp specials which are headlined by a new shrimp Po Boy style sandwich.  Using my free lunch cards, I decided to try a Cajun Shrimp Po Boy and a side of pasta salad.  This sandwich features a bunch of buttered & peppered shrimp coated with a chipotle mayonnaise and paired with tomato slices, lettuce, and coleslaw on top of crispy French bread.  I'll preface my next comments by saying I enjoyed the flavors of both the sandwich and the pasta salad.

The Cajun Shrimp Po Boy I was served today

Now, part of my ethnic ancestry includes strong Cajun connections with southern Louisiana.  While I'm definitely NOT a Po Boy expert, I've had a fair number of them over the years.  The protein on a traditional Cajun Po Boy is almost always fried: fried shrimp, fried claims, fried oysters, fried chicken, and even fried alligator.  This was my first shrimp Po Boy that was not fried.  Additionally, I've never had a Po Boy with coleslaw.  While it added a different, and somewhat positive, texture it is just not part of what I consider Po Boy.  Finally, the Cajun spice or heat has always been part of the spices incorporated into the batter for frying the protein.  Although a good Po Boy will need mayonnaise or mustard for moisture purposes, the use of the chipotle mayonnaise as the source of the spice/heat was just not what I was anticipating.

As noted in the preface above, the sandwich was a good sandwich and I'm sure I'll have another one at some point.  However, this sandwich is NOT anything that I can in good conscience call a Po Boy.  I'd encourage you to try one and let me know your thoughts!

And remember, happy eating is only a journey away!

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