Editor’s Note: Parasol’s has changed ownership as of 2010 and is no longer a dive and the food is even better. Check out my updated writeup here.
For our first lunch in New Orleans, we wanted something truly native, and so we decided to head over to Parasol’s, a beat-up, divey Irish bar in New Orleans’ Irish Channel. We were recommended by Sara Roahen, former New Orleans Gambit food critic and author of the upcoming February 2008 book Gumbo Tales, who waxes rhapsodic about Parasol’s in an entire chapter dedicated to the Roast Beef Po Boy.
Parasol’s, on Constance Street in the Irish Channel. Parasol’s is best known for its Roast Beef Po Boys. Don’t be afraid to go in, everyone is friendly.
Parasol’s is a dive by even New Orleans’ standards, but it serves the best Roast Beef Po Boy in town. Click on the “read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The bar is on the ground level, and is known as a hangout for some pretty interesting characters during the evenings. It’s also a huge center of activity on St. Patrick’s day.
Upstairs is the dining room/lunch area. It’s not much to look at and the walls are painted a miserable lime green color, but you’re not here for the ambiance.
The Parasol’s menu. Note the native Yat spelling of “Oyster” on the left hand side, underneath “Italian Sausage”.
The nice man at the ordering window.
Parasol’s kitchen. Yeah, never mind, the Po Boy is great.
I don’t know what his name is but I bet he’s seen a lot over the years.
It was Monday and Rachel was craving Red Beans and rice — Parasol’s does a very tasty version, with lots of meat in it.
The French Fry Po boy, which is roughly equivalent to a British “Chip Butty” sandwich. At Paraso’s, it’s dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and gravy. It’s starchy, and I suppose that it tastes a lot better if you are completely drunk off your ass.
Erster Po Boy. As we were here during late August, the oysters weren’t at their prime and I thought they were deep fried a bit too much. Essentially a fried shell that tasted a little funky. We should have gone for the shrimp, apparently.
Roast Beef Po Boy, fully dressed. This is of the “debris” style where the roast beef itself has been cooked until completely falling apart and drenched in its own jus. Served on the classic New Orleans French Loaf, aka Po Boy bread, this is then dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s excellent, and I can understand why many regard this sandwich as the city’s archetype and reference standard.
Roast Beef Po Boy, side profile.