New Orleans is home to the worlds oldest continuously operating streetcar line (and after a night out on Bourbon Street I feel like the worlds oldest continuous partier). The streetcars have been rolling down St. Charles Avenue since 1835. What does this have to do with a delicious sandwich served on a baguette like french bread?
A lot actually.
While this account is often disputed, the legend of the poboy is intertwined with a streetcar strike. In 1929 streetcar conductors and motormen went on strike for four months (I’d love four months off). Benny and Clovis Martin, streetcar conductors who also owned a restaurant decided to help out their co-workers by donating food to them. (I will also take any food offered)
They made them meat sandwiches with french bread that was thinner and crispier because it was easier to slice into two equal pieces. The striking workers did not have much money and got the nickname “poor boys” which also stuck to the sandwich. In a south Louisiana dialect this was shortened to “poboys” and a true New Orleans legend was formed.
Today there are all sorts of varieties of poboys. From the classic fried shrimp poboy to the slightly bizarre french fry poboy, people have used the past 90 years to put their own spin on them.
Bourbon Street is a world famous party street with 24 hour bars and scandalous strip clubs but also some pretty amazing food. One of our favorite restaurants is NOLA poboys at 908 Bourbon St. To have some fun with the funniest quaker around, Geneva Joy, we got the “Cursing Murray” spice level on our shrimp poboys. It’s called that because you may be cursing the owner, Murray Tate, in the morning. Watch above as a yankee and a local enjoy some of the best New Orleans has to offer.