Po’ boys and sandwiches are like rectangles and squares. Every po-boy is a sandwich, but not every sandwich is a po’ boy.
New Orleans has never struggled in the po’ boy department. Some might even say there are too many po’ boy shops, although I let Darwin’s theory sort that out. When it comes to sandwiches, though, New Orleans has seriously lacked.
If you appreciate a good sandwich, you probably already know the staples: The Milk Bar, St. James Cheese Company, Steins and Butcher have all flourished in this city, most of which have opened post-Katrina. These brave entrepreneurs saw that you could put meat and seafood in between something else besides Leidenheimer bread in this city and still succeed.
Regardless, the sandwich market has yet to be filled, unlike other post-Katrina food voids, like the hamburger and pizza market. That’s why I was thrilled to learn that “The Sammich” was planning to open on Maple Street. Because the term “sandwich” is such a broad term, I was interested to see how this would stack up against the giants.
I was not disappointed.
From the second I stepped into the door my mouth started watering. The aroma of meat, seafood, and duck fat led me straight to the counter. If it were an air freshener it would blow Febreeze out of the water.
The menu had a number of options, most of which were available. To my disdain, the pork belly confit sandwich was either sold out or they were just playing games with my heart. Instead, I had to settle for the duck confit sandwich. Poor me. Other options included an oysters en brochette sandwich, friend chicken sandwich with pork belly, pressed Cuban and even a fried lobster po’ boy, to name a few. Some were on Leidenheimer, some weren’t. They didn’t have any vegetarian options, but who needs those?
Although I’m usually a brussel sprout guy, I couldn’t resist the duck fat fries with garlic mayo. If you can’t make potatoes fried in duck fat and dipped in garlic mayo good, you shouldn’t be a restaurant.
All I can say is that they did well.
We got our food fairly quickly, minus the oysters en brochette, but in all fairness, good things take time. Because we sat on the patio, we were served our food rather than picking it up from the kitchen bar. Speaking of which…
THEY HAD A REALLY COOL ZIP LINE THAT TRANSPORTED MESSAGES FROM ONE SIDE OF THE RESTAURANT TO THE OTHER! It has nothing to do with the food, but I would work there just to be able to use that all day.
Long story short, the food was great. The oysters were fried to perfection, the fries were fried in duck fat, so obviously they were awesome, and the duck confit sandwich was rich, tender and smothered in foie gras mayo.
Not everything can be perfect, though. First of all, if you are a New Orleans restaurant and don’t have hot sauce within arm’s reach, something’s wrong. Also, for $14.50, God should personally make my sandwich. The service was by no means bad, but it could have been better. I’ll consider it a natural kink of a new business that they will fix as time progresses.
Overall, I would highly recommend The Sammich. Not only because of the awesome name, but because the food holds up against the New Orleans giants. Unique, but not too out there, and certainly something I would crave after a long night.