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Monday, November 16, 2009

Cajun Throwdown at Queen's Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Fried Gulf shrimp po-boy: Worthy of devouring. - T. PALMER
  • T. Palmer
  • Fried Gulf shrimp po-boy: Worthy of devouring.
After long and careful planning, Queen's Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe (3030 San Bruno at Paul) opened its doors Nov. 6.

"I'm really passionate about this," said Danielle Reese, giant ladle in hand. "A lot of people try to represent New Orleans food here, and they don't do it right. I took a lot of time with this."

One example of Reese's dedication to authenticity -- besides her family's recipes and lessons learned in her grandfather's Louisiana restaurant -- are the items that she has flown in from Louisiana: Crawfish, Community Coffee, Abita root beer, Zapp's potato chips, and the softly crumbly pistolettes.

"It took me a year to convince them to trust me and sell it to me, because I have to buy it by the pallet," she revealed of the characteristic po-boy French rolls.

The loaves come partially baked, and are finished off in-house. They're already flying out the door faster than she predicted, said Reese, who smiled at our suggestion that this might be what they call a good problem to have.

In the name of "research," and of great hunger, we ordered a lot of

food, not quite realizing that the portions were going to be

substantial (but the leftovers were great). After being offered samples

of the seafood gumbo, we succumbed to the rich roux and ordered a cup

($4.95). Four of us then went for the seafood po-boy combo ($13), two choices of 6-inch sandwiches (which individually range from $6.50

to $9). We tried the fried catfish, fried

crawfish, and fried Gulf shrimp (along with fried chicken and BBQ beef), all lightly dressed with

mayo, pickles, tomato slices, and shredded lettuce. Reese has a way with the fryer, with crunchy, crispy, and not-at-all greasy results.

click to enlarge Queen's inspires overindulgence. - T. PALMER
  • T. Palmer
  • Queen's inspires overindulgence.
Because

we are ridiculous, we had to pile a bunch of sides on top of that, but

we only recommend it if you're a professional when it comes to eating. Sweet corn

hush puppies with honey butter ($3-$6), fries heaped with minced garlic

and Parmesan and zingy remoulade ($3.75-5.25), sweet potato fries

sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and bags of Zapp's Voodoo and Cajun

Crawtator chips contributed to our glorious gluttony. None of these items helped encourage us to pace ourselves, because we just wanted to stuff 'em in our mouths.

At that

point, we thought, what the hell, and ordered beignets for dessert

($4.50, also available with cafe au lait for $6.50). This was our only

misstep -- we thought they tasted slightly of the fish that was probably fried in the same oil, a bummer because the texture and taste would

have otherwise been on point.*

Still, we're already dreaming of our next visit and another taste of New Orleans in the south of our own city.

*Update: We returned a week later and the beignets were properly done and very tasty.

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Tamara Palmer

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