Rusty’s Po Boys and Seafood has risen from the ashes of Kajun Express on Washington Avenue.
We’ve spent the afternoon digging around Central City, taking photos inside the new Wayward Owl Brewing and attempting to eat at the legendary Joe’s Po Boys on MLK ( est.1957 but now possibly out of business) when we decide to reconnoiter north to see if we can vector in on some lunch.
Rusty’s Po Boy And Seafood sits in the former Kajun Express in a run down storefront on Washington Avenue in New Orleans Broadmoor neighborhood.
Plenty pimps and hookers are afoot.
While it’s true that we could dine at dozens of better known po boy shops where we are 100 percent certain of having a delicious lunch, these days we’re far more interested in testing foreign waters than eating at New Orleans old standards.
Rusty is feeling loquacious but not talkative enough to reveal how she got her nickname. The nice Vietnamese lady explains that she had been cooking in a restaurant out in Kenner when she decided she wanted to open her own place. And about that nickname-odd for a Vietnamese gal? She politely demurs so we refrain from pressing the matter.
The fried catfish po boy comes out presently and it is a behemoth. At $8.99 there is some real value here as sandwiches of this size in New Orleans now go for upwards of $20.
Another good reason to eat in the ghetto.
Multiple planks of fish are stacked atop one another til you have to unhinge your jaw to get the sandwich in your mouth. And that fish? Catfish is dredged in lightly seasoned corn meal then flash-fried til crispy. Dressed at Rusty’s means mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickle. Rusty balks when we ask for pickles on the side (hot pickles are not what we’re after) but finally acquiesces.
There is no seating at Rusty’s. The space is big enough to accommodate a couple dozen diners but Rusty does not offer sit-down dining. It’s all to-go.
And don’t ask for credit. Rusty has been burned before and is now wise to the hucksters and charlatans who would have their way with her. She relates a tale of how a neighborhood denizen flim-flammed her out of a fried chicken combo.
“NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN” she thundered.
Rusty’s Po Boy And Seafood
4122 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA
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