“This is wonderful, did your mother teach you how to bake?
I’m marveling over the Ooey Gooey cake that Miss Elizabeth of Saint Gertrude The Great Catholic Church in Des Allemands has made for the Louisiana Catfish Festival.
“No dahlin’ my mother died when I was just five years old”
Note me slowly crawling to the Bayou Gauche where I slit my wrists and fling myself at the nearest alligator.
The Saint Gertrude Catholic Church dealt me a cruel hand last weekend as I ramp up my 500 po boys series. To wit: the worst po boy I’ve had in years-maybe ever-in the New Orleans region.
I knew I was in for a rough meal when I ordered my po boy and the counter girl reached behind her, snagged a pre-wrapped sandwich off a table and barked “$10”
There is no one in line, no one approaching the booth and the grounds of the festival are perhaps 10% full.
Why in the Hell are these people sandbagging po boys?
The biggest sin that a po boy maker commits in Southeast Louisiana is the use of pitiable loaf-bread. With the nearby proximity of Saint Gertrude Church, this po boy cook will need to visit the confessional regularly for the next year to make up for his crime. It is a horrid loaf of unknown provenance; surely some far off factory of horrors that has no relation whatever to the numerous skilled bakeries in the area.
The fish is stone cold which is just as well as there is a paucity of it that suggests the catfish industry of Louisiana is on its last legs. The toppings are an afterthought.
Immediately after eating a portion of this po boy (and chucking the rest in a nearby garbage can) I run to the fried catfish entree booth and order a platter. Settling in in the community center my faith in the Louisiana Catfish Festival is restored: the fish is blazing hot, the Northern Beans creamy and delicious and the rice perfectly cooked.
The big fish party in Des Allemands is one of my favorite food events of the year and an atrocious po boy does not sway me from future attendance.
When we tackled this project we knew that somewhere on the path to eating 500 po boys we would be staring down the barrel of some bad food.
But never in a thousand years did we think it would happen in Des Allemands, Louisiana, the catfish capital of the universe.https://twitter.com/RLReevesJr
Enjoy the article? I’ve worked on this site 7 days a week for the past 10 years
My Venmo is @Russell-Reeves-6 if you’d like to make a small contribution
Saint Gertrude The Great Catholic Church
17292 LA-631, Des Allemands, LA 70030