Anytime I see a 450 pounder I immediately sequester him or her and begin peppering them with questions about where they’re getting fed these days.
Mr. Clyde is a quiet man and somewhat taken aback when I begin my interrogation.
I’m at a mechanic shop on a godforsaken stretch of highway in far New Orleans East and I’m starving when I suddenly spot a behemoth of a worker ambling toward me.
“Where can a body go to get a good po boy around here man?”
“Sheeyit, they all good man, there ain’t a bad one around here.”
“What’s your very favorite?”
“Bullard Seafood’s probably the best”
He then goes on to detail exactly how to get there including local landmarks and a couple other places I might want to check out after I eat at Bullard’s.
Kim is a cosmetologist. She notes me taking pictures of the vast cafeteria steam-line when she walks in and asks me what’s up. I tell her about my mission to eat 500 po boys in New Orleans and she lights up. “I’m French but I’ve been in New Orleans a long time and I know my po boys”
She then goes on in detail about the merits and faults of each po boy on the menu before finally telling me I should really get the fried shrimp.
We say our goodbyes and I make my way to the cashier to pay for my po boy.
“Oh honey that lady in front of you got your bill”
I love this city.
I wish I loved my po boy as much as I love New Orleans. While Bullard Seafood’s shrimp po boy is by no means bad, it’s not upper echelon or even second tier for that matter. The primary crime this po boy commits is the paltry amount of shrimp on the sandwich.
There are maybe 10 shrimps tucked into the loaf which is nicely garnished with mayo, lettuce, tomato and above-average quality pickle slices.
Ambiance is fine at Bullard’s. The mammoth steam line is filled with a bounty of fried foods alongside a hodge podge of Vietnamese dishes and soul food like Turkey Necks and Stuffed Bell Peppers. It would take a month to work your way through the menu.
The room is largely tidy except for a train wreck of soda pop cases tumbling all over one side of the restaurant.
Patrons are diverse. The lady sitting next to me laughs as she explains to her luncheon date that she has an “inner fat girl who demands lots of soul food plate lunches”
She might weigh a hundred pounds.
As I wheel out of the parking lot I think about Mr. Clyde and begin plotting where I’ll be going to get my next po boy.
7025 Bullard Ave
New Orleans, Louisiana
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