Frady’s is one of the best hotplate joints in New Orleans and they consistently turn out my favorite meat n 3 breakfast, but at their heart they’re just an old-school po boy shop turning out stuffed $8 sandwiches to feed the neighborhood.
And what a neighborhood. The Bywater of New Orleans incites scandalous talk amongst locals as it is a hotbed of renewal in a city experiencing both rapid growth and soul-numbing violence. Walking to the corner bar at night is akin to stepping through a minefield as ne’er-do-wells have turned our neighborhood into a warzone. As I was drifting off to sleep last night a spirited gun battle was taking place nearby. The loud thudding booms of a heavy calibre pistol were being met with ratatats from a smaller weapon that was clearly overmatched yet still game for the fight.
People decry the gentrification of the Upper 9th but if it in anyway mitigates the armed robberies and carjackings we’ll happily pedal around the streets on a fixie with Sonic Youth blaring through our Walkmans and a D&G scarf fluttering in the breeze.
Mornings at Frady’s are my favorite time to stop in. There’s a handful of old-timers that sit around chugging coffee, chain-smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and talking about the glory days of the city when Archie Manning couldn’t win a game to save his life but times were still somehow better.
Frady’s has all the po boys you find in ‘normal’ restaurants in New Orleans but they are one of the few that puts out a fried baloney version. A foot-long is $8, one of the best values in New Orleans and when paired with a Mexican coke and a bag of Zapp’s chips you have a quintessential New Orleans feast.
The baloney on my po boy is not my favorite style. I grew up eating brawny, thick-sliced lunch meat that was charred til black in my parents ancient cast-iron pan. The meat here has been sliced wafer thin then given a brief ride across the flat-top before being crammed into a good crusty loaf of bread. Dressed at Frady’s means Blue Plate mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickle. For old time’s sake I ask for American cheese on my sandwich, a rare luxury in my life.
I take my feast out of doors with the neighborhood cat Sparky as my dining companion. Frady’s is jumping as people stream into and out of the tiny concern. Folks walk in empty-handed and stroll out with foot-long butcher-paper-wrapped bundles with steam wafting up toward the Winter sky.
3231 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA
Hours of Operation
call (504) 949-9688
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