2016 marks the first year we felt ripped off by a vendor at Po Boy Fest. Gattuso’s Restaurant rolled into the 2016 edition of Po Boy Fest with a crockpot of beef and gravy, and rolled out with a van load of gold bullion.
We got up bright and early Sunday morning so we could beat the crowds (some estimates forecast 70k people would be attending) and have Oak Street to ourselves before heading back downriver so we could march with Black Men of Labor at their second line.
We had no way of knowing we’d get dry-gulched in Uptown New Orleans.
Since Hi Roller Stag Bar shut down we hardly ever venture into downtown Gretna where Gattuso’s has a good reputation of serving big, sloppy, roast beef po boys at suburbs’ pricing (under $12).
We note the sign trumpeting their beef sandwich as finishing #1 in 2009 so we roll the dice to see if their victory was well-earned or just an ad gimmick.
At $8 this is one stratospherically over-priced ‘po boy’
A few tablespoons of beef have been ladled into a comically-tiny fragment of a po boy loaf whereupon the cook called it a day’s work and shipped it out of the kitchen.
No lettuce, no tomatoes, no pickles. We’re left staggering about suffering from a serious accoutrement deficit.
Quality? The beef has been properly cooked and bathed in a rich, though scant, gravy. We reckon that it would take roughly eight of these sandwiches to feel even remotely satisfied. Is there a beef shortage on the West Bank? Maybe the supply trucks weren’t running this weekend and Gattuso’s only had one 5lb chuck roast to pull off a Jesus-like feeding of the masses.
On the long list of sins a restaurant can commit we’d put parsimonious po boy selling perhaps one notch below stealing a crutch from a cripple.
We ranged widely through the Po Boy Fest and will be issuing fresh reviews on Vaucresson Sausage, Miss Linda the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady and Silence of da Hams later this week. Suffice to say none employed the same business model as Gattuso’s Restaurant.
The finest po boy shops in New Orleans share one common trait: a generosity of spirit. They pile the meats high, ladle on copious gravy, send showers of accoutrements down upon the sandwich, and send the eater home groaning with pleasure.
Gattuso’s did none of this.