Time to go see Ms. Linda
We set out down the promenade scouring the street corners til we finally see the grand old dame of ya-ka-mein. We’re not in the market for a tub of old sober though. We need a fat po boy to right a wrong, and restore our faith in our favorite New Orleans food party.
Ms. Linda’s having a hell of a time with the crowd as her grandbabies have not shown up and she’s running a three employee operation.
After a 30 minute wait, the New Orleans top cook grabs a serrated knife, cuts a hunk off a fresh Leidenheimer loaf, discards it when she deems it too small, and cuts off a new-fresh slab. It’s twice as long as Gattuso’s pitiable po boy.The shrimp and crab dressing is scalding hot, and wedged heavy into the bread. Had we a fresh lemon this could’ve been one of the best of our 500 po boy series. As it is, it’s merely a fine sandwich.
Ms. Linda could’ve long since opened up a brick and mortar and let the crowds come to her. She’s easy to spot on the second line routes and street fairs that pop up all over New Orleans. You just look for a long line of people and there you’ll find her; slowly ladling out styrofoam cups of ya-ka-mein, and selling dirt-cheap fried pork chop po boys to her followers.
She’s in the game to make a little money for sure but her raison d’être is feeding people homemade food that nourishes the soul and relieves the eater of those brain-splitting morning after headaches that barkeeps the city over keep dealing out.
Ms. Linda speaking on the popularity of old sober (even in the dead of summer): “They still eat it, and that’s ironic.” “Even though it be hot that day, you have a lot of people that do a lot of drinking. And they know that drinking with Ya-Ka-Mein, that helps. It’s called ‘Old Sober,’ and it helps sober them up a little bit.”
Ya-Ka-Mein is what put Linda Green on the map but you haven’t truly experienced her cuisine til you’ve had a bone-in fried pork chop sandwich slathered with Blue Plate, preferably enjoyed in Central City near her ancestral grounds of Third and Danneel.