In the early spring of 2008, Chateau Orleans Po-Boys was founded by Adam and Bonnie Turner. As a po-boy place, Chateau Orleans Po-Boys is following in a very long line of greats who have laid the foundation for slogans such as Good Food, Good Friends, Good Times.
Places such as Parkway Bakery, Tracey's, Parasol's, Russell's Short Stop, R & O's, Bear's, and many others have laid the standard for good food to be measured.
As a very young establishment, we do not pretend that the great New Orleans flavor begins and ends at Chateau Orleans Po-Boys. Nor do we pretend to do it better than those who have graced this culinary paradise since its beginning.
However, we are greatly blessed to share in the contribution to the reputation this great city has built by those that have gone before us — a reputation of hospitality, delicious food, and the creation of many great and lasting memories with those we call friends.
It has been said that New Orleans has the only sandwich with its own festival, inspires heated debate, and, indeed, has the potential to influence your life in unexpected ways — ways you may only discover after knockin’ on heaven’s door.
Everyone who loves the po-boy has a story about one in particular — the day you fell in love with a fried oyster po-boy, celebrated a milestone over dripping roast beef, or consoled a failure with anything served between two pieces of New Orleans baked French bread.
The bread, of course, is the most important part. Crispy and flaky on the outside and unbelievably soft on the inside, French bread is taken very seriously. For the perfect po-boy, anything other than locally-made bread (Hi-Do Bakery being our preferred choice) simply won't do.
Then, you add the bulk of the sandwich – fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, or our favorite roast beef smothered in gravy. Top that off with the "fixin's" — pickles, hot sauce, lettuce, mayo, etc., and you'll quickly find yourself indulging in one of the best culinary creations known to man.
Order like a local and request your sandwich "dressed" — which means you want all of the toppings. Po-Boys are also best paired with a cold bottle of Glass Barq's Root beer.
Po-boy sandwiches represent the bedrock of New Orleans. Being the shotgun house of New Orleans cuisine, po-boys are familiar but satisfying. The sandwich is as diverse as the city it symbolizes.
The crisp loaves have served as a culinary crossroads, encasing the most pedestrian and exotic of foods: shrimp, oyster, catfish, and soft-shell crabs, as well as French fries and ham and cheese. Comfort food in other cities seldom reaches such heights.
As with many culinary innovations, the po-boy has attracted many legends regarding its origins. However, documentary evidence confirms that your grandparents' stories about one particular restaurant were right.
Bennie and Clovis Martin left their Raceland, Louisiana home in the Acadiana region in the mid-1910s for New Orleans. Both worked as streetcar conductors until they opened Martin Brothers' Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market in 1922.
The years they had spent working as streetcar operators and members of the street railway employees' union would eventually lead to their hole-in-the-wall coffee stand becoming the birthplace of the po-boy sandwich.
Following increasingly heated contract negotiations, the streetcar motormen and conductors went on strike beginning July 1, 1929. The survival of carmen's union and 1,100 jobs was in question.
Transit strikes throughout the nation provoked emotional displays of public support and the 1929 strike ranks among the nation's most violent.
When the company attempted to run the cars on July 5 using "strikebreakers" (career criminals brought in from New York), brickbats and jeering crowds stopped them.
More than 10,000 New Orleanians gathered downtown and watched strike supporters disable and then burn the first car operated by a strikebreaker.
A highly sympathetic public participated in the greatest numbers by avoiding the transit system, which remained shut down for two weeks.
Former New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent William McCrossen experienced the strike as a teenager: "Dare not—nobody, nobody would ride the streetcars. Number one, they were for the carmen. Number two, there was a danger [in riding the cars]."
Brickbats greeted the few streetcars that ran. Small and large businesses donated goods and services to the local union.
The many support letters included one from the Martin Brothers promising, "Our meal is free to any members of Division 194."
Their letter concluded with: "We are with you till h--l freezes, and when it does, we will furnish blankets to keep you warm." according to the Martin Brothers letter courtesy of Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University Libraries.