For the past few years, Cam Boudreaux and his wife April Bellow have been slinging sandwiches out of a jewel box-sized kitchen at their pop-up Killer Poboys in the back of the Erin Rose bar. In November, the couple, along with business partner Eric Baucom, opened a standalone restaurant (dubbed Big Killer Poboys) in a larger space on Dauphine Street, enabling them to expand their menu.
This has turned out to be a very good thing: The po-boys here adhere to the same standards as the flagship — imaginative, unorthodox takes on the city's iconic sandwich, most of which are served on crispy Dong Phuong rolls.
Because the original pop-up opened in a bar off Bourbon Street, it seemed inevitable that it would cater to a late-night, often heavy-drinking crowd. Diners could wipe up their drinks with the sandwiches, or lay a foundation on them. At the Dauphine spot, the hours are reversed. An all-day menu is available beginning with breakfast, but in many ways, it seems as if the owners have the drinkers in mind.
Take the pork belly sandwich, which shouldn't be consumed without a pre-emptive dose of Lipitor. The cooks swap out traditional rolls for wobbly slices of bread pudding that don't adequately hold the sandwich together. Tucked inside are thick wedges of lacquered pork belly, sweet, dark onion jam and, as if that wasn't enough, a sunny-side-up egg. It's an indulgent, over-the-top medley that's messy, fatty and exactly what you'd want to eat the morning after a boozy night.
Slightly less sinful but just as delicious, the omelet po-boy has sharp, aged cheddar cheese, which melts around a choice of bacon, sweet potatoes, ham or chorizo. A creamy layer of herb-flecked garlic aioli soaks into the roll, giving the impression the sandwich is served on buttery garlic toast. Attention to detail is perfect, and each bite provides the desired combination of egg, cheese and meat.
New Yorkers might find comfort in the smoked salmon po-boy, packed with thick, velvety layers of pink fish and a generous creamy remoulade schmear. It's a rich combination that's balanced in taste and texture by the sharp bite of red onion, hardboiled egg and crisp greens.
There's a decent selection of more conventional lunch items, including a vegetarian medley made with roasted cauliflower on whole grain bread, the slices of which are slathered in bright red, slightly nutty romesco sauce. The rest of the sandwich is a display of texture, with crispy cauliflower florets and radish slices, and flavor, including citrusy kale and buttery avocado.
The team is known for turning traditional po-boy preparations on their heads, and the sandwiches here are no different. Chicken is treated to a syrupy coffee barbecue glaze and topped with herbaceous ranch slaw that packs a serious bite. A ham and cheese sandwich features house-made pimiento spread, a mayonnaise-forward blend that is balanced by a kick of Creole mustard and a pile of griddled caramelized onions and peppers.
The new location is open for breakfast and lunch Wednesdays through Sundays and closes in late afternoon. That's OK, because anyone hankering for a seared shrimp or meat loaf po-boy later in the day can go to the Erin Rose a few blocks down the street.