Roast beef heaven at Mahoney’s Po-Boy Shop

If you’ve never had a good roast beef po-boy, you’ll never understand the tactile delight of rich, brown gravy covering your mouth and sliding slowly down your hands every time you take a bite of this uniquely New Orleans sandwich. Roast beef po-boys would always be my “go-to” choice for lunch as soon as I discovered them and I’d often risk staining good work outfits to have one. Yesterday, I figured too much time had passed since my last bounty of beefy goodness, so John, Anne and I headed over to Mahoney’s Po-Boy Shop for my 86th cheat. I am down 81 pounds.

Located on Magazine Street a little more than a block away from Louisiana Avenue, Mahoney’s is yet another of those cute “house-turned-restaurants” that are scattered all over the city. We arrived at around 2 PM in order to avoid the lunch rush and were lucky enough to get a parking spot right in front. We walked in, placed our order and walked back out to snake a table on the wide porch outside. Though the girl at the counter told us we’d be waiting 30 minutes for our food to come up, the time seemed to pass rather quickly as we lounged in the shade watching the traffic roll by on Magazine Street.

Our sides came out first — a large order of super-thin onion rings and and “Dirty Fries” with gravy and melted cheddar cheese. Now, I’ve always thought I was in the thick-cut onion ring camp, but when I tasted these beauties and felt them practically melt in my mouth…let’s just say I’m a changed woman. The Dirty Fries were fantastic and the rich, red wine gravy made me anxious for my main dish, my raison d’etre, the Certified Angus “Pot Roast” Beef po-boy.

I had actually tortured myself earlier in the day when I watched the video online of Chef Ben Wicks creating his version of this local favorite and it had me salivating on my keyboard. When my 12 inch po-boy arrived, I realized my eyes were far larger than what my stomach could accommodate, but I had no problem devouring at least half of that roast beef beauty. The juicy, beefy goodness was slathered on Leidenheimer French bread and dressed with plenty of mayo, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes and wrapped up into a huge sheet of white butcher paper. Though the flavor was different from others I’ve tried around town due to the addition of red wine, it was still fantastic and it’s competing for “best in show” when it comes to my all-time favorite.

John’s sandwich was just as amazing, though extremely pricey at $21.95. Dubbed “the Peacemaker,” John’s po-boy was a 12-inch wonder of large, fried oysters, bacon and cheddar cheese on the same delicious French bread as mine. Though our sandwiches and side fed us for two meals yesterday, I still can’t avoid smacking my forehead in disbelief at paying over $50 plus tip for a couple of po-boys, two drinks and a side.

Anne bravely (in my opinion) ordered the Fried Chicken Liver & Creole Slaw po-boy and wisely chose to get a 6-inch. I’m not a huge fan of liver, but I found her sandwich quite tasty even though I’d probably never order that myself.

Finally, you know I had to have dessert, so I chose the Sweet Potato Crunch Pie thinking I’d have it all to myself since neither Anne nor John like sweet potatoes. Wrong! They brought the pie out with three spoons and before I could say “marshmallow,” it was demolished. The sweet potatoes were surprisingly bright in flavor and color, and I adored the brown sugar, pecan crumble on top. I also liked the addition of the charred marshmallows, that is when I could get one…Anne slyly stole all but what fell onto the tabletop.

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