Do you ever find yourself walking down Bourbon Street, weaving between construction crews, and pitying the poor souls aimlessly surrendering to the hawker standing in front of the Royal Cajun Gumbo Factory? Their quest for authentic local fare is destined to end with a disappointing meal of frozen fried seafood between stale loaves of hoagie bread. Little do those poor sheep realize that their salvation lies just around the corner at Killer Poboys, where New Orleans’ iconic sandwich is both honored and reinvented through international inspiration.
After earning rave reviews for their work at the original Killer Poboys inside the Erin Rose bar, husband and wife founders Cam Boudreaux and April Bellow teamed up with new business partner Eric Baucom to expand their chef-driven sandwich concept to a full-size restaurant in the second block of Dauphine. Migrating with them was the entire original menu, all of which is worth revisiting time and again. The Vietnamese-inspired gulf shrimp is seared with coriander spice and dressed with marinated radish, daikon carrots and cucumbers before a slathering of Sriracha aioli. Pork belly is painted with a NOLA rum glaze spiced up with ginger, its sweet and fatty flavor profile offset by the acid in the crunchy lime slaw. Beef debris slow-cooked with dark beer is the kitchen’s answer to roast beef, while the grilled cheese is spiked with whiskey.
The team’s sophomore effort doubled the menu in terms of both po-boys and “not po-boys.” In the former category, confit barbecue chicken is paired with ranch slaw and coffee barbecue sauce, a decidedly upscale riff on pulled pork. Smoked salmon with remoulade cream cheese and a cheddar omelet are a nod to opening during the breakfast hour. Perhaps the best additions are ham with pimento cheese and caramelized onions and the po-boy torta filled with spicy house-made chorizo, scrambled eggs, avocado and black beans. Side dishes have expanded beyond bags of Zapp’s (which are still an option) to braised greens (much too sweet for my personal taste) and potato salad bound together by remoulade dressing.
Located just a few doors down from the Museum of Death (how apropos), Big Killer lacks the ambience of the original location, where the “Irish Beauty” of the Erin Rose lends a heavy helping of character to the little-pop-up-that-could tucked away in the back. But as the name implies, a larger seating area and at least three times the kitchen space allows for a more comfortable eating experience and quicker service from the back of the house. And although a frozen Irish coffee is not available, a small but smart selection of local craft beers can satisfactorily quench your thirst. Grab a couple of freshly baked cookies to go and make sure to spread the word that the best po-boy in the French Quarter is (almost) worth killing for.
219 Dauphine Street; Wed-Mon 10a-8p; killerpoboys.com; (504) 462-2731