Down East 2013 ©
This Sunday the New Orleans Saints will be on TV screens across Maine, but there’s only one place to go to sample some authentic New Orleans grub. Po’ Boys and Pickles (1124 Forest Avenue, 207-518-9735), which opened in Portland this past December, is a low-key southern sandwich shop that is cheap enough, good enough, and trendy enough to become a local favorite.
Owner Peter Zinn, a Falmouth native, worked in high-end restaurants in New York before moving to New Orleans post Katrina. Once there, he fell in love with the city and its food. So much so that he decided that a po’ boy shop would do great in Portland. The twenty-eight-seat restaurant is open from 11A.M. to 8P.M. seven days a week, though Zinn says they hope to start serving breakfast (think biscuits and gravy) soon. For now, there are plenty of delicious options.
I recommend the fried oyster sandwich, but the decadent add-on of praline bacon is a must. The pulled pork sandwich is pretty good, too. Just have lots of napkins ready. Their signature gumbo is second in popularity (to the fried oyster po’ boy) and features Maine shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage. Though I didn’t try them, the salads looked surprisingly delicious — and large.
This Sunday, in honor of the Saints, Po’ Boys and Pickles is giving away free samples of their food from 3 to 6P.M. Go have a Shipyard and indulge in some real southern comfort.
Whatever you do, don’t forget dessert. Here’s a very rough recipe for the ridiculously delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding. Make sure you save room.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
2 cups dates
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 stick of butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Boil the dates and peel them, then chop them. Put them back in 2 cups of water, bring water to a boil, then put the baking soda on top. Turn it off. Beat the butter with the sugar, and add the eggs in one by one. Mix in the vanilla. Then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the date mixture until everything is mixed together. Pour the batter into a large baking pan and bake for approximately 45 at 350 then on top of with the toffee sauce recipe below.
1 stick butter
16 ounces brown sugar
2 cups of cream
splash of rum
Heat up the butter, sugar, and cream and bring it to a boil. Put the rum in at the end (it gives more flavor). Take the cake out of the oven when it’s 90 percent done and cut it into the portions. Pour half of the sauce on top of it, and then put it back in the oven to finish cooking. Let it cool, and serve with a little more of the sauce.