Shrimp Po-Boy: You’re Doing It Wrong

Three months in New York, and Cara’s been jonesing for a shrimp poboy. It’s not something I’ve ever attempted to make — not a big fan of frying in small New York apartments — and I warned her repeatedly that to seek out such a thing in New York will lead only to disappointment and anger, a frustration borne out of the human ability to get something so easy so wrong.

But a craving is a craving.

So last night, we decided to go to Two Boots Brooklyn. I’m a big fan of Two Boots Brooklyn — a pizza joint and restaurant that kinda-sorta combines Italy (Boot 1) and Louisiana (Boot 2). I guess the pizza is Italian and the rest of the menu is Louisiana. When I first moved to Brooklyn, my friends Jason, Beth and I spent a great deal of time in Two Boots Brooklyn. What we did there was drink and listen to the great live music they line up there — lot of rockabilly and citified country and blue grass. We typically didn’t eat partly because we were broke, partly because we knew better. The one food that New York does worse than Tex-Mex is Cajun and Creole. When we did eat at Two Boots Brooklyn, we stuck to pizza.

Over the years, we sampled a couple of the other dishes. Turns out they aren’t bad. But I always stayed away from the shrimp poboy. Until last night.

I wasn’t going to order it. But Cara had a business lunch at Lure yesterday that involved half an ocean’s worth of seafood. So while she still wanted to go out, she’d had enough sea critters for one day. But now I was stuck with the craving. So I ordered it.

And it was like every other New York shrimp poboy I’ve ever had.

Let me say this as calmly as possible New York restaurant people: HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN TO NEW ORLEANS? TO THE REST OF LOUISIANA? CAN YOU NOT SIMPLY COPY WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN!? IT IS NOT A SHRIMP POBOY IF IT ONLY HAS SIX SHRIMP ON IT!!! THE BREAD SHOULD NOT BE TOASTED TO THE POINT OF BEING CRUNCHY. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE SESAME SEEDS ON IT. ALSO: A FULL-SIZED SHRIMP POBOY HAS AT LEAST A DOZEN GULF SHRIMP ON IT!!! CAN’T GET GULF SHRIMP? FINE SUBSTITUTE IT. BUT YOU’LL NEED MORE SHRIMP.

Here is a photo. Note the bread. Note the shrimp — it looks like someone couldn’t get full-sized shrimp so doubled the number. Note that this isn’t some staged, excessive bit of food photography. This is what a real poboy looks like. Note, too: THIS IS HALF A POBOY.

Half a shrimp poboy

Know how many shrimp my “shrimp poboy” had? Six. Three to a side. Six scrawny ass, barely battered shrimp.

But all the other food was good. And so were the drinks. We’ll be back for drinks and music. But not for shrimp poboy.

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