|Can You Smell That??!!??||
It’s about 2:30 pm and the only thing I’ve had for nourishment is 3 or 4 pots of coffee so I’m ready to eat the asparagus out of pig’s snout. I’ve got a hankering for some crispy fried chicken and I head on over to Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles on Ohio and East… My side of the conversation is as follows, “Hi, huh? Damn it”, I’m 12 minutes late – closed. I cringe because I know I’m headed over to the City Market for another exciting game of Culinary Russian Roulette. Wish me luck!
I remember that Papa Roux should be open… and they are. I’ve had it just one other time at the original location, I feel bad but it’s only because I don’t get out of downtown often enough. I walk up and it has the feel of the east side venue, chalk covered “walls” and eclectic staff, one of which is dressed up like a hot little cowgirl (not slutty, hot).
I read the menu board and have the feeling that it’s not the entire menu of the parent location. I’m not much for making decisions on food so I ask the Lone Rangerette what I should get and she picks out the special. Get this, it’s a big ass Chicken, Bacon and Cheddar Po- Boy with a side and a drink for $7.50. Allow me to skip ahead real quick… I’m pretty sure that there’s nowhere else downtown that you’ll get this much food for seven fidy. (they must have been out of change because I didn’t see my .50)
I chat with the other girl while she puts my order together. She takes the loaf of bread, splits it in 2 and slathers the “vouxdoux” mayo on top and bottom, then adds some of the standard Po-Boy slaw then walks it over to the steam well and adds mounds of shredded and seasoned chicken, shredded cheddar, chopped smoked bacon and puts the top bun on wraps it up in a thick sheet of paper. Into a brown bag it goes with my side of creole a couple of napkins (ask for a couple more) and a spoon. With Abita in hand I head over to a lonely, semi-clean table.
I unpackaged the goods from the brown paper bag and spread it out on the table as Amazing Grace runs across my mind for some reason. The sandwich is on the messy side – in an overstuffed good kinda way – with the nice bright red side of creole with a little rice and a BOTTLE of Abita Root Beer. That’s right, not a syrupy soda fountain cheepy drink, but a good bottled sarsaparilla. I snap a shot or two and then wrap my teeth around a corner of the sandwich. It’s good, well seasoned, hot and full. All of the flavors work well together, the textures. The chicken seems to be a little dry from holding in the steam table – remember I got there at the very end of lunch – but the flavor it legit, the creamy flavored mayo with the cool slaw, slightly smoky flavor from the bacon and the sharpness from the cheddar. The bun was starting to get a little soggy from all of the toppings which I didn’t seem to mind. I took the first bite of the creole side and it seemed pretty sweet then I got a kick of spice which was a nice surprise and helped to balance it. After several bites of each, mid way point perhaps, I put the creole on my chicken, cheddar bacon Po-boy and…. Not a bad choice.
Now, I probably could have been finished eating at the 1/3 way marker… but I kept on eating. In my head I was rationalizing the compromisification of the integrity of the meal if I kept it for later so decided it was in everyone’s best interest to finish it all! And I did so in about 6 minutes. I rarely order root beer but it hit the spot. So anyway, I went from Stranded Island starving to the second thanksgiving meal stuffed in 6 minutes and my little fingers were a pure mess. The 2 massacred napkins were the only thing left of lunch. Satisfied.
The City Market has something to be proud of in hosting Papa Roux. I think it’s going to fit in well with the current changes taking place in there. That may actually be a good little series to put together, the Market Tour. We’ll see.
I need a slogan or motto or something. Eat Strange…. ? probably not…