A few weekends back myself and some blogger friends were treated to a tasting at NOLA Poboys! While Houston isn’t New Orleans we have a our fare share of restaurants claiming to do New Orleans staples well. Just about any Houstonian will name off their favorite of those restaurants and tell you what they do well. With that in mind, I was eager to see what NOLA Poboys had to offer especially after I learned that this spot was New Orleans implant.
Setup and Location
The owner shared with us the plans for expansion throughout the Houston suburbs, but for now they are enjoying their prime location off of OST and Kirby. They are located fairly close to the stadium in the same shopping center as Glazed. Once inside you see great care to decorations and an obvious New Orleans style. Just past the door you make your way to the counter and place your order as is typical in a fast casual.
NOLA Poboys offers a few unique drinks including a pineapple soda and a homemade lemonade. Texans fans be warned that the drinks come in a Saints cup. If you can get past that, you will certainly enjoy these variations.
Every event I attend is different. Some places just want to give us a small taste while others want us to stretch the bounds of our stomaches to taste everything possible. As you can imagine, a New Orleans restaurant would be the later. We tried just about everything on this menu and I kid you not it was all good!
The owner noted that he adjusted some recipes and methods to appeal to Houstonian sensibilities. This included making the poboy size a little smaller for example. We started out with boudin balls as an appetizer. They were the perfect size, crispy and not too spicy.
We quickly moved on to the gumbo and crawfish bisque portion of the evening. For gumbo, they offer a chicken and seafood gumbo. Both were good, but I surprisingly preferred the chicken gumbo. In my experience, fast casuals tend to lack in the seasonings department. NOLA Poboys completely destroys that stereotype. Both gumbos were seasoned well and included all of your typical gumbo ingredients. Next we tried the crawfish bisque which was one of my favorites of the evening. Again, a lot of restaurants will skimp on the seafood in a bisque and give you just a soup. Here, there were large pieces of crawfish. The bisque was thick and again flavorful. You really could not go wrong with any of these three options.
Next up we were treated to WAY more poboys than I could handle. From the spicy fried shrimp, to the mild fried shrimp and to grilled shrimp. The owner highlighted the history of the poboy and has odes to this around the restaurant. He also ONLY uses the original poboy bakery, John Gendusa’s Bakery. The bakery ships to Houston every few weeks. Since I love, bread they were already starting ahead in my book. Then all of the seafood is Louisiana certified, so that just increases the authenticity. Add those facts PLUS the great seasoning, appropriate dressing and you have some great poboys!
I will MOST certainly be back at NOLA Poboy to try some of my favorite dishes again! For a fast casual, this spot is really is offering up great food! I will be bold and say that it is competing with many of the fancier New Orleans restaurants in town. I suggest you give it a try and be sure to tell me what you think.