Brief History of the Po’ Boy

The New Orleans’ Po’ Boy: the superstar sandwich of the south. Not to be confused with a sub or a hoagie, no, no, the Po’ Boy comes with a crispy french bun, warm meat, and hot sauce. No cold-cut nonsense here.

The Po’ Boy originated in New Orleans in the 19th century. Whereas the sub was borne from Italian immigrants, Po’ Boys were found mostly in port cities. Traditionally made from fried oysters and shrimp, the sandwich started out as the “oyster loaf.”

The name Po’ Boy didn’t exist until late in the Roaring 20s in 1929 right before the Stock Market Crash. Two brothers, Bennie and Clovis Martin, quit their jobs as trolley conductors and started a cafe in the French Market. In the late season of 1929, streetcart conductors went on strike. Sympathetic to the cause, the Martin brothers promised free meals to hungry strikers. “Here comes another poor boy,” the brothers would say as thousands of new strikers came in for their sandwich. The oyster loaf had been christened.

Po’ Boys can be made of fried seafood or chicken, sausage, or shredded beef. The toppings vary by meat, but there’s a standard topping of lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, remoulade, and Louisiana hot sauce. Jep’s Southern Roots offers all of the delicious fixins’. 

If you’re a fan of the Po’Boy, stop by our food truck and try our finger lickin’ good recipe!