5240 Annunciation St – New Orleans, LA 70115
Hidden way Uptown in New Orleans, far from the tourist buzz of the French Quarter and one block up from Tchoupitoulas (chop-a-TOO-las) street, Domilises is a NOLA Po Boy institution. The store is family owned and run, and is actually attached to the Domilise’s abode – there’s a door right from the dining room into their living area. It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” nondescript weatherboard house with a sign that may make a first timer wonder if they have the right address.
Don’t be fooled – this joint is a hot local favourite and it’s packed with character. And old wooden bar runs the length of the restaurant, resplendent with sports memorabilia and vintage beer trays. As in, actual paraphernalia that has been here since way back in the day, as opposed to a post-ironic TGI Friday’s collection of new “old” antiques.
Like any serious Po Boy shop, Domilise’s use Leidenheimer’s bread for their sandwiches. Leidenheimer’s are arguably THE most famous bakery in NOLA (not counting Haydel’s for their King Cake), supplying to esteemed establishments like Central Grocery, Uglesich’s, Parasol’s, Galatoire’s and Commander’s Palace (dang, that was a lot of apostrophes).
At Domilise’s, a small is two segments of bread while the large has three, and don’t ever expect to see tomato on your Po Boy. I’ve heard great things about their catfish and had previously tried their sensational shrimp Po Boys, but in the interest of the “burger” part of this blog, I foolishly ordered the “hamburger”.
Listen, it was tasty, but just as underwhelming as the photo suggests. A stupid amount of hotsauce on top was a big help. But seriously, what fool goes to a Po Boy shop and doesn’t order it with fried seafood? This fool, apparently.
At any rate, SC was my dining companion, and I bullied him in to ordering The Special – an off-the-menu offering for those in the know. Kinda like a secret handshake, albeit one that most of the city knows about. So what makes it so Special? Deep fried gulf shrimp, fully dressed with lettuce, mayo, pickles and swiss cheese… then ladled with a huge helping of hot, secret recipe gravy.
Let me tell you, SC has spent DECADES eating Po Boys in that city and he proclaimed that was the best he’d ever had. Ironically, it took a foreigner to make him try it out. Men can be so stubborn.
I had a taste of his and can confirm that there’s surely some magical alchemy that happens between the crisp shrimp and the rich gravy.
Here’s two handy tips -
1) I hear excellent things about their Roast Beef Po Boy
2) Do everything in your power to avoid using the bathroom in this place. No further details required.