If you are a fan of po-boys and live on the Coast, you live in a target-rich environment.
There are a host of good places to get messy with the most popular sandwich configuration in this part of the world. But even with so many choices, I am always delighted to find yet another.
Labama is a seafood market in D’Iberville, but also has a nook where you can enjoy the po-boys, seafood platters, sides and the fried rice that fill their chalkboard menu. Don’t expect anything fancy, the ambiance is, well, basic, but it is a seafood market, right? I don’t think you will be disappointed.
The po-boy selection is basic: shrimp, oyster, catfish, crabmeat, soft shell crab, sausage and roast beef. The first three choices come in 12, 10 and 8 inches, the last four just 12 and 10 inches. Prices range from $4.99 to $9.99. There are also a dozen seafood combo platters ($6.99 to $10.99), and five sides: fries, Cajun fried, egg rolls, okra and onion rings. That’s it.
The po-boys are good, solid in every way. But just as in the ambiance, don’t expect anything earth-shatteringly different. And that is exactly what I want in a po-boy. No French sauces, nothing sous vide, no Pacific rim fusion, just a delicious, well-made po-boy.
I had a small shrimp and a medium roast beef po-boy (yes, they really are quite good together!). The bread, always the first component to consider, was just right. I am a fan of truly crusty French bread, as a good baguette is, but seriously crusty bread just doesn’t work in a po-boy. Too soft doesn’t work either, so the bread needs to be somewhere in-between.
The shrimp were cooked just right (man, I hate overcooked seafood of any type), I ordered it dressed, of course, with extra mayo, and it was a fine, delicious and messy lunch. Same for the roast beef. If you don’t go through a handful of paper towels when enjoying a great Coast style po-boy, then something is wrong. Get messy with it!
I have a very soft spot in my culinary heart for onion rings, and almost always order them when offered. What could be better than a dressed po-boy, a side of crunchy fried onion rings and just about as much ketchup as I can get out of those hard to open little packets? I was tempted by the homemade eggrolls, but two po-boys and my side were about all I could handle.
Labama is a welcomed addition to the long list of po-boy shops the Coast can boast about. Service was quick, the food was spot on, and the prices were just right. A really good shrimp po-boy for just $4.99? Heck yes.
Labama Seafood Market
Where: 10093 Central Ave., D’Iberville
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; closed Monday