Parasol’s holds a special place in my foodie heart.
Located on a corner in the Irish Channel neighborhood, it’s where I ate my very first po’boy in New Orleans. Hailing from the Midwest, my po’boy knowledge is limited but I’ve tried to make up for lost time at Mother’s, Johnny’s and Stanley. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at any of them but Parasol’s might be the best.
Part dive bar, part hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Parasol’s restaurant is small and one could say cramped. If a passion for food will teach you anything, it’s that looks can be deceiving. At least that’s what I told my mom when she suspiciously eyed the building. Charging forth we went in for po’boys and a quintessential New Orleans experience on our annual trip.
Passing the ground level bar littered with remnants of St. Patrick’s day decorations, we made a beeline for the stairs to the second floor dining area. You walk up to the window to place your order, grab a table, and can order drinks from the bar below through a tiny cutout window in the adjoining wall.
When it comes to po’boys, my husband and I share an unspoken agreement. One of us orders a fried shrimp, the other a roast beef, both fully dressed and then we split them along with an order of french fries. Hoisting this policy on my mom, we followed suit.
Even while dining at an odd hour in the afternoon, there was a slight wait but it was oh so worth it. The beef was tender and gravy soaked, the shrimp were plump and golden brown. The French bread had a sturdy crust and cushiony interior, and manages to stand up to the mess created by a fully dressed po’boy (a layer of mayonnaise, topped with tomato slices, lettuce and pickles).
We polished off our two regular sized po’boys, french fries, tea and the crazy mix of escaped drippings in the bottom of our baskets. It’s unsightly, sloppy, grubby. This is what people come to New Orleans to eat.
According to the Cynical Cook, Parasol’s switched hands over a year ago and the previous owners now operate Tracey’s a stones throw away. Both restaurants are a short distance off Magazine street in the Garden District. Either way you probably can’t go wrong, but the hearts wants what is wants – which for me is Parasol’s.
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Parasol’s Bar and Restaurant
2533 Constance Street
New Orleans, LA 70130