I’m not a big burger eater and the current Americana food trend has mostly failed to entice me into Fitzroy’s growing number of Americana establishments. Burgers seem generic and not very interesting, so I doubt I will ever visit Belle’s and Brother Burger. Ditto Phat Brats. I tried the pizza at Shawcross and had nothing to say about it. Having eaten pizza in New York City, such as the amazing crab pizza at Artichoke Basille’s in Chelsea, the local imitation simply didn’t survive comparison.
Regional American cuisines that have not yet been commodified into generic meaninglessness are more interesting. I’ve not been to New Orleans, Louisiana, where the po boy and other dishes served at Po Boy Quarter, and the boiled seafood I ate recently in Sydney at House of Crabs originates from, so I have no way of judging the authenticity of local examples of these cuisines. I can only decide if the food is good as I experience it.
At Po Boy Quarter on Smith St, which was created by the owners of the Gumbo Kitchen food truck, the food is good. Too much of this kind of food may shorten your lifespan, but as an occasional treat it is extremely satisfying. My friend and I ate: shrimp po boy; mac and cheese croquettes; coleslaw; and ‘the Dom’ (beef debris on fries with mayo and pickles). Vegetarians may find very limited choices on the menu, and healthy eaters may run in horror, but the deliciousness of deep fried food, especially seafood, cannot be ignored. Go hungry and order with wilful abandon.