And One For Mahler

Relax and Get Comfy at Sleepy's Po-Boys

A taste of Louisiana in the Med Center isn't perfect, but it's just right.

By Alice Levitt August 23, 2017

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Chicken and fish platter, $10.

Image: Alice Levitt

While you're popping Champagne at a'Bouzy, my girls and I have a very different way of going about the whole ladies who lunch thang. This weekend, one of my besties and I spent a leisurely afternoon at Sleepy's Po-Boys, in that slice of South Main Street still known as the Med Center, though it's more than 10 minutes from the actual pocket of hospitals that give it that name. 

And most reasonable people with any sort of medical background would stay away from Sleepy's. Its menu of fried fish and gravy-drenched sandwiches courts heart disease and diabetes in equal measure, especially with a family-sized styrofoam cup of Kool-Aid on the side. My friend and I both write about both medicine and food. And that day, food won.

My friend ordered a shrimp-and-oyster po' boy and commented that both were very well-fried. They were stacked on an impressively large roll, which had to be cut in two to fit (and fit tightly) in its styrofoam container. The massive sub was loaded with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise, the last of which was the standout, she said.

I tried the chicken-and-fish platter pictured above. The cornmeal-crusted fish was well-seasoned and topped with parsley, a nicety I didn't expect at the bare bones spot. A collection of chicken wings and drumettes was light on salt, but reminded me of a better-made version of the wings at Timmy Chan's—no feathers here. I upgraded my meal with small bowl of red beans and rice, which was filled with sausage, but less than piping hot. It ended up being best used as a dip for the almost shamefully buttery side of toast.

This was in keeping with the general feeling of N'Awlins style laissez faire like the fountain whose water spout reliably released a diluted fruit punch for a while before it cleared out. Or the kids who came in to beg at our table. 

But all of those things made it unexpectedly perfect for whiling away a Sunday afternoon. Next time, I'll make sure to call ahead to make sure there's yakamein (a Chinese inspired noodle soup) bubbling away in the pot. But that only gives me reason to return.

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