To the unaware, Parasol’s looks like nothing more than a seedy dump of a bar.
And they would be partly right. Inside, it’s just a neighborhood bar, smack in the middle of New Orlean’s Irish Channel. But Irishness aside, Parasol’s is home to the best roast beef po-boy in New Orleans, possibly the world.
Inside, Parasols does not hide its dive status.
It has a simple, and often misspelled menu
A less than inspirational kitchen
And the bar itself screams “locals only”
You can criticize the surroundings forever, but I was there for a vivid part of my collegiate experience, the roast beef po-boy
Right away you can tell this is a different animal than the Ferdi from Mother’s. Everything is a little sloppier, a little less photogenic, more appealing to a local than a tourist.
When you open it up, you can see what makes up a dressed po-boy. The tomatoes and pickles are merely an afterthought. The main attraction is the lettuce and the mayonnaise. The mayo tends to mix with the gravy of the roast beef and create a sublime, but prone to drip, sauce.
The moment of the truth, the first bite. I’ll tell you that there are few things in the world like it. You might think it’s a little anticlimactic at first, but in a moment, the full flavor hits you, and it hits you like a brick wall.
And because one item covered in gravy is never enough, I had a basket of gravy fries for good measure.
Made with the au jus of the roast beef, the gravy is a perfect compliment to the extra crispy fries. Even though you can feel your heart slowing with each bite, you know that pleasure is well worth the later pain.
If you give me a chance, I’ll wax poetic about the parasol’s po-boy forever, but it really is something that you need to experience first hand. For me, the po-boy is more than a meal, it’s a part of every collegiate visit to Nola. The dense gravy, the smooth mayo, and the crisp fries signaled the end of another successful weekend trip, only this time, I wasn’t crawling out of the F&M bar at 6 am.