Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sal & Phil's Po-Boy-Seafood - Ridgeland

It may seem like a mundane thing to some, but I still get a small thrill when someone takes the time to comment on what I write. So when someone takes the time to read my page and send me a compliment, insult, or advice I try to act on it. Last month, a reader with the handle “zz” commented on my post about the roast beef poboy at Fat Tuesday’s; he gave a short, pleasant description of the “sloppy roast beef poboy” at Sal & Phils. Seeing as I haven’t been to that restaurant in years, I decided to see if zz’s description was truthful.

When I walked through the door at Sal & Phil’s, I tried to think how many years I had been since I had eaten there. The number completely escapes me, but more than 10, less than 20. Regardless of the actual number, the restaurant has changed. After being shown to a table, I was left to ponder if the menu had changed as well.

Looking to get a good sample of what Sal & Phil’s had to offer, I started off with a good Louisiana & Mississippi staple, seafood gumbo.

It’s safe to say this wasn’t an auspicious beginning. There was no richness to the liquid, just a thin, watery broth with a slight hint of spice on the tail.

For a seafood gumbo, there wasn’t much in the way of discernible seafood, but there was plenty of rice. Actually, this gumbo just wasn’t very good, and I’ll leave it at that.

There was one appetizer on the menu that really caught my eye, the crab stuffed jalapenos.

Well, I wasn’t quite sure to what expect with this dish, but like the gumbo, this just isn’t very good.

Any good crab flavor is completely lost in the thick breading and is further mitigated by the flavor of canned/jarred jalapenos.

I like to think this combination has great potential, but here it’s just bland, and for a jalapeno there’s nothing in the way of heat.

Fortunately, I didn’t come here for the gumbo or the crab jalapeno poppers. I came here for one reason, the roast beef poboy, and judging by the menu, I have at least one reason to expect something tasty. Sal & Phil’s proudly proclaims their use of Gambino bread, straight from New Orleans. Personally, I’m a fan of Leidenheimber, but I’ll take what I can get in Jackson.

There’s potential here. I see a good crusty loaf of bread, pieces of roast beef with visible gravy, lettuce, and maybe a little mayo.

Yes, there’s mayo to mix with the gravy.

In an over flashed picture, the mayo is even more evident. Does it all work? Well, the beef is tender, but it is dried out and overcooked. The sandwich isn’t overflowing with gravy, but there is enough to make a stellar mix with the mayo.

Salt and pepper is a must for this poboy, and once you get it properly seasoned this is a pretty damn good poboy, definitely one of the best I’ve had in Jackson.

How does it compare to a New Orleans roast beef poboy? Well, it’s not on the same level as Parkway Bakery or Parasol’s, but I actually prefer the Sal & Phil’s offering to a Domilise’s roast beef. At the very least, I say Sal & Phil’s is worth another look. There’s a lot of seafood left to try on the menu, but I’ll stay away from wasted crab and watery gumbo.

Sal & Phil's Po-Boy-Seafood on Urbanspoon


Fran said...

Ooh, yum! I haven't been there in ages, either, but my family used to eat there every time my grandparents came in town and I ALWAYS got the roast beef. You and I could do some damage on a roast beef poboy tour.

Cynical Cook said...

I'm game! It's a tour du boeuf roti!

Anonymous said...

Also of note, Sal and Phil's participates in's gift certificate program. You can usually get a 25$ gift certificate for $2 or $3 depending on what coupon code they've got going.


Anonymous said...

I realize this review was written to address the roast beef poboy, but if i go to a seafood restaurant, i feel safest ordering seafood. I would never order a roast beef poboy at a place where you can smell the crab boil in the air. With that said - gumbo is an excellent way to begin a seafood restaurant review, and so many Jackson eateries get gumbo wrong! I always order royal red shrimp at Sal & Phils - they're delicate, lightly seasoned and sublime when dipped in drawn butter. A sumptuous alternative to boiled shrimp. And while the salad bar leaves much to be desired, the potato salad is worth the scarcity of toppings and dressings. It's that good.

Anonymous said...

You talked about Parkway and Parasol's but you didn't mention Liuzza's roast beef po boy! To me, theirs is the best. If you've never had it, it's definitely worth the trip! Last poboy I had at Parkway came back a bit on the cold side and I've never had one from Parasol's. Thanks for the tip for a roast beef poboy here in Jackson, though!

Cynical Cook said...


-Which Liuzza's are you referring to, the restaurant or Liuzza's by the track?

Anonymous said...

The soft shell crab po-boy is very nice. They have the best muffaletta I've found in town, as well.

Anonymous said...

I used to live very close to Sal and Phil's. I would go there just to get a roast beef poboy. One of the best. If you want to know what a roast beef poboy should be like, you can start there!

I have also been there 2-3 times for the seafood buffet. Great fried shrimp, gumbo, etc...