In the nearly four years since I first began writing posts for this blog, I’ve run the po-boy gamut. The pursuit of an excellent version of the Nola masterpiece has carried me to, what sometimes seems like, every corner of New Orleans and even to various outlets across the southeastern US. Inside that multitude of sandwiches was stuffed nearly every filling imaginable; roast beef, shrimp, lobster, ham, French fries, duck, suckling pig, the list goes on and on. However, looking back, I don’t remember ever actively searching for a fish po-boy. I have nothing against a fish sandwich, particularly one that’s well cooked, but it’s never really been at the top of my list. Well, it was time for things to change. Sam and I were in New Orleans for the day and after some prodding from Serious Eats, we decided to look up Zimmer’s Seafood, a Gentilly market that is known for their fish po-boys.
One thing that threw me off guard about Zimmer’s Seafood was their storefront. I had expected the bounty of Louisiana’s waters to be on display, but I was surprised at the lack of tables. Not wanting to turn down the promise of a quality po-boy because of no seating options, Sam and I took our order to the parking lot and ate from the back of my car.
Ever the indecisive individual, I rationalized that a ½ shrimp, half fish po-boy would give the best chance to see Zimmer’s Seafood at their best.
Stuffed into a seeded, Italian-style loaf from nearby Gendusa’s Bakery, there was no shortage of seafood in this po-boy.
It may not be Parkway levels of overflow, but there was a sizeable amount of well-sized shrimp.
Still crispy from the fryer, these shrimp had a cornmeal and flour batter with just a hint of peppery spice. Perfectly briny on their own, the shrimp were quickly relegated to the background when subjected to the ketchup and hot sauce in the po-boy.
Half the po-boy finished, it was time to move on to the fish.
Like the shrimp, this fish had a slightly spicy batter, but the subtle yet forward flavor of these tender, flakey catfish filets far exceeded that of the shrimp.
With sheer quantity and size on their side, these catfish filets did a much better job of standing up to the liberal doses of ketchup and hot sauce.
I suppose it’s time to face the burning question, was Zimmer’s Seafood worth the effort? Did that half shrimp, half fish po-boy warrant a special trip to Gentilly? For me, probably not, but there’s no denying that Zimmer’s Seafood certainly sells a quality sandwich and, from now on, I can’t be so flippant in dismissing the idea of a fish po-boy. That being said, if I do make another trip to Gentilly, I’ll be hard pressed to pass up a trip to Zimmer’s Seafood, but I think I’ll stick to the hot sauce and leave the ketchup for someone else.
Zimmer’s Seafood Address & Information
4915 St. Anthony Ave New Orleans, LA 70122 // 504.282.7150