Thursday, April 06, 2006

Po' Boys

Mr. McGee and I went and checked out Po' Boys, a relatively new place in an awkward location in the Landmark Recreation Center on Dries, sort-of tucked back by the parkinglot of a nameless superstore, attached to the Bingo hall. We'd seen the Journal Star piece, and then we read Chef Kevin's review in his blog, and we decided we had to try it.

Oh. My. God. I am still actively foodgasming. And burping, for that matter.

You MUST go there, if only because some place so friggin' cool and so friggin' tasty MUST stay open in Peoria! DELICIOUS. On Chef Kevin's bloggy advice, Mr. McGee had the crab cakes, and proclaimed them the best seafood he'd had since coming to the midwest (especially for $7.95!). He had the gumbo for dinner; I don't eat seafood, so I had the Blacksmith Pasta (which Chef Kevin's DA had, I think) - three kinds of rotini (normal, spinach, and something orangey?), andouille sausage, blackened chicken, onions, tomatoes, etc. I ate the entire bowl, which is unusual for me, and I may never fit in my pants again.

The interior is very cool. We sat in the "first" room as you come in (it's non-smoking), which is the most brightly-lit and the least Orleanian, but the waitress invited us to explore, so we checked out the rest of the place. Super-cool. Awesome indoor ambience. I can't wait to go catch some N.O. jazz there! The waitresses were friendly and chatty, not the cookie-cutter sorts you get at a lot of places, and the owner/chef/some-in-charge-guy? came out to our table to ask how everything was. And they serve 75 beers.

I had a Conway's Irish Ale (tasty! and very smooth), but I have to say for the first time in my life, I was actually a little aggravated at the beer for TAKING UP VALUABLE FOOD SPACE IN MY STOMACH. How was I going to fit all that super-fantastic pasta in there if the beer was taking up room???? Why had I given valuable stomach space to beer, which I can buy anywhere, when there was spectacular food demanding every inch of digestive real estate I had available????

I kept thinking about those commercials for "casual dining restaurants" or for "burgers that don't taste like $5.95 burgers" or whatever. This was DEFINITELY the best food I've ever had at "casual dining" prices - the most expensive entree wasn't over $10 - possibly excepting the tiny Mexican hole-in-the-wall we used to go to in Durham that looked like crap and where nobody spoke English but it had $2 burritos that were, like, the essence of all that is holy and burrito-y. I've definitely paid a lot more for food that was a lot crappier. Now, I'm not a foodie, but I'd put this place up against some of the "name" places I've eaten in Chicago, D.C., and N.C., and I think it would come out with a strong showing, taste-wise.

I really can't be enthusiastic enough. We will definitely be back. Probably just as soon as I stop burping.


Chef Kevin said...

Someone reads my reviews!! Yipeee!

I have it on pretty good authority that they are looking to expand their menu a bit...not a lot.

I've heard comments from a few other folks who have been there and I've heard nothing bad.

As you say, I hope this place makes it.

Eyebrows McGee said...

I don't think they need to expand it a lot - it's rather refreshing to eat somewhere that does a few dishes REALLY WELL rather than every stereotypical restaurant dish known to man - but it could use a couple more vegetarian choices and/or non-fish choices. Just so those of us with restricted diets have a few more choices. :)

And we always read your reviews! It helps keep us from getting too set in our eating-out habits.

Pammy said...

YAY! Can't wait to try it...N'Awlins cookin is our absolute favorite and I hoped Peoria could pull it off.