500BestSquareHam Poor Boy with Debris @ Mother’s

The finest ham sandwich in town (an understatement as far as Mother’s is concerned; they claim it’s the world’s best) starts with a Chisesi ham, baked on site with the secret glaze. The recipe for that may have been worth as much to the Landry brothers as the building.

The line in front of Mother's almost never ends.

The line in front of Mother’s almost never ends.

The ham is sliced on the thick side and stratified onto New Orleans French bread. Also there is Mother’s unique dressing of shredded cabbage, pickles, mayonnaise, and both yellow and brown mustard. And then comes the roast beef gravy, studded with the “debris” left over when they slice the beef. Its flavor is completely different from the roast beef gravies at other poor boy shops around town, and it’s delicious in its own way. It also warms up the sandwich. Jerry tells me that what I am eating is, in fact, the original Ferdi, but if you ask for a Ferdi they substitute some of the ham with sliced roast beef. And that’s not quite as good. Mother’s ham is where the magic is.

Mother’s. CBD: 401 Poydras. 504-523-9656.

This is among the 500 best dishes in New Orleans area restaurants. Click here for a list of the other 499.

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