3 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayNo Dinner MondayNo Dinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Parran’s Po-Boys

Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3939 Veterans Blvd. 504-885-3416. Map.
Casual.
AE MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Few restaurants in the style of the old New Orleans neighborhood cafe exist in Metairie. Such restaurants are zoned out of neighborhoods.Even though it’s in a strip mall in the Veterans Boulevard sprawl, Parran’s is a fine example of the old-style poor boy shop. Indeed, it’s been around longer than many shops in the old neighborhoods. And its style of cooking, surroundings and prices are all reminiscent of the great old poor boy makers of decades ago.

WHAT’S GOOD
Poor boy sandwiches–especially the roast beef–are the main specialty. Few poor boy shops cook their own meats in house these days. Parran’s makes almost everything except the French bread in house. The seafood is fried to order–the telltale sign being not only crisp greaselessness, but the time it takes to finally appear. The bread is warmed for the poor boys–a rare touch, but an essential one. Parran’s menu is more extensive than most, and its Italian dishes are better than you expect (although still short of great).

BACKSTORY
In New Orleans, your godfather is your parran (pah-RANH) if you have even a shred of French heritage. The original parran here was Dominick Impastato, a high school classmate of mine. He opened the place in 1975. Al Hornbrook has owned it for many years now, and much improved the food. Parran’s claims to have invented the seafood muffuletta–a standard fried seafood sandwich on a muffuletta loaf.

DINING ROOM
Parran’s renovation a few years ago made the dining areas brighter and more pleasant, but this has never been what you’d call a fancy place in which to dine. In this it has the perfect neighborhood cafe look. A small ordering area up front expands into a spacious, utilitarian dining room in the rear. Service is geared more to efficiency than nicety.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Poor Boy Sandwiches
»Roast beef
»Prime rib au jus, horseradish sauce
»Ham
»Grilled ham
Ham and cheese
»Grilled ham and cheese
»J and M Special ham, roast beef and swiss
»Pastrami, provolone, red sauce
Turkey pastrami, provolone, red sauce
»Meatball, provolone, red sauce
Fried Eggplant, provolone, red sauce
Veal cutlet, provolone, red sauce
»Grilled or fried chicken, provolone, red sauce
Veal cutlet, Swiss cheese, brown gravy
Grilled chicken breast
Blackened chicken breast
Grilled or blackened fresh tuna steak
»Grilled Italian sausage, provolone, red sauce
»Hot sausage patties
Smoked sausage
Grilled Genoa salami
Smoked turkey breast
Grilled smoked turkey breast
»Fried shrimp, oyster or catfish
Fried beer batter crawfish tails
Blackened shrimp or catfish
Hamburger on French bread
»F Burger (feta, sautéed red onions, Tiger sauce, bacon)
Pulled pork poor boy, cole slaw, provolone, bbq sauce
Muffulettas and Clubs
»Seafood muffuletta (fried oysters, shrimp, catfish, Cajun mayonnaise)
»Italian muffuletta (ham, Genoa salami, pastrami, provolone, olive salad)
Club sandwich
Smoked turkey breast club
Grilled chicken club
Balsamic grilled chicken club
Entrees
Filet steak, fettuccine Alfredo
Grilled steak salad
»Panneed chicken breast, red sauce, mozzarella, sweet basil, angel hair pasta
Panneed chicken breast poor boy
»Veal Antonio (fried cutlet, pasta, lemon butter, *crabmeat)
Veal Marsala with pasta
»Pesto shrimp (sautéed in olive oil, pesto sauce, pasta, *crabmeat)
Mirliton casserole (onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, shrimp, bread crumbs, *crabmeat)
»Red beans and rice with smoked or hot sausage, fried catfish, grilled pork chop, grilled or fried chicken, or blackened chicken
Shrimp Creole
Catfish Lorell (fried, with shrimp Creole)
Seafood ravioli
Fried chicken tenders plate
»Fried shrimp, catfish, oyster or combo plate, with fries, potato salad, garlic bread
Meatballs and spaghetti
»Veal, chicken, or eggplant with provolone and red sauce and spaghetti
»Grilled Italian sausage and spaghetti
Fettuccine alfredo, with shrimp and crawfish tails, grilled chicken, blackened chicken, or pork chop
Shrimp and crawfish Diane (white sauce, green onions, mushrooms, garlic, angel hair pasta)
Grilled chicken and smothered green beans, brown rice
Grilled yellow fin tuna steak
»Grilled or blackened tuna, angel hair pasta
Salads
Grilled, fried or blackened chicken salad
Fried or blackened shrimp salad
Grilled or blackened tuna salad
Grilled shrimp remoulade salad
Pizza
»Cheese pizza
»Margherita pizza
»Mediterranean pizza (garlic butter, spinach, mozzarella, feta, artichoke, onion)
Grilled chicken alfredo pizza
Blackened shrimp pizza
Appetizers and Sides
French fries
»Fried eggplant sticks, red sauce
Cheese fries
Potato salad
Coleslaw
»Fried pickles, ranch dressing
Fried mozzarella sticks, red sauce
Beer battered onion rings
»Fried cauliflower, ranch dressing
Smothered green beans and rice
»Red beans and rice
»Bread pudding

FOR BEST RESULTS
Don’t come in a hurry. Made-to-order poor boys are not fast food. The Italian dishes are strictly for those who are really, really hungry. If you get the seafood muffuletta, inquire into the dressing possibilities. I like the bread toasted and covered with pickle slices, but almost any way is better than the standard Cajun mayo they’ll apply if you don’t state otherwise.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They should slice the muffuletta meats thinner and ask whether the customer wants it heated or not–even though only purists like me prefer muffulettas at room temperature.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment
  • Consistency +1
  • Service
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • Open Monday lunch
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
Full disclosure: Parran’s is a longtime, heavy advertiser on my radio show. My ratings and reviews are approximately as they were years before that relationship began, but for those to whom this is an issue I must mention it.

The correct spelling of the French word for “godfather” is actually “parrain.” But after thirty-six years it’s too late to change the name now.

During the holidays, Parran’s does a big business with frying turkeys and assembling all the traditional side dishes for those who don’t want to cook. Throughout the year, it’s a good source for trays of mini-muffulettas and finger sandwiches for meetings or parties.


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