In an email today, I referenced the birth of the New Orleans sandwich that we call the po-boy, so I thought I would share the story more fully. The po-boy is a french bread sandwich loaded with seafood, meat or believe it or not, potatoes and gravy inside. The origin of this sandwich has to do with the streetcar strike in New Orleans in 1929: baker John Gendusa and restaurant owners Bennie and Clovis Martin made this sandwich and sold it as cheaply as possible to its customers and gave it for free to the “poor boys” on strike.
The telegram that the Martin Brothers sent the strikers is legendary in New Orleans:
Remember how the food world can support larger issues as an inspiration or simply as an economic haven for those on the front lines. Lucky for me, po-boys are still available everywhere in New Orleans, although the Martin Brothers restaurant closed in the 1970s: however, the Gendusa Bakery remains one of our beloved French bread bakeries in the city still.