When Calliope’s Po-Boy opened in Spring 2009, they had one mission – to “allow Houston to enjoy the real experience of an authentic New Orleans Style Po-Boy”. In addition to Po-Boy’s, this little hole-in-the wall also serves up many other Cajun specialties. However, with the word “Po-Boy” in their name, this is what I’m going for. Let’s see what they’re working with.
I ordered the lunch special – small shrimp po-boy with a bowl of gumbo. For kicks I decided to also try the sweet potato fries drizzled with honey.
When your father makes the best gumbo on earth, the bar is set pretty high. Therefore, I typically don’t order gumbo from restaurants because nine times out of ten it’s not going to be prepared to my standards. Since it came with the meal, I went with it. The consistency of the gumbo is spot on. Not too thick, not too thin. Be careful, it has a little kick. The heat is just right. But I’m missing the gumbo file seasoning. In my world, gumbo just isn’t gumbo without gumbo file. For that reason, I struggled with finishing it off. It just wasn’t worth it.
Now on the other hand, the po-boys are delicious. The French bread definitely makes the sandwich. The exterior of the loaf is crispy and the interior’s texture is delicate. The crispy popcorn shrimp are well seasoned and are joined with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and a little mayo. Be sure to ask for the homemade tartar sauce. It’s a nice little sweet-tangy addition to the sandwich. I tried to find out what’s in it, but of course it’s top secret. I’m glad I ordered a side of sweet potato fries. I needed another crunchy element on the plate. To add a drizzling of honey is a clever idea, but I think a little sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar would also liven up the fries.
Overall it was a good dining experience. Thank you Calliope’s for bringing New Orleans style cooking to Houston!!