Less Subway, More Parkway

I let loose my New Year’s resolution a couple of weeks ago: To eat better in 2009. Better steaks, better shrimp, better meals all around. One wag, Yat Pundit, echoed the theme with “less Subway, more Parkway!” Yeah, you rite!

That reminded me of a glaring omission in my life. I’ve yet to have a roast beef poboy (or any other) from Parkway Bakery & Tavern, a poboy institution that’s on everyone’s short list for best poboys in town. So, while out and about hunting streetcars with Nolanotes, CS and Sun last Sunday, we decided to go there for lunch.

pkwy

It’s in the heart of Mid City at the corner of Hagan and Toulouse streets, on the Uptown river side of Bayou St. John a block or two from Orleans Avenue.

sammich

So here’s the sandwich. Let’s get it out of the way, because it’s not necessarily the only reason one would want to visit Parkway. Good, super-sloppy roast beef that’s edged its way into the top 5 pantheon of roast beef poboys.  Very similar to Parran’s, in case you’re wondering.

No, there are other reasons to visit Parkway. It’s got what appears to be a pretty decent bar area, and there’s lots of seating, covered and open, outside. But the main, must-see character of Parkway lies in the gobs of New Orleans memorabilia (NewOrleaniana, to coin a term?)

orderwindow

Here’s the order window. To the right (not in the picture) are a Pontchartrain Beach poster and copies of the New Orleans Item (a defunct daily newspaper), one announcing the start of World War II and another its end; WAR and PEACE proclaimed in 10-inch tall headlines side-by-side).

There’s a little touch of Elvis there at the window and there’s more Elvis to come. Although there’s nothing specifically connecting Elvis and New Orleans; when you think about it, NOLA is a most Elvis kind of town, though.

zephyrmorgus

A close up by the window shows some cool NOLA stuff—signs from the original Zephyr roller coaster and a promotional placard for Morgus the Magnificent. An old K&B bag (that’s Katz and Besthoff, to you, buddy) and an old Schwegmann’s bag, the kind we used to cover our books with, flank the Woolworth’s Luncheonette sign, once a landmark of Canal Street, known to ‘da yats as “‘da Woolswoits.”

deadelvis

More Elvis, this TP front page announcing Dead Elvis (as opposed to Comeback Elvis).

boggsstones

This is kind of obscure, a campaign poster for Hale Boggs, the U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader (and member of the Warren Commission) from New Orleans. Boggs was presumed dead when his plane went missing in Alaska in October of 1972. Although missing, he was not yet declared dead and was re-elected in November of 1972. I can’t tell if that was the election year this poster was created for, but that’s some interesting trivia. (More trivia—Alaska congressman Nick Begich was also on the plane with Boggs, his son, Mark, was just elected senator from Alaska, de-throning Mr. Intertubez felon Ted Stevens.)

There’s also a concert poster from the Rolling Stones May, 1981 appearance at the Louisiana Superdome. I was there, by the way; George Thorogood and the Destroyers opened up, if I remember correctly.

aints

Here’s the best piece of NewOrleaniana in the whole joint—a genuine Aints bag from the dismal 1980 season, when the Saints were 1-15-0. It’s customized for wearing over one’s head, rather than risk being identified as a Saints fan at the Dome, in case you don’t remember those days.

Update: I stand fully corrected. As reader Brad points out: “Nothing connecting Elvis and New Orleans??? What about King Creole? My neighbor when I was a kid used to tell stories about how her mother worked on the production and got to have an audience with the King.”

Maybe the correct statement would have been “nothing my dumb, non-Elvis fan ass would know about.”

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7 Responses to Less Subway, More Parkway

  1. charlotte on January 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    They make a damn fine shrimp po-boy too!

  2. billm on January 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I remember the Stones at the dome. It was indeed George Thorogood and also The Neville Bros who opened up.

  3. Brad on January 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Nothing connecting Elvis and New Orleans??? What about King Creole? My neighbor when I was a kid used to tell stories about how her mother worked on the production and got to have an audience with the King.

  4. […] Comments « Less Subway, More Parkway […]

  5. YatPundit on January 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I missed this before you tweeted about Brad’s comment, but The King also played Da Beach early on in his career, during the “Louisiana Hayride” days. It disturbs me that I know/remember that tidbit.

  6. Sphinx Ink on January 25, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Yum yum yum, that sloppy roast beef pic is true food porn. Love the memorabilia, too. Ah, nostalgia…many years ago I lived right down the street from the original Parkway Bakery. I’m gonna have to get off my usual home-to-work-to-home beaten path for a side trip to the new Parkway Bakery, get me a coupla them poboys and peruse the walls.

  7. Edna Nicholson on December 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Yum yum yum, that sloppy roast beef pic is true food porn. Love the memorabilia, too. Ah, nostalgia…many years ago I lived right down the street from the original Parkway Bakery. I’m gonna have to get off my usual home-to-work-to-home beaten path for a side trip to the new Parkway Bakery, get me a coupla them poboys and peruse the walls.

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