The Best New Orleans Restaurant For Po'boys, According To Local Chef Alon Shaya - Exclusive

Israeli-American chef Alon Shaya grew up in Philadelphia but has made his home in Louisiana since 2003. The two-time James Beard Foundation award-winner brings his love of Mediterranean cuisine and his passion for Southern food to his restaurant menus, two of which are located in the heart of New Orleans. When Food Republic recently met up with him at his Master Class during the Nassau Paradise Island Wine and Food Fest, the conversation naturally turned towards restaurants. When asked if he had a favorite restaurant for sandwiches in New Orleans, Chef Shaya didn't hesitate to name Domilise's Po-Boys.

As synonymous with the city's food as are gumbo and jambalaya, po'boys are the quintessential Nola meal. While any worthwhile New Orleans po-boy cheat sheet will tell you that the sandwich is a regional specialty similar to a hero, hoagie, or submarine sandwich, the po'boy is distinguished by the specially baked French bread loaf that it's served on. Baked with a crispy crust that houses an absorbent and pillowy-soft center, po'boy bread is the perfect vehicle for holding the sandwich's fixings and fillings, as well as its sauces and condiments such as Creole mustard or Cajun remoulade.

There are many ways to stuff a po'boy, but some are more classic than others, and chef Shaya enjoys some of the most popular: "I love fried oyster po'boy. I love fried shrimp po'boy. I love roast beef po'boy. I like 'em all." And he's not alone in choosing Domilise's as The Big Easy's best.

Domilise's po'boy sandwiches are the real deal

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Domilise's Po-boys and Bar was founded in 1918 as a local watering hole. Beloved by families, politicians, and the actors whose headshots line the restaurant's walls, plenty of other celebrity chefs have recognized it as the place to go for a proper po'boy. Anthony Bourdain featured the eatery in a 2007 episode of "No Reservations," and Alex Guarnaschelli declared the restaurant's fried Gulf shrimp po'boy as her delicious pick for Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."

TV show host Adam Richman revealed some of Domilise's secrets when chef and co-owner Josh Domilise appeared on his Travel Channel series, "I Know You Want Some." In the video, the chef explained the double batter technique that makes Domilise's shrimp so crave-worthy. First, the shrimp is tossed in a mixture of evaporated milk, water, and flour, and then it's coated in a dry batter flour and cornmeal mix. This lets the shrimp soak up the tasty flavors of hot sauce and homemade spicy ketchup that it gets topped with.

Along with the must-have shrimp, the menu's other po'boys include meatballs, pork or hot smoked sausage, hamburger, American or Swiss cheese, ham, roast beef, turkey breast, fresh catfish, oysters, and a surf and turf made with roast beef and shrimp. Served on Leidenheimer's French bread, the loaves have been baked fresh daily since 1896 and are widely considered the best bread for po'boy sandwiches.