Po’ Boy Quarter comes from the the people behind Melbourne’s beloved food truck, Gumbo Kitchen, which serves up dishes inspired by the Cajun and Creole cuisine of New Orleans. No doubt its name is inspired by the “French Quarter” of New Orleans, and its location now provides Melbourne’s own permanent spot to come and try their gumbo and po’ boys. No idea what these are? You’ll soon find out.
Located in the popular inner suburb of Fitzroy, the place is cosy and perhaps unnoticeable unless you’ve heard of Gumbo Kitchen. The quiet atmosphere we experienced was probably due to it being a Monday night, usually a night where you just want to get home from work ASAP.
The feel is quite American with “soda” on the drinks menu, and the concept of some items reminded us of our past visits to Misty’s Diner. I’ve tried some of the po’ boys before whilst visiting the food truck – and loved it! Po’ boys are like sandwiches/rolls usually with meat or fried seafood.
I felt quite tempted by the shrimp po’ boy, which I’ve tried before, but I thought it’s best for me to try something different, so I went with the pulled pork ($12.90, above) with housemade BBQ sauce and Cajun slaw. It was full to the brim with meat and it wasn’t after a few bites that the slaw was found buried deep in the roll. It’s so big that it’s hard to fit everything in as you bite it and it gets quite messy.
I think it’s good value and very generous, but I feel my memory of the deep friend shrimp is more impressive as it’s unique compared to your average pork roll or beef debris po’ boy, which is what my other friend ordered.
My friend ordered the chicken and sausage gumbo ($11.50, above), which I’ve personally never tried as the po’ boys have always seemed more appetising. Gumbo involves a broth, meat or seafood and vegetables served over rice. There’s a lot of broth compared to rice and my friend wasn’t entirely a fan.
Finally, between four of us we thought a serve of plain fries wasn’t enough ($5), so we also ordered The Dom, ($11.90, centre of the below photo), which was fries with shredded beef with Cajun gravy and mayonnaise and pickles. I enjoyed the sauces on The Dom most, whilst I think my pulled pork would have been a little bland without the slaw.
I also wanted to try the house made New Orleans lemonade ($5), presented in very American fashion in a plastic red cup. The pink lemonade did provide an air of being made on site, which is good, but it was a bit too bitter to down a lot at once.
I think the first time I tried Gumbo Kitchen, the new experience and food truck experience really did it for me. This time around, the food was pretty good and it provided a place that opens late to sit and talk with friends. I’d consider coming back if my friends wanted to go again but I might go back to my deep-fried shrimp po’ boy! It sounds so bad for you, but so good.
Po’ Boy Quarter is open daily 11am-11pm and is located at 295 Smith St, Fitzroy. Check out their menu here. For the Gumbo Truck location, follow their Twitter and their rotating menu includes these items here.