Something wicked this way comes. We sat down with the owners of the Wicked Po Boys, Joey Le and Lan Chi Le. The couple soft opened the new restaurant today and will officially open with a full swing tomorrow (Wednesday, June 26, 2012).
The pair are definitely NOLAphiles and appreciate the intricacies of the food found in the Big Easy. We did all the press release fun yesterday, but today we went in for a First Look and have plenty of food photos and a fun Q&A with the owners.
The space definitely lifts a page from New Orleans, even down to the gas lanterns found outside as you walk in. With today’s scorching heat and humidity you would almost believe you are in Louisiana.
All the dishes we sampled were spot on terrific and they are not expensive in the least with most dishes running about $7 and nothing over $10. Most everything at the restaurant is made in house including the amazing potato chips which comes with each po boy. We espcially loved the fresh squeezed orange juice made Cafe Du Monde style.
Other wonderful finds include the NOLA BBQ shrimp, which is completely different than anything you might find on a grill in Texas, and is made with copious amounts of butter and Worcestershire sauce. And yes, they have the grilled Texas- style too.
Sit in our conversation:
When did you decide to open the restaurant?
Joey: August of last year. We were sitting around and I said “what if we opened a Po Boy shop”. We both agreed and we were on a plane the next day to New Orleans. I called my family and had them line up a bunch of places to sample. We tried most of the chains in the area, and plenty of hole-in-the-wall places.
Lan: I had to tell Joey to slow down, we had a lot of po boys to eat that day.
The recipes are your own, how did you develop them. You are not trained cooks, right?
Lan: Several trips to New Orleans and a lot of sleepless nights cooking. The kids would go to sleep and we would break out the pots and pans. Our friends would come by the next day and try what we had.
The first batch was always bad, but the next batch got better and it progressed from there. I don’t know how many pots of roux I had to throw away. If I stepped away even for a second it would be ruined. Roux is the most important part of the gumbo and etouffee.
What did you do before opening the restaurant?
Lan: Joey was a project manager FedEx and I am a dentist.
What is your favorite dish on the menu?
Lan: Definitely the roast beef and gravy and crawfish etouffe.
Joey: I really like the roast beef, but also love the soft shell crab po boy. I also love the crab bisque. When my sweet tooth kicks in I want the beignets.
So you both love the roast beef po boy, what’s up with that?
Where else do you find good po boys in New Orleans?
Lan: We go to a lot of hole in the walls. They are the cheapest and the greatest. Po boys at any gas station in New Orleans; they are like tacos are here. They’re everywhere.
What is something different that you have that no one else has in Dallas?
Lan: Patton’s Hot Sausage Patties are everywhere in New Orleans, and literally nobody has them here. Patton’s won’t sell direct and ship to Dallas. We found a source.
Tell us what makes a great po boy?
A typical po boy comes on a French baguette. The bread is the heart of the sandwich. We tried bread at various places in NOLA and we took all that bread back to Dallas and had several companies make our perfect loaf. We were working with three different bakers and were sent over cases and cases of bread until we found the perfect one. It took us months.
To dress a po boy you need pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Then you add a line of mayo. That is the way a traditional po boy is made.
Lan: Then we incorporated different things like gumbo and you get everything into one. The etouffee po boys have been a huge hit.
Wicked Po Boys is open daily from 11am to 9pm execpt on Friday and Saturday when they close at midnight. Sunday they open at noon.
Wicked Po Boys 1811 N Greenville Ave #400, Richardson 972.238.1313