There are few American cities less alike than Seattle and New Orleans. It's not just 2700 miles that separates Seatown from NOLA: The cities' have wildly different demographics, histories, cultures and geographies. In New Orleans, folks like to get rowdy. In Seattle, folks like to recycle.
But Matthew Lewis two years ago set out to bridge the very wide gap with mufalettas, jamabalaya and gumbo. The gambit was stupendously successful: This fall, Lewis' Where Ya At Matt will be joined by Roux, a permanent restaurant featuring a slightly more elaborate version of the truck's menu. That means there will be po' boys.
All of Lewis' po-boys are bedded down on crusty, freshly-baked loaves of French bread, varnished with a sensible amount of garlic mayonnaise. Capped with remarkably fresh lettuce; sliced tomatoes and crisp Mama Lil's pickled peppers, the sandwich is excellent with roast beef, catfish or shrimp in the starring role. But the very best po' boy on the menu features plump oysters, lightly battered with cornmeal and capably fried.
The oysters add a salty-sweet dimension to what might otherwise be a fairly plain BLT without the bacon. (If you have a hankering for extra pork, there's both bacon and cheese on the popular Peacemaker po' boy, although I don't think the oysters need anything more than a healthy splash of Krystal or Tabasco.) In a city that treasures its raw oysters, Lewis' sandwich is a fine reminder that there are plenty of good reasons to fry the bivalve which represents Seattle and New Orleans' common ground.