B’s Po Boy: An Alki view and bread from New Orleans
B’s Po Boys does sandwiches the old-school way — dressed with unfancy lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo, wrapped up in white paper. (Bethany Jean Clement / The Seattle Times)
Brand-new B’s Po Boys has a sweet spot. The three roll-up garage doors face Alki Beach, right where our miniature Statue of Liberty valiantly gazes out over the sparkling Sound. Sitting there right now, shaded by jauntily striped awnings, everything’s classic summertime greatness: people carrying paddleboards, convertibles cruising, the ice-cream man’s hypnotic jingle, the occasional waft of weed in the breeze. Owners Deborah and Ryan Borchelt, who started B’s in Indianapolis, told West Seattle Blog that while visiting friends here, they fell “head over heels” with Seattle, and it’s abundantly clear why. Who’d want to be in Indiana when there’s this?
The interior of B’s is clean-lined and contemporary — a little like an upscale cafeteria, but with niceties like friendly table service and a bar lined with pretty emerald-colored subway tile. On the tables: the house’s own Po It On habanero-based hot sauce, which promises “it’ll melt your face off.” It’s not that hot, but it’ll definitely remind you that your face exists.
The po’boys: B’s was inspired, Ryan Borchelt says, by many happy trips to New Orleans. In honor, they import Leidenheimer Baking Co. rolls — the classic po’boy base there — frozen, then toast them up to order. They’re soft and white on the inside, with a slightly chewy, uniformly tan crust. Those expecting anything updated will be disappointed, but fans of the old-school po’-boy style — dressed with unfancy lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo, served wrapped up in white paper — should be pleased. The one we tried was a little too plain: The shrimps’ breading seemed bereft of any seasoning. Pass the hot sauce!
The muffuletta: B’s version of this New Orleans treasure is made with a po’boy roll instead of its special round loaf — this alone should stop fans in their tracks. A less-than-lush olive salad added insult to injury, making the sandwich dry and chewy overall.
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More: B’s fried green tomatoes, ideally crispy, come just three to an order, and some may be taken aback by their dressing of balsamic reduction. Red beans and rice hit a more traditional note, smoky and tasty. The stone-ground mustard sauce that accompanied nuggets of alligator was nicely spicy, but weigh the “I ate alligator!” novelty against the market price: Ours were $13 for a small portion (and it really does taste like chicken).
If the place is busy, be prepared to take it easy for a while; the kitchen seemed overwhelmed on our visit. Luckily, there’s the view — and the full bar.
Prices: A full-sized shrimp po’boy was $14 (at market price, with wild-caught shrimp from Indonesia); muffuletta, $13; fried green tomatoes, $6; side of red beans and rice, $3.50; alligator bites, $13 (at market price).