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The Poor Boys, Kingston, London
| The Story |
The tradition stemmed from a visit to the South coast of America in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Here, Jas Kadar – the owner of the Poor Boys in Kingston – and his friends had discovered their love for the traditional Po’ Boy.
Incase you didn’t know already, the term “poor boy” was derived from the idea of “oyster loaves” the idea – but the sandwich itself derived from a combination of stories – the most compelling being a restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin – who served their former colleagues free sandwiches during a four-month strike. They jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys” and a couple of years later combined with the New Orleans dialect, the “Po’ Boys” were born.
These traditional sandwiches almost always consist of meat or a mixture of sea food, including shrimp, crawfish, oysters but mainly lobster and crab. They tend to be of quite a sloppy display – but the by no means make it any less tasty as they are known to be slopped onto bread (usually baguette) for that crunchy and crisp contrast.
Saturdays are for the Poor Boys!
| The Interiors |
It was an amazing experience to be able to try these for the first time, especially as I did not have a clue about the history and importance of these simple delights before stepping into the beautiful interiors of the Poor Boys in Kingston. The location is great, situated just a few minutes walk from Kingston Upon Thames main station and right in the heart of the town.
The combination of the wooden furniture and bright but neutral-colored lights provided the perfect evening setting that suits the slick, but also laid back theme of the Poor Boys in Kingston, London. A combination of high chairs, a central forward-facing oak-spurred island bar, and spiral stairs with dim under-lights that lead to the bathroom all demonstrate the quirky theme that not only represents the simplicity of the restaurant but also the nuance of their food.
Their display of retro-fitted antiques and old-school mini juke boxes scattered around the bar’s counter top takes you back to the late 1800s/early 1900s style that was the era of the traditional Po’boy, and adds to the list of stylishly placed items (such as the large menu being engraved onto a corrugated metal sheet on the main back wall) that are speckled around the restaurant’s interiors.
| The Food |
Perfect for a hearty meal – the menu is amazing, and Gavin, Stephen and I were spoiled for choice. The Colchester Rock Oysters was the starter and the portion size that came out of it was immense, the kind of portion sizes that make you feel like you are in America. Southern America. Not to mention that the oysters themselves were huge. They came in a range of options from cold to heated to grilled – and I must say I did prefer the original and simple cold oysters – but not to downplay that the rest were just as good.
It was hard to resist the Popcorn Shrimps and the Jumbo Honey Buffalo Wings, and this was all before starting the mains. True New Orleans (or should I say “Ne’wolins”) mentality! By this point I was really questioning the state of survival of my waistline – and I would recommend never visiting this restaurant with any form of tight clothing whatsoever. The Po’ Boys themselves were huge also – and at this point it was about playing the game of how much more do I want v.s how much more can I actually take.
Too. Much. Food.
I had the Skinny Boy – which is just a Po Boy without the bread – and I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have a large appetite. This allowed me to really enjoy the Buttermilk Fried Shrimp with Lettuce, Tomato, PIckles and Cajun Tartare Sauce all in one whole without worrying about my stomach exploding!
Onto of that I was in awe with the Lobster Mac and Cheese. It’s like a treasure hunt, you think it’s Mac and Cheese and all of a sudden you are surprised with bits of lobster goodness that pop up in-between. It was amazing – and If I had truly had an ounce more of stomach space this would have definitely been licked down to the plate. And it is rare for me to say that.
I managed to nibble on some of the other Po boys, including the Original Shrimp Po Boy which consisted of Buttermilk Fried Shrimp with Lettuce, Tomato, PIckles and Cajun Tartare Sauce, and the Katsu Boy (Panko Fried Chicken with Spring Onions, Carrot, Coriander, Pickles & a Katsu Curry Mayo) They also have a lot of vegetarian options including the Au’Boy (Aubergine), delicious salads and plenty more. So no excuses for you green lovers out there!
So whenever you stop by the beautiful town of Kingston and you’re feeling to stretch out some of those old clothes of yours then don’t forget to stop by for a Po’Boy. There is a lot in offer and it will in no doubt be worth your while!
Address: 5 The Griffin centre, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1JT
Contact: +44 (0) 20 85464777
Price Range: £££
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