Friday, February 12, 2010
George's The Best Little Dive on the Planet--Po'Boy Heaven in Baton Rouge
For at least 30 years (and possibly much longer) George's has been a Baton Rouge institution and favorite dive with an offbeat location, extensive menu of po'boys and other Louisiana classics. Located underneath an I-10 overpass which gives covered parking to early arrivals, George's doesn't look like much although the display of neon beer signs in the windows send the message that there will be a wide selection of beer, which proves to be the case. The inside is a triangular room decorated with hundreds of dollar bills stapled to the walls and ceiling with the names or nicknames of the people who 'donated' them to the decor written on them. The food is unbelievable--gumbos, etoufee and the Louisiana classic po'boy sandwich in many varieties. The french fries are from fresh potatoes and are actually crisp which is a technique that no one seems to be able to do--most places with fresh potato fries serve a soggy and greasy product. The po'boys are made with the best French bread I've ever tasted along with generous servings of meat and cheese for a memorable sandwich experience. The crawfish etoufee is as good as any I've ever had in New Orleans and the gumbo is the classic style as well. Service is at the bar and they give you a kitchen check to write down your order and they call you to the bar when it's ready for pickup. The eclectic crowd was everything from LSU college kids to executives in suits along with casual locals, and the occasional tourist who lucked into a great meal for a reasonable price. Interstate 10 goes over the top but there is no traffic noise to speak of, so I'm guessing they have world class soundproofing in the roof. The bartenders are friendly and since the customers write their own kitchen checks, special instructions can be added. The chairs are decently comfortable as are the barstools and you can get your order to go. The owner, "Smokey" is on the East Baton Rouge parish council so politics are not a taboo subject, and any guy who owns a great dive like this must be a man of the people!