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In Praise of Po' Boys

This weekend I'm headed to New Orleans and am already anticipating lunch at Mandina's Restaurant.

My friend and colleague, Kim Sunee, introduced me to Mandina's a few weeks ago. We were there with the MyRecipes studio team shooting an episode of Kim's new series, "Local Flavor."

Meeting Tommy Mandina and the restaurant team was wonderful, but the highlight of the morning was a po' boy.  Specifically, a soft shell crab po' boy.

I love po' boys.  Their simplicity calls for the freshest, highest quality ingredients: crusty bread with a super-light body and fillings that are only limited by our imaginations.  The two most common are classic, fried shrimp po' boys dressed with mayo, tomato and lettuce, and roast beef po' boys (a delicious, messy feast).  I also like them filled with fried oysters or a combo of oysters and shrimp.  I've had them stuffed with spicy, fried catfish and even French fries with gravy.

Thanks to the Mandinas, crisp-battered, soft shell crab is my new favorite.  And I've already called to confirm that they're still available this weekend.

What's in your favorite po' boy?  Or better yet, who makes your favorite?  I may plan a pilgrimage based on your recommendations.