I first tried po’boys at Hartsyard where I fell in love with their hearty crumbed oyster po’boy that comes smothered in a hot chilli sauce, served on a homemade English muffin and crammed full of creamy ‘slaw. It was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever put in my month. Since that day I’ve decided to make it my life’s mission to try po’boys every time I see them on a menu.
In a token nod to Meatless Monday I ordered the Fish Po Boy (NZ $10.00) (I just could not bring myself to try the Tempeh Po Boy – as much as I love Tempeh). Sweet Mother’s po’boy is fashioned more on the New Orleans style sandwich than Hartsyard's more fashionable rendition.
Sweet Mother’s specially makes their baguettes which are then toasted and topped with lettuce, tomato and Creole mayonnaise. The fresh fish was coated in a cornmeal and Creole spice blend (that wasn’t very spicy). It didn’t have the flavour punch of Hartsyard po’boy - a good dash of hot sauce, some ‘slaw and seasoning would’ve lifted things – but it was a good, simple sandwich.
To say I had food envy over The Boy’s choice of Fried Chicken (NZ$17.00) is an understatement - so much so that I went back for lunch the next day and ordered it for myself!
The buttermilk soaked (free range) chicken strips were so moist and tender, and the crispy fried outer shell gave an audible crunch as it was bitten in to. It's incredible to me that even in a little student filled cafe like this they're using free-range produce. Way to go NZ, you're tops! The chicken was served with New Orleans style dirty rice that resembled turkey stuffing, along with some creamy coleslaw and the most amazingly flavoured sausage milk gravy that was peppery, fatty and smoky.
On our return visit (the VERY next day) The Boy ordered the Pulled Pork Po’boy and it really was very very good! The smoky marinade of the pork really lifted things in terms of flavour and the coleslaw added a nice fresh “crunch” to the sandwich.
We also ordered a side of crunchy and seasoned curly fries (NZ$6.50) served with Creole mayo that came served in an American diner style red plastic basket. The fries go REALLY well dunked into the sausage gravy from The Boy's fried chicken dish.
I’m one of those people that study the menu of restaurants weeks, and sometime months before I actually get to eat there. I’d had my heart set on the Peanut Butter Pie here for months so when the waitress told me they’d sold out of all their pies I was, needless to say, totally and inconsolably devastated.
Miracles do happen sometimes though as the waitress quickly turned my frown upside down when she told us that they’d unearthed one last, lone piece of Peanut Butter Pie. Oh my, it was everything I’d hope for – a thick, moist chocolate cookie crust with a chilled, whipped peanut butter filling that was as light as whipped cream!
Oh, Sweet Mother’s Kitchen – you really as are sweet as, bro!
Sweet Mother's Kitchen is at 5 Courtenay Place (Te Aro), Wellington, New Zealand.