New Orleans, being technically part of the United States of America, is unfortunately not immune from the evil proliferation of fast food megacorporate chains that have spread across this country like a blight.

Regional cuisines are gradually being obliterated as people all over America walk zombie-like into the likes of McD*n*ld's and B*rg*r K*ng and the dreaded, odious S*bw*y. (Thou darest not speak their names aloud, as there's to telling what kind of demon might materialize.)

Not to say that there's anything wrong with a hamburger, mind you. A well-made hamburger is classic, delicious American food, and so says none other than James Beard. I also know of some chefs who, when trying a new restaurant, order the hamburger first, if one's offered on the menu. The reasoning is, if they can do a hamburger well, it's a good sign.

New Orleans does hamburgers well. We make 'em into po-boys ... naturellement.

My friend and fellow New Orleanian Rich Hawkins pontificates thusly on the subject of the seemingly lowly but in fact marvelous thing that is the hamburger po-boy, and it ain't just a hamburger on French ... take it away, Rich.

i would launch an attack against ed for claiming that char-broiling makes a hamburger po-boy but my pity for him overwhelms any one-upsmanship feelings. a hamburger po-boy ain't no hamburger and i'm gonna tell you how to make one right. start with 1/4 pound hamburger and the 12 inch po-boy bread.

mix into the meat:

form two patties and wash them in one beaten egg. next: cover with bread crumbs and pan fry them in 2 tablespoons of erl (animal shortening if you think your arterties can handle it). warm the bread, cut the patties in half and dress that baby.

that is a hamburger po-boy (and can be had at liuzza's if you ask real nice). -- rich

I'd add something, me. I like to make a well inside the patty and stuff it with crumbled bleu, Roquefort or gorgonzola cheese,then seal up the cheese inside the patty. Proceed like Rich told you.


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)