Po'Boys and More at Antone's on T.C. Jester

Categories: On the Menu

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Photos by Christina Uticone
Antone's dolmas are tightly rolled, and come with a refreshing little salad.
A recent invitation to Antone's Famous Po'Boys for a media tasting finally forced me out of my "I-only-eat-po'boys-at BB's" rut. The visit turned out to be full of surprises--and I don't just mean the hour I spent in traffic on I-45 on my way back home after a tractor trailer dumped its contents all over the road.

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Even though there is a convenient drive-through at Antone's, the restaurant has a bright, fresh atmosphere that is a shame to miss, and I recommend dining in. I was able to taste several starters and a selection of sandwiches. I found the hummus to be very good, but the star of the appetizer show was the tabouleh, with the hearty bulgur matched by a generous amount of lemon juice and fresh herbs--I could not keep my fork away from this salad, and I crushed the leftovers just hours after taking them home.

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It won't surprise you to learn that I don't really know all that much about po'boys--since moving to Houston I've only eaten shrimp or shrimp-and-oyster versions, and discovering that there are "traditional" po'boys that feature deli meat on toasted Italian bread was intriguing. Back home we just call 'em "subs." My attention was on the hot shrimp and oyster sandwiches--served on fresh Slow Dough baguette bread--and as a result, the Original Antone's Po'Boy caught me off guard, and knocked me off of my feet.

The Original is ham, salami and provolone with chow-chow, mayo and pickles. After asking them to go light on the mayo, I also asked, "What the hell is chow-chow?" Answer: pickled relish, in case you don't know, either. Holy hell, that stuff is good. Antone's makes their own, and it's available for sale--I could kick myself for not picking some up, but it's a good excuse to go back soon. The Original is the star of the show here: The deli meats are good-quality and plentiful, but they don't load on too much--I actually hate too much meat on a sandwich; it's almost as bad as too little.

As for the other sandwiches? I tried a shrimp and an oyster po'boy: both good, though the oyster had a crunchier breading and I liked it the best of the two, which was another surprise, since I tend to like breaded shrimp more than breaded oysters.

I also gave the hot meatball sandwich a whirl. I don't know anything about your grandma's meatballs, but these definitely weren't my grandma's meatballs-- in all fairness, my grandmother was born and raised in Rome, so she probably possessed a meatball-making advantage. Antone's meatballs are structurally sound--tight, round, and easy to bite into on a sandwich--and the flavor is above-average for a not-my-grandmother's-meatball. Perhaps a bit too much cheese on the bun overwhelmed, but it's hard to complain about extra cheese.

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There are lots of on-the-go, pre-made sandwiches and salads if you're in a hurry, and Antone's has a huge selection of soda, including some cool, niche-brand root beers. This place is already wreaking havoc on my diet, and I love it.



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Location Info

Antone's Po'Boys

2724 T.C. Jester, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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35 comments
bulletpr
bulletpr

I stood in line many timea at the Taft store. Being an old man I,ve eaten at lots of places in Houston over the years. My favorites were Howard Johnsons on Bellaire Bld. for clam rolls and ice cream. Or old Prices Hamburgers (not Prince's) . Steaks at Safari Steakhouse on Richmond.Rd. Seafood at Pier 21 near the old Shamrock Hotel. Valiants Pizza on Main St. I could name many more. Oh, how the time flies. Such wonderful memories of Houston in the 50,s 60,s. Thats all old people have sometimes are memories. John

tape dispenser
tape dispenser

try Mandola's deli for a similar but likely superior "po boy"

Samuel Sonderegger
Samuel Sonderegger

part of the charm @ the main and taft locations was that it was a deli and store.The old coffee grinders, hookas on the shelf barrels of olives and pickles.It was the old stuff and that Antones smell.

richardhenry123
richardhenry123

It is very tough to get mortgage refinance these days especially major banks. It is not a secret every one knows, what is the solution? Check our your local guys or check online for "Refinance 123" they should be able to find a solution for you.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Thanks for the heads-up than an original Antone's even exists. I was invited to a media tasting, and since I have never eaten at another Antone's--nor had I ever even heard that there was an "original" vs. the one I visited--I was not making (could not make) a comparison.

I have to say that I kind of like being new to this city and going to places is judging them solely on their merits, rather than preconceived notions or perceptions of "original" or "authentic" or "real" or whatever. The food was yummy, some of it better than others, and I'm definitely going back for their tabouleh and The Original.

Yumyum
Yumyum

I remember as a kid (late 60's to 70's) going to Antones at the junction of Main & OST and waiting in line for what seemed hours to get po' boys.  The line would wrap around the building and then snake inside through all the spices and imported goods.  My reward for behaving was liquorice that they would sell by the foot.  If I was really good I could get 6 feet of red licorice!!  Not so good, maybe 6 inches....

My other memory was the negotating power of an Antones po' boy at school.  My mother would sometimes put half of a red wrap in my lunchbox (remember lunchboxes?).  You could trade that sandwich for a double fudge brownie and a thermos full of Coke (if the glass hadn't shattered yet).

trisch
trisch

Love Antones Original Po Boys, and I can eat the chow-chow with a spoon! Back in college, we use to load up the car with coolers full of Antones poboys and sodas every weekend and head for the beach. Good times. Now I can only sneak a sandwich every now and then when I can justify cheating on my diet.

Jack Tyler
Jack Tyler

I tend to agree with you on the oyster po'boys... but would have loved a little more oysters and shrimp of both of them. Did you try the lobster po'boy? Good flavor, but again, would have loved more lobster. I guess you can only put so much lobster on a sandwich for that price, though.

Feldman
Feldman

There are only original Antone's for me (Rice Village, Stella Link at Bellaire and Kirby near the Reliant), I don't waste my time or money at the chain Antone's. They're not worthy of carrying the Antone's name.

Jeff
Jeff

Used to eat at this one frequently. I love sandwiches, but I'm not remotely a snob about it. Glad I'm closer to the original in the Village now, but, frankly, they both taste pretty good to me.

Corey
Corey

Good point RG. I just don't care for the smaller menu, less choices, and generally premade aspect of the corporate Antones.  Not to mention they don't sell spices, or imported goods, or very few of them, it's just a Houston thing, I liked it better the right way, the original not dumbed down, mass marketed, and mindful only of profit not quality. I work across from the location on San Felipe, and sure it's better than the Krogers deli section or an Exxon, but just cannot compare to the original.. And smoked turkey isn't exactly what I'd deem "gourmet", no idea why that isn't on the menu at the non family own stores....

Ahehkw
Ahehkw

They employ 'human billboards', so I'm boycotting on principle.

rgwalt
rgwalt

Not sure that I would even try the Antone's drive through unless I was getting one of their pre-made po-boys.  But, if that is what I'm after, I can pick one up at Kroger.  However, even the pre-made sandwiches in the deli case at Antones are generally fresher than their counter parts at Kroger.

As to the Antone's chain vs the original in Rice Village.  Yes, the original makes better sandwiches and has the piggy.  Yes it is crappy what happened in the spilt.  However, it is business and the chain branches are making money on a product that people find to be very tasty.  When I want an quick sandwich fix (that isn't subway or some other corporate chain) I think of Antones.  The trouble is that I am not going to drag myself down to the village to the original location only to find out they are closed (they don't have the best hours for people who don't work in the loop).  I do stand on principle on some of my shopping, and I think it is great that people want to support the original, local branch, but you the chain has been successful for a reason...  good food, good prices, and availability.

Ali
Ali

I work in the office park behind that location on E. TC Jester. I've been once and while my food was very good, there was a lot to be desired in the service department. Who offers a grilled chicken salad on their menu only to tell you while in the drive thru "We don't really have the stuff to make that. You'd have to wait on the chicken to be cooked."

I ended up wit the BLT po'boy which was really yummy, but I still had to pull over and wait for that for about 10 minutes.

Corey
Corey

Not an original Antones, no smoked turkey, no piggy salad, just a corporate shill with a mild smattering of other items/niceties.  Doesn't compare to the original at all, well worth the drive to Rice Village. I miss the old Antones, this new one pales big time, good read but you'd do well to actually go to one still owned by the family, I'd be fat if the old location on taft was still around, I could easily live on smoke turkey, which reminds me I need another jar of their sweet pickles..

ShitThowingMonkey
ShitThowingMonkey

That Antones with the rail car and the old petting zoo with the horses you could ride (I forget the name) bring a wave of distant childhood memories.  The two are forever connected for me.

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

Jack, I didn't but I will next time--thanks for the tip. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the oyster po'boy--I generally prefer my oysters raw.

Churchill
Churchill

Does anyone think a Lobster Roll (Boston-style) would sell in Houston?

Churchill
Churchill

Some are owned by the same guys who own the Original Ninfa's on Navigation; others are owned by the family.

rvt1000
rvt1000

The "chain" locations were the kids of the family that tried to expand it into a massive scale, the original family still has the 3 locations you mentioned..The bread is better @ one of the 3 family owned locations!

Matt Chow
Matt Chow

What's wrong with "human billboards"?

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Actually, the owners that make the sandwiches for Grocers are different than the owners of the restaurants.  Just an FYI.

Texmex01
Texmex01

the originals have the better stuffed jalapenos too!

JoC
JoC

I think it was called Katy Wonderland.  

Corey
Corey

I know the one in Rice village, love it, see you mentioned one on Kirby, where's the other "original" location?

Corey
Corey

Amen to that, thought it was only me... Softer, and actually tastes like something.. And for the record I loathe white bread, this is my one exception.

Ahehkw
Ahehkw

People ought be treated with respect to their personhood and dignity, and always as ends in themselves; never solely as a means to an end.

Samuel Sonderegger
Samuel Sonderegger

it was called kiddie wonderland.My granny and granddaddy used to take us there and take us to eat our poorboys on the train.They used to have the train in parades too.The kids antones suck. I loved the one on main and the original on taft.

Texmex01
Texmex01

1. Kirby next to Reliant Stadium2. Holcombe near Stella Link

Mitchdj
Mitchdj

Yeah, all while we're being sold a bill of goods about 'job-killing tax increases', the importance of immmediately slashing spending and not spending to create jobs.

It's a free country
It's a free country

You should look up the definition of profiteer...if these companies were making unreasonable, excessive, or unfair profit, I doubt they would feel the need to employ this type of advertising. As it is, I'm sure they are just trying to get by and need customers, hence the advertising. I don't see how people can be so anti-business (even small/local businesses) when we're in a struggling economy and people are doing what they can to keep their business going so they can continue to provide jobs to their employees and feed their families.

Urumomo
Urumomo

why is there bread on both sides ,,seems uppitty .no ?

AmosAndy
AmosAndy

Sorry, it's sadly Dickensian to drive Westheimer and discover its median and sidewalks populated by dancing billboards, people-placards and human cellphones, all vying for attention on behalf of some profiteer.

It's a free country
It's a free country

Easy for you to say, you obviously don't need the money these people are making holding these signs. It's a tough economy, these people are just trying to make a living and I'm sure they're happy to have this as an option to make ends meet.

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