100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 42, Fried Oyster Po-Boy at Goode Company Seafood
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus® issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape.
Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg From this angle, it looks like a normal po-boy, but dig beneath that lettuce for the good stuff.
Yes, part of the reason I'm enamored with Goode Co. Seafood on Westpark is that I can eat in a real passenger rail car while sitting on silver and teal bar stools and being served by people who call me honey (in a non-creepy way). I love the old-school diner feel of that spot, but what I love even more is that the food is far better than your typical diner grub.
Take the fried oyster po-boy.
True, po-boys are essentially sandwiches, and it's pretty hard to mess up a sandwich. But it's even harder to make a sandwich that's truly crave-worthy like the fried oyster po-boy, a dish I keep going back for lately, anticipating that one of these days it'll just be another boring sandwich. So far, Goode Co. has proved me wrong.
There are several key elements in a po-boy that must be balanced for it to achieve maximum deliciousness. First, the bread, which is a French baguette-type bread that's crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Next, the meat or protein. If it's seafood (or alligator...is that seafood?), it's usually fried. Otherwise, it's roast beef.
The crust on the oysters is thick enough to provide a good crunch, but thin enough that it doesn't take away from the soft oyster inside.
When a po-boy is served dressed, as it usually is, it will come with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayo. There should be just enough mayo to keep the lettuce stuck to the bread, but not so much that it oozes out with every bite.
At Goode Co. Seafood, the po-boys are just as they should be.
The white baguette bread is sliced down the middle and the chewy insides are pressed down a little to allow more stuff to fit on the inside. The oysters are breaded and fried until golden brown, but in spite of the deep oil bath they remain crunchy on the outside with a gooey oyster interior. The sandwich is dressed with the requisite shredded iceberg lettuce and mayo, but here's where the Goode Co. po-boy diverges from the norm.
Instead of sliced tomatoes, pickles and maybe onions, Good Co. slathers its bread in garlic butter, then mayo, then pico de gallo with tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a bit of heat, which makes for a sandwich with more dimension than the average po-boy.
The addition of pico de gallo means that you really don't need the sauces (cocktail and tartar) served with the po-boy, though both are tangy and welcome extras that add a little somethin' somethin' when you use them for dipping every other bite.
The list so far:
No. 43: Roasted Duck Red Curry at Morningside Thai
No. 44: BBQ Pulled Wild Boar Sandwich at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
No. 45: Guanciale Burger at Plonk
No. 46: Parma 600 Pizza at Pizzeria Solario
No. 47: CFC Deviled Eggs at Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar
No. 48: The El Real Burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe
No. 49: Custard Sandwich at Petite Sweets
No. 50: Black Pepper Beer Lobster at Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant
No. 51: Red Dragon Roll at Michiru Sushi
No. 52: Fried Bananas Foster at Custom Confections
No. 53: Bánh Canh Hue at Simply Pho
No. 54: Kimchi Koagie at Koagie Hots
No. 55: The Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow
No. 56: Eggplant Fries at Batanga
No. 57: Macarons at Ganache Dessert Bar
No. 58: Grilled Cheese at The Golden Grill
No. 59: Baklava French Toast at Harry's Restaurant & Cafe
No. 60: Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro's
No. 61: Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace
No. 62: Korean Spiced Brisket Plate at Revival Market
No. 63: Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich and Cafe
No. 64: Squirrel Master Burger at Cottonwood
No. 65: Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS
No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana
No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's
No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi
No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood
No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery
No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19
No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's
No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac
No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto
No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi
No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas
No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius
No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria
No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch
No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub
No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire
No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches
No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill
No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's
No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie
No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao
No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum
No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar
No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro
No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus
No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood
No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub
No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club
No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen
No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra
No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro
No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia
No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme