During the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants have grappled with how to adapt to a takeout or delivery focus rather than in-house dining — and many are struggling with whether they can stay afloat. I’ve written before about the different ways that chefs and restaurateurs that I’ve interviewed for Dining With Strangers are adapting, and the other day I got to experience one of those ideas at home.
Parkway Bakery & Tavern serves up perhaps the best poor boys/po’ boys (whichever term you use) in New Orleans, in particular their acclaimed roast beef sandwich. I met owner Jay Nix for the 109th dinner interview back in September 2018 and have been obsessed with the place ever since. When COVID-19 hit the restaurant closed temporarily, but has recently reopened for takeout. And via the food delivery website Goldbelly, they’ve also started to ship nationwide a kit for making their roast beef sandwiches at home.
Recently I ordered the Parkway roast beef poor boy dinner for four, which is an incredibly generous package that includes: 32 ounces of their roast beef in gravy, two loaves of fresh baked French bread, Swiss cheese, lettuce, pickles, mayo, several portions of house-made bread pudding, four bags of Zapp’s potato chips, and four cute paper hats with the bakery’s logo on them.
And my word, I think it might be one of the best purchases I’ve made this year.
Everything comes perfectly packaged inside a freezer box that keeps the ingredients wonderfully fresh. Printed instructions inside the box tell you exactly how to cook the beef and dress the sandwich in the same way you’d get visiting Parkway in person. For a kitchen novice like myself, the directions are much appreciated (plus the hats and other Parkway paraphernalia were nice to look at while cooking).