Yats: New Orleans Po BoysMonday, November 24, 2008
When I first visited New Orleans as a young and adventurous 21-year-old, I had the luxury of staying at my friend Zachary’s house in the burbs (with 9 other young and adventurous 21-year-olds), under the incredibly generous hospitality of his mom, Miss Dawn. Miss Dawn kept us well-fed, full of hearty, delicious, filling sustenance that would…er…provide the proper base, if you will, for a night of revelry. Two of my favorite meals from our time there was the epic crawfish boil she set up our first night in, and the constant supply of po’ boy makings she kept on hand for 1 pm breakfasts…5 pm snacks…4 am nightcaps. Piles of roast beef, fresh French bread, and plenty of mayo. Mmmm, thanks, Miss Dawn!
As soon as I saw Yats‘ menu, I was brought right back to sultry nights of sucking crawfish out of the shell and feasting on the ubiquitous po’ boy.
In case you’re wondering about this order window with the sign “Yats” pointing to it, well, that’s it. Yats is actually, brilliantly, located inside Jack’s Club, an homage to the divey, friendly bars of New Orleans, and naturally, makes good use of its well-loved, deep fryer.
Cue…specimen A: NOLA Fries. Thick, golden, wedges of starchy goodness, dusted in a snowfall of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. These huge steak fries were crispy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside.
You may be overwhelmed when you see Yats’ lengthy selection of Famous Po’ Boys. I don’t mean to be bossy, but Get the Crawfish with Remoulade, and Ask for Extra Sauce! Succulent bits of crawfish meat, coated in a crunchy cornmeal crust, and stuffed inside a loaf of fresh French bread with a soft airy center, and crispy flaky crust (so crispy that I actually cut my lip in my excitement of getting it in my tummy! …oops). Sigh, I wish I got a whole foot-long.
A classic favorite, the Debris Po’ Boy is a monster of a sandwich spilling over with tender, juicy, roast beef, and slathered in thick gravy. A touch of horseradish mayonnaise also adds a nice bit of heat. Traditionally, roast beef po’ boys served hot with “debris” gravy is made with pieces of meat and juice that have fallen into the roast’s drip pan while cooking. Much more savory than the name let’s on, don’t you think?
I had to try the Jambalaya. Like a tangy, kicked up version of paella, this dish was full of smoky sausage and chicken, and Creole spices. It wasn’t my favorite though, and would reserve stomach space for the delicious Mac-n-Cheese next time.
Yats’ Mac-n-Cheese was solid, the perfect cheesy, creamy, side if you’re dining on po’ boys. I always add a little coarse-grained mustard when I make mac n’ cheese at home, and loved that Yats does the same. Pure comfort food. Just do it.
As if the food wasn’t reason enough, the prices will definitely make this a new Saturday afternoon staple. The hours are a little tricky for a weekday visit, unless you work in the neighborhood (open Mon-Sat, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).
I found out that Yats will not only be selling fried turkeys made to order with your choice of seasoning (Traditional, Cajun, or Jerk Spiced), they’ll also be hosting an open fry on the Wed before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving morning. That’s right, folks, BYOT and let them do all the work!
(Inside Jack’s Club)
2545 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
***Update: Yats is now located…
(Inside the Board Room)
1609 Powell (at Green)
San Francisco, CA 94133