“Sink Ya Teeth Into A Piece of New Orleans Culture”
Two former street car conductors opened Martin Brothers Coffee stand in 1922 on the corner of Ursulines and N. Peters Street. Seven years later in 1929 the Streetcar Motor Mens Union (it’s a Streetcar not a Trolley) would go on strike.
It was one of the worst transit strikes in American history. Streetcar lines were ripped-up, switches were cemented in place, 5 streetcars were burned to the ground and strikers were killed.
The Martin Brothers wrote a letter to the union letting them know they were behind them 100% and would feed the workers for free until the strike was over. Whenever they saw one of the striking men headed for the restaurant, they would yell out “Here comes another Po-Boy”. And a food icon was born!
IT WAS ALL ABOUT DA BREAD!
The traditional French Bread loaf is short, wide in the middle and narrow at the ends. Not the best for sandwich making.
The Martin Brothers immediately got with local french bread maker John Gendusa and came-up with what we call today a french bread Po-Boy loaf; 40 inches long, uniform in width and squared at the ends; perfect for making all kinds and sizes of sandwiches. The first Po-Boy consisted of fried potatoes covered with roast beef gravy.
In New Orleans we eat more than 5,000 loaves of French Bread a day. The texture and taste of our French Bread is not the same as the french bread you find in France.
Some say it’s due to baking at or below sea level, others say it’s our humidity, and still others say it’s our water that makes our French Bread unique. One thing for certain, you’ll never have French Bread anywhere else in the world like you’ll have in New Orleans so eat-up!
Get Lucky In New Orleans
Our premier French Bread maker, Leidenheimer Bakery, in business for over 100 years, produces a million pounds of bread annually. Their slogan is “Sink Ya Teeth Into A Piece Of New Orleans Culture”.
This is one of the many historically accurate, entertaining and memorable stories you will hear when you take a walk through New Orleans neighborhoods with The Savvy Native. You’re gonna truly feel lucky…
The Savvy Native is a group of experienced local tour guides who were either born in New Orleans or wish they had been.
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