I rarely order crab cakes anymore, anywhere. No matter how good they are, they are always expensive, almost always tiny, and I always need to be fed again soon after. Very annoying. Not the case with the Crab Cake Po’ Boy at the Village Market and Eatery. It may be $12, but the day I had it for lunch I didn’t need any dinner. I’m calling that a bargain. The menu says “6 oz. crab cake served with lettuce, tomato, onion, Cajun remoulade and fries,” but “6 oz” didn’t really get the message across that this is a big crab cake! (See picture at right; that’s a full size Kaiser roll, and a dinner sized plate.)
Chef Billy Phillips, who has been at the Market since May, gets a good sear going on both sides of the crab cake so it’s texturally complex, with a bit of crispiness complimenting the creaminess of the interior. The remoulade, a tangy sauce typically made with mayonnaise, mustard, paprika and a touch of hot sauce, was nicely executed at the Market, giving a punch to the whole thing (though I did ask for a bit more of it!).
The fries, by the way, are not to be ignored. They were about as good as French fries get: crispy outside; soft inside; beautifully seasoned. And there were a lot of them. That always makes me happy.
These days there is a slight perception that the term “Po’ Boy” is politically incorrect, but that idea should be put to rest immediately. Market owner Carl Zatz explained that the name for these traditional sandwiches from Louisiana was coined in New Orleans during a strike; the sandwiches were served free to the out-of-work strikers, who were jokingly called “poor boys.” The name soon came to be associated with the sandwiches themselves. (This story has been corroborated by the unassailable wikipedia, which adds that it was 1929; the strike, against the street car company, lasted four months; and that in Louisiana dialect, poor boy was naturally shortened to “po’ boy.)
So don’t hang back. March to the Village Market and Eatery and order up a Crab Po’ Boy. Open 7:00 to 4:00. Closed Wed.