How remarkable, but not surprising, that concepts like "alley burger" have gained such striking momentum and popularity. This back-alley-dining juggernaut has a certain clandestine feel about it, but concurrently hearkens to days when dining out of doors was the rule, rather than the exception. Dining in a back alley is a salacious mixture of hush-hush entry gained to a secret clubhouse, but said clubhouse is far from secret, given the inevitable flurry of social media activity that accompanies such an evening.
Creole Envie molded this au naturel dining experience to feature Po'Boy Sandwiches, which are as creole as listening to a Dr. John album in the bayou. On this particular evening, the early spring air is still and the restaurant's interior is quiet, lit passively by the late afternoon sun. The action is out back by Envie's small, covered porch. Tire ruts, mud and massive windrows of languishing snow are scarcely barriers for those seeking sustenance.
Tonight's alley po'boy is a foot-long meal in a bun. Twelve inch po'boys are standard in New Orleans; anything smaller is known as a "shorty." Here, a sizable baguette cradles sweet and pudgy prawns and thick slices of tender andouille sausage. Sliced tomatoes, mixed greens and a generous smear of spicy mayo balance out the protein-heavy fillings without diverting attention from these quintessentially Louisianan victuals. Indeed, prawns and andouille are such intuitive bunkmates: the ocean's yin to the earth's yang, ethereal fins to no-nonsense hooves, or sultry Norah Jones to boisterous Luciano Pavarotti. This is a sandwich to be reckoned with, whether consumed indoors or out. The latter, however, just might be that much better when one is privy to a back alley, open air, top secret dining club.