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Luella’s Southern Kitchen Has One of the Best Po’ Boys in Chicago

The secret is the bread.

Oyster po’ boy at Luella’s Southern Kitchen.   Photo: Nick Kindelsperger

Price Point: $12 for an oyster po’ boy 

At first, there appears to be no logic to a po’ boy: Simply stuff as much as fried seafood as possible into a roll, unhinge your jaw, and get to business. But Luella’s Southern Kitchen (4609 N Lincoln Ave, 773-961-8196; luellassouthernkitchen.com) in Lincoln Square understands the importance of balance, even if its version of the sandwich initially looks like a chaotic mess. Just look at all those fried oysters! Fortunately, each one is fried until golden brown and crispy while remaining juicy within. The wimpy lettuce and off-season tomato don’t do much, but a creamy and spicy cayenne remoulade rounds things off nicely. If you still need more heat, bottles of Crystal hot sauce get the job done. 

The biggest difference between a good po’ boy and an excellent one is the bread. In New Orleans, the best po’ boys use a light and crackly French bread, the kind that can stand up to whatever filling gets thrown on top, while not getting in the way of all the other ingredients. Most po’ boys in Chicago miss this balance of strength and airiness. Luella’s builds theirs on a nice French bread—not quite as light as the best in New Orleans, but still very good—making this one of the best places to score a po’ boy in all of Chicago.  

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