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Mother's

401 Poydras, New Orleans, LA - (504) 523-9656
Posted By Michael Stern on March 24, 2012 10:47 AM
Of the many must-eat foods in New Orleans, a po-boy sandwich rates high on the list; and of the restaurants where you want to eat one, Mother’s belongs among the elite.

A blue-collar cafeteria with blue-ribbon Creole fare, this venerable establishment makes what is known as a “Ferdi Special,” which is baked ham, roast beef, and plenty of gravy, along with cabbage, pickles, mayo, and mustard, all piled into a length of crisp-crusted bread. It is a kaleidoscopic eating experience, but to our tongues, confusing. We prefer getting an all-roast-beef po-boy, with sliced beef and plenty of “debris,” which is the New Orleans word for all the tiny bits and pieces that fall of the roast and wallow in its juices as it cooks and is carved. Beef, debris, and enough gravy to moisten the fleecy insides of the bread make one deliriously delicious sandwich! It is even possible to get a po-boy made ONLY of debris, which is simply too luscious for words.

Oysters, soft-shell crabs, fried shrimp, and pork chops are among the other available fillings for these grand sandwiches, so whatever’s your pleasure, we can practically guarantee that Mother’s will satisfy.

Although po-boys are its main claim to fame, Mother’s also happens to be a great breakfast spot. Big, serious biscuits come with all sorts of good fillings, including regular and smoked sausage, black ham and baked ham, and nothing but debris. We love the idea of grits with debris: a perfectly well-balanced meal. There are omelets of red beans, shrimp Creole, and crawfish etouffee; and even the scrambled eggs have a flavor that simply does not exist beyond this city’s limits.

At lunch, other than po-boys, you want to eat gumbo or jambalaya or what is, in our opinion, the finest red beans and rice in town since Buster Holmes closed, followed, of course, by Mother’s bread pudding with buttered brandy sauce.

For us, the savor of these meals is accented by the fact that they are doled out cafeteria-style to working people as well as to high rollers, at about one-tenth the price of the city’s more self-important culinary Meccas.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
red beans and rice
po-boy
Ferdi Special
Crawfish Etouffee
Black Ham Biscuit
Debris
Debris Biscuit
Grits
Biscuit
Grits and Debris
Baked Ham Biscuit
Red Bean Omelet
Bread Pudding
Sausage Biscuit
Cream Coffee

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Posted By Steve Swirsky on April 21, 2013 8:01 PM
Breakfast/lunch yesterday was amazing. I had great gumbo (chicken and sausage) with a po' boy (ham, roast beef, debris, "dressing" and gravy). My niece had the jambalaya, which she swears by, and my wife had eggs, smoked sausage, grits, and a beautiful biscuit. We washed our meals down with Bloody Marys and lemonade. These were some of the best meals ever. The gumbo and jambalaya were amazing. I have been told that the fried chicken (which I will order next time) is one of the best. Loved it!
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Ferdi Special
gumbo with chicken and sausage
jambalya

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Posted By Jim Dudlicek on January 12, 2011 1:20 PM
This was our first dining stop on our latest trip to NOLA, just a short walk from our hotel. I guess we lucked out: the line started inside the building. Every other time we passed Mother's during our stay, folks were lined up out the door.

It was Ferdi Specials all around for me, the wife, and our six-year-old daughter, who eagerly snarfed up her half-length po'boy. It was unanimous: one of the best sandwiches we'd ever eaten. However, there was some debate over whether it was better than Central's muffuletta, which we had two days later.

Mother's is replete with history, great aromas, and sumptuous flavors. I would gladly wait in line out on the street for another meal there.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Ferdi Special

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Posted By kurt on June 11, 2010 6:07 PM
If you aren't from food network..........you won't get anything like they get.
Wife and I went to try the famous ferdi special, what a RIP OFF !!!!!! 1 slice ea. of roast beef and ham, a dab of debris and gravy that looked more like water than anything else. 20 minute wait in hot june 15th sun, flies inside, OVERPRICED !!!!!! Bland undercooked fries. If you don't have a camera crew in tow and can't give them national exposure, you won't get anything worth the $$$ or the wait. One reviewer says it's a locals place.

I suggest you leave them to it because if you are just visiting they won't get to see you enough to recognize you and take good care of you.
0 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Sarah Kelly on July 7, 2009 3:33 PM
Upon Roadfood's recommendation I planned my short stop in New Orleans around lunch at Mothers. I must say, I was not disappointed! Though the line was at least 20 people out the door, it was not 20 minutes before we entered the building.

I was surprised by the size of the menu. I decided to order the Ferdi Special because it is the specialty of the house. Again, I was not disappointed. As I have told everyone I've recommended Mother's to, I will spend a fair amount of time trying to recreate that taste sensation. As a first real New Orleans experience, Mother's made me want to come back again for more, so I would say they did their job. It was outstanding and I would highly recommend planning a trip into New Orleans for a Ferdi special.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Ferdi Special
po-boy
Debris

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Posted By David Livesay on August 17, 2003 7:12 AM
Sorry guys, I think Mother's is slightly overrated. This place benefits from a fabulous location and the strength of its reputation. In the Philadelphia area, home of the cheesesteak and sub, this place would go out of business in a month. It's not that the food is that bad, but for comfort food it is overpriced. I had a Ferdi special and red beans and rice, two items that the reviewer touted, and they didn't rate that highly on my taste/cost index. On the plus side, I did have breakfast there the next day and I do recommend it. I did notice that Mother's rather unusual ordering style was not mentioned in the review, and I would suggest that first timers who are not daunted by my less than sterling review observe the ordering procedure as they wait in line. Not a bad place, but in New Orleans you can do better with just a little walking.
1 star rating
Overall Rating

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