After hours: Nawlins’
I’ve never had the chance to experience a Mardi Gras party in New Orleans or walk down Bourbon Street while chomping on a po’ boy. To be honest, until recently I imagined a po’ boy to be nothing more than some poor chap down on his luck.
It took a man by the name of Charles Hall, a native of New Orleans’ 7th Ward, to show me that it was much more than that — it was, in fact, possibly the tastiest sandwich I’d ever eaten.
After my first trip to the restaurant a few weeks ago, I needed a second opinion and decided to take my whole family to try it out.
The exterior of the building sets a nice scene with an artsy depiction of a jazzy New Orleans juke joint, circa 1930s.
Patrons order their food at the window and have the option of taking it out or eating in the dining room.
Hall, a 30-year Navy veteran, opened Nawlins’ take-out window in May and expanded with a dining room in December.
The small dining area only seats about five families, but the coziness of the room makes it an enjoyable place to fill your stomach.
The menu features a variety of New Orleans favorites including seven types of po’ boys, red beans and rice, gumbo, catfish, shrimp Creole and bread pudding. Hall gets all of his seafood fresh from a local fish market and his spices directly from New Orleans.
I decided to try the shrimp po’ boy and my wife ordered the au jus roast beef po’ boy, each with fries and potato salad.
Upon seeing the sandwich, I admit I was a little intimidated seeing all the ingredients piled high on that delicious-looking French bread.
After the first bite, I decided that if I wasn’t going to finish it, I was going to hurt myself trying.
Hall’s been cooking since he was 14 years old, and his experience shows. The sandwich was amazing, the potato salad delicious, and I’d like to say the fries were delectable, but my kids finished them before I had a chance to even eat one.
My only regret was that in the end, I didn’t have room for dessert.
We went earlier than the regular dinner time so we had the entire dining room to ourselves, but Hall assured us business has been steady since he opened.
Ironically, he said, the biggest crowd comes the one day of the week that Nawlins is closed.
In addition to being passionate about food, his other passion is his church, which sits two floors above the restaurant.
"I usually get about 80 or more people on Sundays," he says.
Hall said that eventually he’d like to expand his business throughout the building and transform it into a New Orleans-style mall with beauty and barber shops.
For me and my family, Nawlins definitely hit the spot and is somewhere that we look forward to frequenting.
Know a restaurant or entertainment spot you’d like to see reviewed in After Hours? E-mail Karen Willenbrecht, Pacific After Hours editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nawlins Authentic New Orleans Po-Boys & Cuisine
Location: 2 Ogawacho, Yokosuka City.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed on Sundays.
Prices: 750-1,250 yen for most entrees.
Specialties: Gumbo, red beans and rice, catfish.
English menu: Yes
Clientele: Mixture of American and Japanese.
Directions: Walk out the Womble Gate at Yokosuka Naval Base and turn left. Turn right at the next light and the restaurant will be on the left side of the street.
Web site: None