I was so lucky to attend a Gabriel Hall Po’Boy pop up at Nancy Whiskey last week. Gabriel Hall is a Creole restaurant, bar, and music venue. Partners, Ederique Gouida and Dameon Gabriel are expecting to open Gabriel Hall in 2018 in the West Village neighborhood of Detroit, MI. The pop up featured three types of Po’Boy’s: Catfish, Fried Green Tomato, and Shredded Chicken. They all sounded so good, so Nastassia, Michelle, and I decided to try all three. Each Po’Boy came served with voodoo fries, cornbread, and slaw.
Let’s go over some common Louisiana lingo, before we get started on the review!
Gabriel Hall verbage
Po’Boy: A traditional sandwich from Louisiana. Po’Boy’s almost always consists of meat, which is usually fried seafood including shrimp, crawfish, oysters or crab.
Remoulade: Louisiana style condiment either oil or mayonnaise based, also having mustard, garlic, paprika and Cajun seasonings.
Dressed: Topped with shredded lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes.
Creole: A style of Southern cooking, originating in Louisiana which blends a variety of different influences from French to Spanish, Greek, Italian, Irish, to Filipino, and West African (and many more). Creole cuisine revolves around influences found in Louisiana from populations present in Louisiana before the sale of Louisiana to the United States in the early 1800’s.
Fried Green Tomato Po’Boy: Green tomatoes sliced thin, breaded in corn meal, then fried until golden brown and served “dressed” with tangy remoulade sauce on a 6” inch French bread. Super tasty! The breaded tomatoes held up well and had a slight tang to them. Sometimes when breading and frying vegetables a lot of moisture comes out and they become soggy or you lose the breading. These tomatoes were firm with a nice bite. I didn’t even miss that this was meatless! I would’ve liked more of the tangy remoulade sauce.
Catfish Po’Boy: Catfish fillets dredged in a seasoned cornmeal breading, deep fried, and served “dressed” with tangy remoulade sauce on a 6′ crisp French bread. My favorite! The catfish was fried to perfection without being greasy. The bread was slightly toasted, yet still had a chew to it. The remoulade sauce was subtle, but good. However, I wished there were more! In fact, I am not the type of girl that likes their sandwich swimming in sauce, but this time I needed more.
Shredded Chicken Po’Boy: Slow roasted chicken smothered in a rich gravy served “dressed” with mayo on a 6” inch French bread. The chicken was tender and the seasonings were spot on. The delicious gravy reminded me of chicken pot pie. The pickles added a slight sourness that cut through the rich gravy and really complimented the sandwich. I liked that the toasty French bread didn’t get soggy. It was the perfect choice for this Po’Boy.
Now, time for the sides!
Voodoo Fries: Crispy fries seasoned with a signature 9 spice blend. Delicious! Think of the the best seasoned fries you’ve ever had then times that by 100! The seasonings were perfectly balanced. The fries were generously seasoned, yet not too spicy or salty. I hate it when fries or bland and boring. These were the perfect side kick to the Po’Boys.
Creole Cornbread: Arguably, the best cornbread I have ever had. It was sweet, without being overwhelming, with a hint of almond. The moist, buttery, cornbread melted in my mouth. I am used to dry cornbread that crumbles when you pick it up. Not this! The best part was that you didn’t need to add anything to it. The cornbread didn’t need honey, jam, jelly, or butter. Good news! This cornbread will be served at Gabriel Hall. I cannot wait to order a ton of it!
Coleslaw: Shredded cabbage, carrots, fresh apple, raisins, tossed in a light dressing. The apple added a nice crunch that left you saying “Hey, what’s that?” The raisin added a nice chewy sweetness. I liked that the dressing wasn’t heavy. Overdressed, soupy coleslaw is for the birds. Also, the dressing was just enough to allow the slaw to stand on its own. Well done!
Note: When I asked Ederique of Gabriel Hall for the descriptions of the sides, it was like pulling teeth. I had to play 20 questions in order to get even basic ingredients. Haha. Additionally, she absolutely would not give up what was in the Creolo cornbread which I can totally respect. It is a family recipe after all.
In conclusion, I had so much fun and this pop up was a blast. It was refreshing to see how many people came to show their support. Sure, part of it was to enjoy delicious creole food, but it was such a success. Nancy Whiskey was packed as soon as the doors opened. I was lucky to get there when I did because about halfway in, they sold out of everything! Woo hoo! Bummer for those that missed out, but how awesome.
Until their opening next year, Gabriel Hall plans to continue having pop ups around the area. I will share the events as I find them out. If you get a chance to attend, go! My advice to the duo from Gabriel Hall is, at the next popup, have more food and save me some cornbread! Kudos to Ederique and Dameon!
Big shout out to one of my best friends, Michelle for visiting this past week. As always, it was too short, but a blast.
Like the Gabriel Hall Facebook page for upcoming pop ups and event details.
Follow Gabriel Hall on Instagram: @Gabrielhalldet