Brother’s Po-Boy restaurant owner Burt Parham provides Westlake with a small touch of New Orleans. The restaurant, which officially opened in May of this year, serves po-boys on New Orleans-style french bread baked on scene.
The history of the “po-boy” sandwich, according to the Brother’s menu, dates back to 1922 when Benny and Clovis Martin, former streetcar conductors, opened a restaurant in the French Market in New Orleans. In 1929, during a four month strike against the streetcar company, the Martins served their former colleagues free sandwiches. Martin’s restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as “poor boys,” and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. With the influences of Louisiana dialect, this eventually shortened to “po-boys.”
Parham, a Sulphur native, and his brother-in-law, from New Orleans, set out to create a dining experience patterned on the Big Easy.
“It took me 10 months to remodel this building. It was formerly the Golden Hen Chinese Restaurant that was destroyed during Hurricane Rita. It took a long time to get it rebuilt and remodeled, but we have a great result from our effort,” Parham said. “We love it here in Westlake. Westlake has been very, very good to us. Of course, we are still the new guy on the block, but we’re doing pretty good.”
Parham added, “We don’t have a large selection of sandwiches - we try to keep everything simple with the po-boys, pizzas, salads, and then the muffalatta. We really enjoy this; it’s been a big time family endeavor and a lot of fun.”
That fun continues with the restaurant’s New Orleans-based decor that features gold, green, and purple, traditional Mardi Gras colors, and miniature, moving replicas of two New Orleans streetcars nested atop adjacent walls.
Parham invites customers to enjoy their meal in the dining room, but there is also a drive-through for customers that would like to take their meal to go. But, he warns, the po-boys at Brother’s are purposely overstuffed.
“I wouldn’t recommend trying to eat while driving, especially one of our sandwiches. We like to fill you up. If people decide not to return to Brother’s Po-Boys, it won’t be because we didn’t give them enough to eat”
Unique menu items that the restaurant, open Monday to Saturday, features include the best-selling “Brother’s Special” sandwich that includes ham, turkey and roast beef, and the “Burt Salad” that contains shrimp, ham and chicken.