I was watching Cook’s Country yesterday and they made a muffaletta (never seen a Sicilian loaf that thick) and I got a craving. So I headed over to the Antone’s Original Po-Boys on Bellaire, the closest one to me. As I walked up to the door I realized some of the sign had been scraped off the windows and door and inside I was greeted with red banners announcing Paulie’s Po-Boys. One banner said ‘coming soon’ and ‘same great food, just a new name.’
What I overheard being said to other customers, who were all asking questions, and what was told to me: The owners of Legacy Restaurant Group, which owns the Antone’s Famous shops (and the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation) has demanded that the shops that go by the Antone’s Original name either use the same recipes as the Antone’s Famous stores or change the name. This group, which presumably also includes the Antone’s on Kirby @ OST, has decided to change the name, Paulie’s being the name of a grandson of the original owner of Antone’s on Taft.
I also heard the original founders of Antone’s on Taft sold the rights to the name 25 years ago and haven’t had anything to do with either business since.
So who has the original recipes??? I always assumed it was the shops with ‘original’ in the name, but I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever been to one of the ‘famous’ shops. I don’t know who puts out the pre-made po-boys available all over town.
The official name change will be as of April 1.
Anyhoo - the sandwich: better than expected. Bread a little on the stale side but had a little crustiness, which I didn’t expect to find at Antone’s. Bigger problem was the too dry version of olive salad. I like for the juices to seep into the bread (and so don’t mind buying a pre-made sandwich) but this wasn’t going to happen to this sandwich. I took it apart and drizzled some olive oil on the insides of the bread to make it a little better the next day, which it was this morning. This is still not the best muff I’ve had in the area.
Differences between the 2 stores? The whole Muff @ Antone’s Famous is 11.95; I paid 9.95 @ Antone’s Original
I’ve read in reviews online that the chow chow relish is different. And that’s all I know.
ETA: Oh, the ingredients above - ham, salami, provolone, mortadella.