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.
Gee, that didn’t stop them from changing the recipes at the faux former Original Ninfa’s, and diluting the Ninfaritas to where the only punch it gives is a headache, confirmed by our old waiter Omar. I go back to the 70’s when is daddy Ronnie was our waiter.
We won’t go back unless Doobs brings the posse and pays for us and the rest of the HO gang, all three or four of us.
I never really cared too much for Antone’s po boys except when I go fishing on a boat leaving at dawn casting lures or wading, grinding it out not sitting on your rear fishing. Around eleven or twelve it hits the spot.
I go back to the original Antone’s on Taft in the 70s when the deli and the grocery store was just mind-blowingly exotic fare .
I patronized them for years when that was the only location, nearly always going for the Super, but haven’t indulged much for years. Since I retired I very seldom hit any kind of fast food or pre-made food place.
I don’t remember the muffaletta being on the menu at the original location; I’ve never had one before.
I think I’ve only had a bite of a muffaletta once, and I know I don’t like it. I always thought they needed to be packed away for days before they are ready to eat?
I loved Antone’s back in the day, I loved walking into the OST location, the smell was intoxicating. In the early 90s I used to hit one downtown for the tuna sandwich, I loved it and the classic sandwich, I forgot wat it was called, but you could double the ingredients which I never did. There’s a run on sentence for you.
Last year I got into a FB convo with one of the Antone’s owners and he said they don’t own any of them anymore but didn’t say since when. Still, people think they do own at least some of them. I picked up a grocery store one once, it was awful.
While they do travel well, a good fresh one is excellent.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the Ragin’ Cajun, but they make a good Muff and even have an “enhanced” one with a grilled chicken breast. It’s my favorite thing there. You can order a half Muff and it makes a good lunch.
The best Muffeletta is a homemade Muffeletta but the trick is getting the right bread. You can get the salami, mortadella, cheeses, and Boscoli Olive Salad, etc. at Phoenicia but the best bread that’s easily sourceable is the torta bread at the many local Mex bakeries. It’s not as dense or round, but it is nice, crusty and FRESH. Yum.
I used to use HEB in store focaccia, but these days I like the bread to be a bit lighter. The torta bread holds up well to the olive salad.
Or street tacos. But I recently had some posole that I loved (made with tiny hominy) so I guess that’s progress. I haven’t eaten hominy since a particular youth summer camp in Missouri where they shoveled the oversized corn out to homesick youth.
In theory i should love the sandwich since I like all the ingredients, but most of the one’s I’ve had have been mediocre. Two best I’ve had were Spec’s Deli on Smith and Abe’s Cajun Market in Clear Lake, both made and served fresh.
Weird that there are two groups trading on the name and neither is connected to the original family. I’ll try not to lose any sleep over it.
One of the worst I had was Ragin’ Cajun, that and Maceo’s/Galveston. Both had 1/4 of the sandwich with basically nothing but a few scraps of the olive salad between the bread. Maybe I just got a bad sample but I never gave 'em a second chance.
You’re right bread is crucial but I’ve never had one in NOLA so I don’t know what it’s ‘supposed’ to be. I’ve always assumed it was ‘supposed’ to be pretty crusty but maybe that’s just because that’s my preference.
As soon as I heard about Boscoli I ran out and searched some out. Can’t remember where I found it back then; that was certainly long before I ever heard of Phoenicia.
Like you I am not a huge fan of RC, in fact, not a fan at all. The only one I’ve ever been to is the orig on Richmond. That muff was perhaps the last straw for me - can’t remember ever going there again.
But I should have said I’m sure it was just a bad sample instead of ‘maybe it was a bad sample.’ I’m sure they don’t serve them that way all the time.
One of my favorite threads on FTC; they post some awesome looking sandwiches over there. Did you mean just for Houston or for all of HO?
The Antone’s at 8057 Kirby @ OST has rebranded as Angelo’z. There apparently isn’t a website (though you can make a reservation through Yelp, if you think it’s advisable to make a reservation at a sandwich shop ).