By Clydia Colston-Dean and Destiny Dupree
You have probably seen that big pink building on Elysian Fields Avenue. We bet you have heard about how great the food is. We got a chance to get a close look and actually catch some of the history and some of the secrets to how they manage to make the food taste great. The workers there are very friendly and made the interview process smooth. Here’s what we found out:
Gene’s is a three-shop area. They have two poboy shops and one daiquiri shop. The first poboy shop is right on the corner of Elysian Fields and St. Claude. It is named Gene’s Poboys after the owner and proprietor of the whole facility. The second building is called ILYS Bistro, which stands for “I Love You So,” and is dedicated to Gene’s mother. The daiquiri shop still remains a mystery to us due to the fact that we are underage and could not get in. In ILYS Bistro, they try to keep the environment happy. The setting is more like a dining room in your house instead of a restaurant. They play R&B over the stereo and have a lot of photos and a New Orleans vibe. There are family pictures of Gene when he was younger which sets the feeling of a home-like environment. They are also very open about their food safety certification because you can see it as soon as you walk in. Also multiple celebrities have been there. As stated on the website, Beyonce and Jay-Z even love their delicious poboys. Other celebrities that have been there include The OJs and Solange.
It did not take that long for our food to come in. The menu for Gene’s Poboys and ILYS Bistro are different. If you want a shrimp poboy and you go into Gene’s Poboys, they will simply direct you to ILYS.
The food was excellent! They give you a great portion of shrimp in the shrimp poboys and they dress it exactly how you want it. The prices are also extremely low. After we had our share of delicious food, we decided to interview a few of the workers to get their opinions on working there. What they had to say was shocking. When asked about their plans for the future, one of the workers said, “We plan on opening a Gene’s everywhere across the Metro area.” When we asked Thomas Scott, the cook, how he manages to get the food to taste so great, he replied with “Fresh grease. There is a different batch of grease for the shrimps, fries, and everything else.” We decided to ask how long Gene’s Poboys has been around. The worker revealed to us that it has been open since 1951. That’s a total of sixty-five years of business. The workers are also very honest about their successes and failures. “We get all kinds of ratings—bad ratings, good ratings. But that’s normal with any restaurant.”
No matter the ratings, if you ever want a good poboy, do not pass up that giant pink building on Elysian Fields Avenue.
Clydia Colston-Dean and Destiny Dupree are freshmen at New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School.