It's official — 2020 is Houston's Year of the Sandwich. After all, if three makes a trend, then chef-created sandwiches are having their moment.
Graham Laborde, fresh off his recent departure as director of operations for Killen's Restaurants, has reunited with Chris Roy, his sous chef at the late, lamented Bernadine's, and Johnny's Gold Brick owner Benjy Mason for a series of pop-ups devoted to po' boys.
Named after the Peacemaker po' boy — a Bernadine's staple that features fried shrimp and oysters dressed with cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, and a swipe of Duke's mayo served on a roll from New Orleans Leidenheimer’s Bakery — the Peace Maker pop-up will launch Friday, September 25 in Midtown at Natachee’s Supper ‘n’ Punch from 4-8 pm.
“Honestly, we missed working together and this seemed like a fun way to get back in the kitchen,” Laborde said in a statement. “We were talking about how much we wanted to eat the Bernadine’s po' boy again, and it grew from there.”
In addition to the peacemaker, Laborde and Roy will serve Birria Debris Po-Boy (braised beef sandwich, dipped in the braising liquid, griddled until crispy); a Smoked Turkey Po-Boy (made with turkey from Feges BBQ, a Fried Chicken Po-Boy with red beans and tomato relish); and a Nashville Hot Mushroom Po-Boy (spicy fried oyster mushrooms, dill pickles, and chow chow). A few seasonal vegetable sides and Zapp's potato chips will round out the menu.
The cocktail experts at Johnny's will supply drinks such as a frozen daiquiri, a sazerac highball, and a pumpkin spice gin fizz. Both the food and drinks will be available for either dine-in or to-go.
Laborde and Roy are in good company with their sandwich concept. Riel chef-owner Ryan Lachaine recently introduced Louie's, a lunchtime sandwich purveyor that operates out of the Riel kitchen. In addition, Ben McPherson recently added Porchetta & Sandwiches as a lunchtime concept that operates from BOH Pasta & Pizza, his stand at downtown's Bravery Chef Hall.
For now, Peace Maker will pop-up monthly, with an October appearance slated for Johnny's, but it has room to grow. Laborde tells CultureMap that the pop-ups are only "phase one" for the concept.