Po’boys — a staple Louisianan sandwich — typically consists of fried seafood, like shrimp and oysters, or roast beef with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, remoulade and some hot sauce all put into slices of French bread. There are only a handful of places within Colorado where you can get a classic po’boy for the right price. Now, RiNo has one of its very own spots with a new, lunch-time po’boy pop-up that is paying homage to the affordable sandwich.
“I definitely wanted to kind of honor the tradition because it’s one of those things that people have very strong opinions about,” Chef Kyle Foster of Julep said. “I didn’t want to upset too many people by making it too out of the box, but I also wanted to make it our own and use the theme of the po’boy.”
Husband and wife duo, Kyle and Katie Foster, opened up Pirate Alley Po’Boys earlier this year to have a fast, casual lunch joint in the RiNo neighborhood. It is located at the same location as their southern sophisticated restaurant, Julep, except customers are greeted by a pirate skeleton instead of a host that directs you to the bar where you can order from their small but tasteful menu.
Pirate Alley is a straightforward operation. It is only open on Wednesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until the food runs out and is solely helmed by chef Kyle and a waiter. However, the food still comes out at a timely fashion and the waiter is knowledgable of the menu and is open to answering any questions customers may have about it.
The menu may be small but everything sits between $10 and $12, so dishes are quality and affordable. Chef Kyle added his own touch for the roast beef debris po’boy ($10) by adding gravy and sweet potato chips for an extra crunch and sweetness. The saltiness of the classic fried shrimp po’boy ($12) can be a bit overpowering at some bites, but the crunchiness of the fried shrimp and tastefulness of the remoulade make up for it. The pirate pocket ($11) is like gumbo in fried dough — packed full of flavor and some heat with all the spices put into it. Make sure to keep some paper towels close to you because things can get a bit messy.
The smoked turkey po’boy ($10) adds smoked grapes into the mix of traditional po’boy ingredients. Chef Kyle also creates secret sandwiches of the day, so make sure to ask the waiter about it. Customers can also try out the arugula salad ($8) if you don’t feel like having a sandwich. Be sure to pair your dish with an adult Kool-A id to top off your meal at Pirate Alley.
Pirate Alley Po’Boys caters to those that want to quickly pick up lunch to bring back to work without paying too much. Its menu draws inspiration from the traditional southern sandwich, but the chef adds a little spin to it to make it his own. In the future, Kyle aims to push the concept further.
“Our hope is that people like it and appreciate it,” explained Kyle. “And as the neighborhood grows, it’ll continue to grow, and we can grow the menu. Once the patio’s open, we can open the garage door and can order there for takeout or sit out on the patio and eat.”
Pirate Alley Po’Boys is located at 3528 Larimer Street, Denver. It’s open Wednesdays – Thursdays from 11 a.m. until the food runs out.
All photography by Lukas Crosby.