Ed’s Sandwich Shop

January 23rd, 2009 by Editor B

A new restaurant has opened on Bienville at N. Rendon, just a couple blocks from our house. Of course Xy and I went to check it out as soon as we noticed, and as it turns out we were there on opening night.

Ed’s Sandwich Shop is nothing fancy. It’s down-home cookin’ on the real — I suspect that much of the food preparation takes place in someone’s home kitchen. Just a hunch. In any case they aren’t afraid to use the microwave.

I think most New Orleanians will understand exactly what kind of joint Ed’s is when I mention that ya ca mein is on the menu.

Ya Ka Mein (Old Sober)

Photo by Chuck T. Used by permission. Chuck describe the dish thusly:

The beef noodle soup that’s a long time tradition in New Orleans’ black community, served in bars, corner groceries and at second lines. Spaghetti topped with chopped meat, half a hard-boiled egg, green onions and a beef soy-sauce-and-Worcestershire sauce broth, which is really good and a lot better than it sounds.

I don’t think I’ve actually ever had this dish before, though I’d read about it somewhere. It was pretty tasty. It came with a thimbleful of soy sauce but the broth was already salty enough, even for Xy — so you know it was salty.

Tom Fitzmorris probably won’t be reviewing this place anytime soon, but I suspect Xy and I will be back from time to time. Thursday is steak night!

9 Responses to “Ed’s Sandwich Shop”

  1. MF Says:

    Huh! This looks exactly like something you’d get at a Japanese ramen shop, right down to the half egg — the only difference is that the broth is a little thicker. There are tons of dishes like that in China too. Mian is noodle in Chinese, but I’m not sure what the rest would mean. What kind of meat is in it? It’d be interesting if a food started out in the Chinese community, and then moved to the black community. Maybe that’s what happened.

  2. MF Says:

    Does it have duck and spring onion?

  3. Editor B Says:

    Mm. Duck. Not at Ed’s, maybe at Emeril’s. The traditional meat is beef. It has green onions — is that the same as spring onions? One theory is veterans brought this back from Korea.

  4. MF Says:

    Oh — Green onions are “cong” in Mandarin, so I was wondering if the name of the dish came from a Cantonese pronunciation or something. “Cong” and “ca” are pretty close.

  5. rickngentilly Says:

    mmmm…..

    yaka meat

    a.k.a. yaka mein.

    back in the day every hood had at least one plywood shack in somebody’s front or side yard that sold sweets and yaka and huckabucks.

    they were always referred to as sweet shops.

    glad to see it coming back.

    one more step to the old normal.

    thanks for the heads up , gonna check them out soon.

    p.s. huckabucks were frozen koolaid with double the sugar in a dixie cup and allways sold to you by a really sweet old lady.

    kind of a poorboys snoball.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    File’ Gumbo at Ed’s Sandwich Shop is best in the city. Check it out! Steaks on the outside grill on Thursday is well worth a try.

  7. liz Says:

    Yeah, at first I thought ramen, then I thought Korean then i thought it sounds like a southern version of pho, especially with the beef.

  8. Editor B Says:

    Liz: interesting comparison. NOLA is known for its local cuisine but there’s something of a dearth of ethnic food here compared to some other American cities. One thing we do have, though, is a strong Vietnamese contingent. So pho is well known and loved here. Now that you point it out the comparison becomes obvious to me, but I never thought of it before. They taste pretty different — maybe that’s why.

  9. liz Says:

    It looks tasty. For sure. It just seemed so pho in spirit. I’ve never heard much about the history of Vietnamese immigrant communities in New Orleans or for that matter, current patterns in immigration or migration. I’ve never gone looking for such info either. Portland, similar to the other port cities on the west coast, has a large Vietnamese community. The west coast being gateway to the Pacific Rim and all. In fact we have a large Vietnamese community at my workplace. I love going down to the lunchroom and trying to figure out what folks are eating. Unfortunately the language barrier, me not speaking Vietnamese, makes it hard to get the low down on the details of a dish. But so many things look so good.

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