I drive past Joe Sepie’s Cafe (4402 Jefferson Hwy, 504.324.5613) in old Jefferson nearly every work day, and I usually see the Leidenheimer’s delivery man propping up a tall brown bag of po-boy loaves on the doorstep each morning. I finally ventured inside last week and discovered an old-school sandwich shop with a few twists. Po-boys share a menu with tamales, panini, a few Italian pasta dishes, and diner-style “splat” burgers.
The roast beef poboy, available in regular, ultimate, and Cajun variations, is a fine example of the genre. As it turns out, Joe Sepie’s proprietor Pete Theriot hails from Raceland, the hometown of po-boy originators Benny & Clovis Martin. House-made roast beef is slow-cooked until it shreds under its own weight, and Theriot loads it into toasted Leidenheimer’s bread (always a nice touch). The resulting sandwich is juicy without dissolving into beef bread pudding. Almost as good as the roast beef: fresh-cut shoestring french fries.
Tucked inside paper wrappers, the tamales are a homogenous mix of masa, beef, & spices. While they won’t replace Isabel Mendez’s bean & jalapeno tamales (sold on Tuesdays & Saturdays at the Crescent City Farmers’ Market) in my personal-best list, these New Orleans-style tamales are satisfying and savory.
Moral of the story: don’t let years pass by before you check out a new place…