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Whitefish Po’ Boy at the Roadhouse

A fish sandwich shoots to the top of the Roadhouse sales charts.

by Ari Weinzweig

It’s not that often that a new product will jump right onto the list of top ten sellers in one of our businesses. But when chef Bob Bennett brought out this very delicious Whitefish Po’ boy a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see it quickly become one of the most popular items on the lunch menu.

In hindsight, it’s not hard for me to understand the attraction. I grew up eating whitefish regularly, and to this day, I have a high emotional attachment to it. I still connect whitefish with my grandmother. When she cooked it she was insistent that I, as the oldest grandchild, get a “tail piece,” which I assume now she thought was best because it never had any bones to worry about. And I smile now remembering her, all those years ago, insisting too that we needed to eat a lot of fish because it was “brain food.”

To make the Po’ Boy, the Roadhouse kitchen crew cuts small “scallops” of fresh Lake Superior whitefish, seasons them with salt and Tellicherry pepper, then dredges them in some of that amazingly good cornmeal (made from four very old heirloom varietals) that we get from Anson Mills. The fish is then deep fried and piled onto a Po’ Boy bun from the Bakehouse, along with a good bit of the tomato relish the Roadhouse makes with those terrific tomatoes we get from my friend Chris Bianco. (If you haven’t tried the tomatoes, now’s the time, especially if you, like me, might be grieving the annual end of tomato season here in Michigan. The tomatoes are truly exceptional! We stock them, both “whole” and “crushed,” at the Roadhouse and at the Cream Top Shop. On top of the fact that they taste great, the labels are beautiful. They were painted by Chris’ father, Leonard Bianco, who passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 94.)The Whitefish Po’ Boy gets served up with some of the twice-cooked fries. Swing by this week and order one up!