Debris. In the often storm-ravaged South, it’s fair to say most people might associate the word with windblown limbs and whatnot. But that’s obviously not the kind of stuff they’re whipping up in downtown Mobile’s newest eatery, Debris Po Boys & Drinks. In stark, more palatable contrast, their kitchen is dishing out New Orleans-style debris, pronounced “day-bree,” which is roast beef that’s been moistened with pan drippings and simmered until it’s fall-apart, melt-in-yo-mouth goodness. It’s the kind of aftermath you definitely don’t mind dealing with, especially when it’s sandwiched between authentic French bread, crispy on the outside and fluffy where it counts.
But debris isn’t all they’re slinging. Under the direction of chef Mark Strickland, the menu is teeming with traditional Louisianan-style sandwiches that’ve been infused with a smack of flair. To make the cochon de lait, for example, Strickland pulls out all the stops by using not one but two different cuts of pork, a tender amalgamation that’s accentuated with the tang of Wickles Pickles and Creole slaw.
“There are certain things I won’t budge on,” Strickland says of the ingredients he uses. “Other than the proteins and vegetables, everything is made in-house, from the batter we coat the crabs with to the syrups we use at the bar.”
Finding a spot to belly-up at the 50-foot bar won’t be a problem. “It seats 30 people,” owner Noell Broughton proudly says of the gorgeous behemoth encompassing the entire west wall. In addition to wine and regional beers, diners can imbibe craft cocktails, like a hurricane made with premium Campesino Rum, as seen above and poured by general manager Alex Daniels.
Each overstuffed 6- or 12-inch po’boy comes with a bag of Zapp’s chips, but hot sides-of-the-day, like collards, etouffee and okra, can be added. Slaw and gumbo are regular options. And if you think grabbing a po’boy on your lunch hour sounds too messy, try a pistolette, a deep-fried bread roll that’s been stuffed with barbecue shrimp or crawfish. “We call it business attire-friendly eating,” Broughton laughs.
He knows a thing or two about keeping patrons happy and running a business — Debris is yet another establishment Broughton adds to his fold. His secret to success? He divulges, “Surround yourself with good people.”
Po’boys On the Menu
Pomodoro sauce and a blend of cheeses smother slow-braised meatballs, made of pork, veal and beef, for this Italian-inspired tour de force.
Plump fried oysters topped with smoky, sauteed spinach and dressed with a creamy Parmesan Rockefeller sauce. Served on garlic French bread.
Fried Soft-Shell Crab
Crispy blue crab rests atop a bed of lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Served with choice of cocktail, tartar or remoulade sauce.
Slow-braised prime beef is melt-in-your-mouth perfection. The eponymous po’boy is dressed with lettuce, tomato, and mayo and served with au jus.
Debris Po Boys & Drinks • 276 Dauphin St. 378-8133. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. – Wed.; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Thur. – Sat.