A sliver of a sandwich shop is bringing New Orleans flavor to Oceanside. The eponymous Joe is chef Joe LoSchiavo, formerly executive chef at B.K. Sweeney’s Uptown Grille and George Martin in Rockville Centre before heading up kitchens at Atlantic Beach clubs. His partner in the 15-seat establishment is Terry Hanna, a South Shore front-of-the-house veteran whom he met at Sweeney’s. About 20 years ago, LoSchiavo made his first trip to New Orleans and was “blown away” by the food. The spicy tasso ham and andouille sausage were a revelation to a Long Islander who grew up with prosciutto and salami.
In Oceanside, LoSchiavo faithfully recreates a dark, velvety gumbo ($5.95). His jambalaya ($5.95) is made to order, searing the raw shrimp, adding in the stewed chicken and sausage and then spending a few minutes tossing the rice in the simmering liquid so that it marries with the meats.
The stars of the show, though, are the sandwiches. For the po’boys ($5.95 to $7.95), he asked his bakery to craft rolls that approximate bread from New Orleans’ Leidenheimer Baking Company — more tender than the typical Italian hero. Louisiana Joe’s serves the classic fried shrimp and oyster po’boys, but also po’boys filled with grilled chicken, roast turkey, braised beef with “debris brown gravy” (a rustic pan sauce) and French fries. LoSchiavo said that a French-fry-filled roll was the original po-boy, invented during a 1929 labor strike against the New Orleans streetcar company when Martin Bros. restaurant took pity on the out-of-work drivers, so-called “poor boys,” and gave them French fry sandwiches.
LoSchiavo’s own inventions include a rich cochon panino ($7.95) wherein three different cuts of pork are sandwiched with red cabbage and provolone between thick-cut bread that gets pressed into oozy submission. Don’t miss the pan-roasted chicken ($7.95), medallions of dark meat with arugula, olives, pesto, roast-pepper mayonnaise and fresh mozzarella on toasted ciabatta.
Louisiana Joe’s Sandwich Shop is open for breakfast and lunch, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Sunday.
Louisiana Joe’s Sandwich Shop
488 Merrick Rd., Oceanside