There's sweet tea on tap — always a good sign of Southern hospitality. While we're spending a quick lunch break at the Cajun sandwich shop in Strongsville rather than an afternoon on a porch swing down in the Louisiana bayou, the atmosphere and provisions makes it hard to tell the difference. With regal purple walls, French Quarter murals and a parade of soups, salads, po'boys and entrees such as Creole ratatouille and red beans, rice and sausage, there's plenty to celebrate. Start with the house-made gumbo ($2.95 cup, $4.95 bowl), an authentic take full of flavor and loaded with chicken and andouille sausage. Next, choose from one of seven po'boys. Some are traditional such as the Bayou ($9.75) with crispy catfish, while the Jazz and Blues ($9.95) sings with pulled pork and Creole coleslaw. We love how each bite of the Ragin' Cajun's ($9.95) tender and crispy breaded shrimp pops with flavor thanks to the spicy remoulade slathered on the baguette. For a twist on a New Orleans favorite, opt for the Wuffaletta ($9.95), a cheeky play on a muffuletta sandwich. The mammoth dish, loaded with hot slices of ham, salami, melted provolone and a salty olive tapenade, is served open-faced on a cornmeal waffle. It's enough for two, so kick back and share with your dining companion and keep the sweet tea flowing.
When You Go: Nola's Po'Boy Shop, 17024 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-268-6610, nolaspoboyshop.com