Poor Boy's Riverside Inn is one of the longest-operating restaurants in Acadiana. The seafood restaurant has a rich history from where it started to what it is today. In the 1930s, Hulo “Poor Boy” Landry started a snowball stand after discovering he had a flour allergy and could no longer work for the family enterprise - Evangeline Made Bread. He would take his lunch breaks in between serving customers who quickly took notice of his poor boy sandwich he learned to make in slave quarters in New Orleans and from his coworkers at The Roosevelt Hotel. After repeated requests to buy his lunch, satisfied customers encouraged him to open a restaurant when they realized how delicious his poor boys were. Hence an iconic restaurant and nickname were born.
Fast forward to today, where Poor Boys has been handed down through generations of family members and is now owned by the Hurst family via Landry’s daughter, Kathlyn. Over time, the restaurant expanded its menu offerings and moved locations multiple times to accommodate a growing number of patrons. Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn is currently located in Broussard.
Where does the name come from? In 1939 the restaurant was located on Pinhook Road, right on the Vermilion, hence the namesake. The restaurant was relocated to its current spot in 1977. “We have survived two major floods, several hurricanes, and a tornado,” says Landry’s grandaughter-in-law and current owner, Lori Hurst. “We were even the first restaurant in town to have air conditioning!”
Poor Boy’s experimented with new culinary techniques and dishes at the time that caught on with other Cajun restaurants. “We were the first to top fish with crab meat, first to put redfish on the menu, the first to install a live lobster tank, first to blacken fish, first to sell emu, first to sell crawfish etouffee in a restaurant,” says Hurst. “We were also the first to put alligator and sweet potato beignets on the menu, and they have been favorites ever since.”
Today Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn is considered fine dining, a traditional seafood restaurant in the heart of Cajun & Creole country. It’s a perfect setting for a romantic date night or a place to experience authentic Cajun cuisine. Walk in feeling welcome, like a part of the family due to the friendly, experienced staff. One of the most popular dishes is the Crab Meat Imperial - jumbo lump crab meat sauteed with mushrooms and pimentos in a rich cream sauce and baked until golden. It is one of Landry’s original recipes and has been on the menu since the 1960s.
Expect to find plenty of Gulf seafood options such as Crawfish Etouffee, Cajun Shrimp Alfredo, and Oysters Rockefeller.