Houston's Best Sandwiches: Shrimp PoBoy at Galveston's Benno's on the Beach

Finding a great seafood poboy ain't easy, but a trek to the coast netted a really good one at Benno's on the Beach.
Finding a great seafood poboy ain't easy, but a trek to the coast netted a really good one at Benno's on the Beach. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

OK, in fairness, this isn't Houston. Galveston is its own distinct place to be sure. But, the fact is we are such close and comfortable neighbors, why shouldn't their excellent cuisine make this list? And where can you get fresher seafood than right on the damn beach.

Enter the Shrimp PoBoy at Beno's on the Beach (1200 Seawall Boulevard). There are some outstanding seafood sandwiches lurking around Houston and surrounding communities. But, finding a really good shrimp poboy (or po'boy or PoBoy) can be tricky. Frankly, finding anything that is even close to Parkway in New Orleans would probably draw a crowd.

Beno's, which has been around for years on the far east end of the Seawall, comes pretty damn close. Packed with gently fried shrimp (using corn meal and flour) on a light buttered and grilled roll, it certainly feels like the NOLA classic. And, when getting it to go, they do something I've never really seen before. They wrap add tin foil to the styrofoam box to keep the fried items crispy and pack the sauce and veggies in separate containers, keeping them cool. Sure, there is some assembly required, but it comes out fresh like they served it at your table.

Because Beno's has a Cajun vibe, so do the shrimp, which are nicely seasoned, but certainly not what anyone would call spicy. Save that for the tartar sauce, which has a nice bite to go with its creamy tang, or the jalapeƱo hush puppies, which are an absolute delight served on the side with fries and slaw.

The basic seafood poboy is a simple sandwich. No need to do much with it other than to serve it "dressed" with the above items (plus lettuce and tomato). The key is the bread and the freshness of the seafood and at Beno's check and check. This is a simple sandwich done right, fried but not greasy, spicy but not overly so and fresh like you grabbed the shrimp out of the water yourself.

And the view out the window ain't half bad either.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke