Last week, I was down in Biloxi, Mississippi and had the opportunity to compare J&J's shrimp po-boy with those in the homeland of po-boys. From Biloxi to Foley, Alabama I managed to eat 5 different po-boys. Four were shrimp and one was catfish. I would now consider myself an expert on this delectable swamp treat.
Based on my po-boy review (all were "dressed" by the way - mayo, pickles, lettuce, tomato and sometimes onion) I think J&J's is pretty darn close to the original thing. The J&J's po-boy was better than two of the ones I had in Gulf-coast area. Their po-boy was actually very close to the best one I had on the entire trip.
The best shrimp po-boy came from a place called "Galley" on some backroad outside of Foley, Alabama. It was very similar to that of J&J's with big crispy shrimp, nice thick bread and a lot of smoke surrounding me.
I also recently had a catfish po-boy at Flying Fish. My review on Flying Fish is delayed in the "is it or is it not a hole in the wall" department. It's a chain, but its in an ugly building. So the editors are discussing this at the moment. But for comparison sakes, the catfish po-boy at Flying Fish was good, but not nearly as good as the one I had in Gulf Shores or Gulfport. I can't remember which city. But that's not really a knock at Flying Fish because the one I had on my vacation was simply the most amazing thing I've had in my entire life (well, in my po-boy related life).