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Fry Way or the Highway: Yat's Does Turkeys Right

Thanksgiving Day just got a little shinier. I was already excited about Yat’s, the legit po’boy (and gumbo and red beans ‘n’ rice and crawfish etoufée) joint that took over the Potrero Hill/Mission dive bar Jack’s during daylight hours last May. I haven’t been there yet, but this Saturday’s the day. As a girl who was (almost) born, and definitely raised, in Baton Rouge, LA, I consider myself a po’boy expert. I will report back.

But I’m here to talk turkey. Yat’s is doing something really exciting: They’re selling fried turkeys—an honorable Louisiana tradition—which is cool. But even cooler is their “open turkey fry,” which means that next Wednesday and Thursday, you can arrive with your heritage bird, have it injected it with spices and then dipped into a vat of hot oil until crispy and juicy. Your lean Bourbon Red might actually be delicious.

I called up Yon David, the owner of Yat’s, for a chat:

Where are you from?
I grew up in New Orleans. I was doing real estate down there. I’m also a bartender by trade. I’ve been out here 15 months.

What’s the secret to a good po’boy?
The first thing I do is look at the bread. If it’s not right, it’s not a po’boy. It has to be light and airy with a crispy crust. We use Leidenheimer French bread—we import it from New Orleans.

How many turkeys are you planning on frying over the two days and how?
We can do 160 turkeys. I’m flying in an expert from Baton Rouge to help me. He shipped a mega-fryer out here. It does 10 turkeys at once. Fourteen pounds is the biggest turkey we can do right, but 10 to 12 pounds is optimal weight.

As a former bartender, what do you recommend one drink with fried turkey?
Abita beer. Or a nice Reisling if they want to be a foodie about it.