“Everyone loves tacos and po’ boys,” says Henry Venegas, the proprietor of El Lupillo in Gulport, Mississippi — and he’s probably right. Venegas runs the taqueria with his father, and no dish on El Lupillo’s menu combines the family’s Mexican background with a Louisiana Gulf favorite better than its carnitas po’ boy, essentially a Mexican style torta prepared on a po’ boy roll.
The carnitas is made in a large copper pot, with Venegas stirring in lard, Mexican beer, soda, spices, and whole oranges before adding in pieces of Boston pork butt. The sandwich gets healthy servings of lettuce, tomato, and avocado. “I like how versatile it is, like anyone can do it,” Venegas says. “You can’t mess up a po’ boy.”
Carnitas Poboy is a film made for the Southern Foodways Alliance, as part of its ongoing documentary project that “documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South.” To learn about El Lupillo’s story, watch the full video above.