Cochon de Lait Po-Boy
There are over 65 food booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; it can make it hard to decide what to eat. As the staff of our New Orleans Bed and Breakfast attend and sample the food booths every year, we are sharing our Top 5 Jazz Fest Food selections with photos taken from last weekend’s feasting.
1. Innkeeper Bonnie’s favorite Combination Plate is a tie between two booths which she chooses depending on who has the shortest line:
- Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Seafood Au Gratin, Sweet Potato Pone from Ten Talents Catering. This plate has veggies, a rarity in the Jazz Fest diet, plus a slightly sweet dessert. It also has the additional factor of being easy to eat while traveling between stages.
- Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets from Patton’s Caterers. The sacks are thin crepes filled with a wonderful crawfish etouffee, tied at the top w/ a green onion & the entire thing gets quick fried until the outside is crispy. The crawfish beignets are a non-sweet adaptation for the traditional delicacy deep fried, bite-sized crawfish bread balls served with a tasty but light remoulade sauce; fabulous. (The oyster I give to a friend!)
Crawfish Sack, Oyster Patty, Crawfish Beignets
2. Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Love at First Bite Caterers. (See photo above) A must have item at least once per weekend!! While the main ingredient of this po-boy is the pork (cochon is roasted suckling pig), this Cajun treat’s highlight is its extras. It is dressed with cabbage and creamy Cajun sauce. The combo of tastes are wonderful. Make sure you pick up lots of napkins before you walk away with this one!
3. Creole Stuffed Bread from Creole’s Lunch House. Get the “original.” It is a thin bread covering filled with sauteed & seasoned ground meat & chunks of pork sausage. It comes wrapped in a small paper bag, which makes it an easy “take, store in your backpack, and eat later” treat. It’s good even at room temp! Bonnie says:
The same elderly Creole lady from Lafayette serves from her chair at the front of the booth every day of Jazz Fest. She is always cheerful and remembers me like an old friend, always asking about my New Orleans B&B. I always get two breads to go on the last day of Jazz Fest (1 for post Jazz Fest blues and one for my Mom). She always says “Another good one! See you next year!”
4. Crawfish Strudel from Coffee Cottage. This is the first beeline stop every year for Rachel, as it used to be just inside the gates. Bonnie always calls it “breakfast strudel” because it goes really well with the first cold beer of the day! The year after Katrina, it moved locations and caused a mild panic attack until an emergency consultation with the information booth in Area 2. There are many crawfish dishes on the grounds, but the the light and flaky pastry shell that makes this one my all time favorite crawfish dish in the world. (They also have the white chocolate bread pudding in a non-guilty bite size portion!)
Crawfish strudel plus essentials: flip flops, wipes, sun glasses and white chocolate bread pudding (in box)
5. Guil’s Gators from Sharon and Guilherme Wegner. If you want to try an alligator dish, my friends Sharon and Guil don’t run a restaurant anymore, but every year they make these fried alligator bits with jalapenos and onions. They are great tasting and not too spicy or gamey. They also used to make the softshell crawfish poboys, but haven’t been able to get those since the BP oil spill. (Sorry no photo, they had run out by the time we got there Sunday afternoon.)
There are a cornucopia of food options to try as you travel from stage to stage. Don’t be afraid, they are all good or they wouldn’t be at Jazz Fest. When you want to know what is great about NOLA, visit the Grand Victorian Bed & Breakfast in New Orleans and the local innkeeper will give you all the local scoop. See you at the fest!