So here we are back on Oak Street for the 5th annual Po-Boy Festival. The festival has grown and is in many ways a whole lot more organized. It has expanded and made creative use of some of the side streets in this quaint however,very small,tight knit community that mixes residential and commercial properties. There were 40 food vendors (officially,anyway. I saw some people selling food that was not listed on the map). There were several beverage tents and a myriad of rag tag vendors selling beer,water and coffee and teas. There was a separate area set aside for artists and crafts people which made sense to not mix them up with the food vendors. There were 2 main stages for music and one minor stage. Many,many volunteers from the neighborhood and all over the city. Good cooperation from the City and it's various departments. I haven't heard any official numbers yet,but,all told,many thousands came out and had a good time. I hope you enjoy seeing all these fine people out and about in my fair neighborhood in this fair city!!!
I wanted to try the mixed grill Po boy but the line was just simply too long. I'll queue up for some food but not this everyday kind of menu.
Speaking of queues.....each year the festival gives out awards...The People's choice and another given by a panel of judges. Apparently last year the award went to this vendor. I was most curious about this delicacy and then I saw the lines........(4 BLOCKS long!!!!!!!!!!!)
Yes,all these people are in line for this one PoBoy. While it looked ok,I'm sorry,I really have a hard time with paying $9.00 USD for a half a PoBoy of Fried Lobster Tail. Not even fresh native seafood!!!!!!
Fried Lobster Tail PoBoy
My next choice was a half (yes,some vendors,bless their hearts,offer a half,so,someone such as myself,not a huge eater,can sample and economize both at the same time) Confit pork cheek. It was scrumptuous.
Confit pork cheek half a Poboy, served by Emeril's Delmonico restaurant. This was killer....everything about it,taste,the slightly spicy slaw dressing,the bread.....just perfect.
I deceided I had better go and take a look at the artists "village",situated just a half block stroll from the main drag and the gravy......(If I were one of these artists and I saw some of the people I saw with their food dripping on my work,I would be crazy. It was a fabulous idea to situate them and their lovely wares a wee bit from the fray.)
clever & creative recycling of plastic Mardi Gras beads
My former neighbor,and dear friend Cristine with her very popular fake furry hats and other very cool dress and other original designs.
This one I wanted to try next,it was listed as the oyster Rockefeller PoBoy,but,on closer examination,as you can see in the pic,the spinach was raw and not being served in the traditional "Rockefeller' fashion. Although it looked yummy I passed.....
I went and caught a little bit more music at one of the main stages,saw some more friends,ate a few snacks,and headed on home.
See the dog with the far away eyes.....he wants to know who are all these people in my living room,what are all these smells.....why can't I go ......next year,I'm gonna find a way out of here and go!!
You have sooooooo captured the spirit of a Louisiana festival -- you're killing me! I am frantic to try all those new variations on the old poboy. The first photo in #2 with that amazing menu almost put me around the bend.
Hooray for Oak St. Hooray for Bunny Matthews. Hip hip hooray for Hank! And the biggest cheer for you, for bringing this mega treat to us. Dare I hope there's even more?
This is fantastic! I've been to NOLA several times and this makes me want to go back RIGHT NOW! Such enticing food! And such an interesting crowd! I can smell the smells, taste the tastes and hear the sounds - great images casimira and a really great post! Thanks for this - it provided some much appreciated warmth on a chilly Winnipeg day.
Wow, what a mouth-watering thread! There is such a vast selection of food! I don't eat read meat and I see several good options for me, like that panko crusted oyster po-boy. Mmmm. Now my husband, who has no self-imposed dietary restrictions, would be in absolute heaven.
Your friend's furry hats are very cute, I'd love to snag one of those.
You really captured the fun atmosphere and got some nice shots of the people enjoying themselves. Great thread!
What a great party! I enjoy the balcony culture of New Orleans, it must be so much fun sitting up above watching all those people enjoying the day with friends and family. A vote for the Panko Oyster Po-Boy! Thanks Casi, wish I lived near your neighborhood. Cheers! Mich
Thank you good people!! It was a fun day to be sure. For starters,it was warm,balmy in fact,a tad warm for some perhaps,but, very conducive to the slow pace a festival such as this should be savored. This is a perfect time of year for a festival of this kind. I would say that the crowd by and large was mixed. In talking to some people about it afterwards,the general concensus was that it was mainly a family type crowd,many people from some the nearby suburbs. Largely white I guess,mainly a demographic that could afford the luxury in the current economy. Personally,it was not economically feasible even for myself to be able to afford paying an average of $7.00 for a small sized Po-boy and be able to sample too too much. I think there were quite a few tourists as the festival has gained quite a bit of press coverage over the last few years and this is high season for tourists. A good number of the locals were the ones putting on the festival and many of my friends and neighbors were either performing or selling their wares whether it be food or art,performing music, or working in one of the many shops that line Oak Street. So, I guess it would be fair to say that it was largely local people(black,white,Asian whatever... I never thought to look at it from a racial perspective.) showing off their neighborhood and making some money in the process. I look at it as New Orleans doing what it does best,showing people a good time and feeding them good food in the process.
Of the 40 or so food vendors,I would say that more than half of them,well over half,offered non meat fare...alot of seafood and there were a few vegetarian and one or two vegan offerings. (some kind of mock crab cake).
NYC Girl,I can see you in one of Cristine's furry hats. perfect for a NYC winters day!!!. I will send you a link to her hats if you are interested. She does alot of online business.
....I look at it as New Orleans doing what it does best,showing people a good time and feeding them good food in the process....
What a good day! Being an undisciplined hedonist (sensualist?), I gained 5 pounds just looking at this thread (what is Alligator cheesecake?) and would have felt it only decent to help the vendors and try several of these enticing offerings, panko crusted oyster po boy, tempura shrimp po boy…… And, the beaded bicycle! One day I will taste a po boy.
Hee hee....I thought no would ever ask.....Alligator Cheesecake is one of the signature dishes made by Jacques Imo's Cafe which is an institution unto itself on Oak Street where the festival is held.
It is a savory cheese cake like blend of cheeses incorporating shrimp and alligator sausage along with onion,bell peppers,cream,butter,and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. It is very rich. Here's a sample pic of it at the festival and one from an online link to the restaurant.