If you live in New Orleans and love food, then you have a busy weekend ahead of you.
Want to pig out in City Park? Or satisfy your carnivorous cravings at an all-you-can-eat beefsteak dinner?
Would you prefer a good ol’ Cajun crawfish boil?
Or perhaps you’d like to take a gastronomical tour of the country, without leaving the French Market.
With careful scheming and comfortable clothes (think stretchy), you can squeeze all of the below events onto your itinerary. Keep reading and plan accordingly.
NOLA FoodFest and
America’s Hometown Sweets
NOLA FoodFest, a weekendlong celebration of American cuisine, features local restaurants and chefs from across the country. Set in the French Market, the free festival offers petite dishes perfect for sampling from more than 25 different restaurants. The menu includes Cuban sandwiches (Galvez Restaurant), crab bisque (Rajun Russell’s), gourmet french fries (Fry Bar), grilled oyster Rockefeller nachos (Oceana Restaurant) and snoballs from Plum Street Snoballs.
“The best way to try as many different foods as possible is to go with one or two people and split what you can,” said Stephen Rushmore, NOLA FoodFest co-founder and organizer. “I like to get to the festival early to have a few hometown eats, then explore the Quarter and French Market to rebuild my appetite.”
The festival also will highlight Gus’ Fried Chicken and Central BBQ, from Memphis, Tennessee, along with Zuppardi’s Pizza from New Haven, Connecticut. This group will unveil its first pizza truck in New Orleans on Saturday.
The sprawling event kicks off on Friday with “America’s Hometown Sweets” at Café Reconcile, showcasing the nation’s best cookies, candies and pies. Tickets to the fête are $40.
The street festival begins on Saturday, while the annual Beignet Eating Contest, between the New Orleans Fire Department and the Jefferson Parish Fire Department, takes place Sunday afternoon. The festival donates a portion of proceeds to Café Reconcile.
WHAT: NOLA FoodFest
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: French Market
WHAT: America’s Hometown Sweets
WHEN: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Café Reconcile,1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans
Hogs for the Cause
Serving up creative pork dishes, among other delights, Hogs for the Cause returns to City Pork.
Tonight, the Link Restaurant Group will lead the Hogs for the Cause gala dinner. Carrying the “Mediterranean Street Fare” theme, the event takes place at Popp Fountain and features exotic dishes, inspired by the countries along the Mediterranean coast.
But the bulk of Hogs for the Cause takes place on the City Park Festival Grounds.
On Friday, guests are invited to visit with the competing pitmasters and teams while enjoying live music. Hogtails and other beverages, along with Hoggy Snacks, will be available for purchase. And on Saturday, Children’s Hospital presents “The Ben Sarrat Jr. High On The Hog Cookoff,” which brings together 85 teams of BBQ competitors, composed of the region’s top chefs, professional BBQ teams and backyard cooking fanatics, competing for titles in various categories. Patrons may sample bites from each team.
Rene Louapre, co-founder and executive director, is looking forward to team March of the Pigs’ Swinegarten, which will market German brats and pretzels, among other treats.
“Of course, Porkin’ Gently’s pimento and pork belly corn-dog wouldn’t be a bad way to start a Saturday,” he said. Louapre recommends a two-day Passpork, which includes admission into the event, 45 Hoggy dollars at the gate and quick festival entry through the Passpork gate.
The purpose of Hogs for the Cause is to provide aid and relief to families facing economic burdens, while their child is being treated for pediatric brain cancer.
WHAT: Hogs for the Cause 2015
WHEN: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. Saturday (Children’s Hospital presents “The Ben Sarrat Jr. High On The Hog Cookoff”)
WHERE: City Park Festival Grounds
ADMISSION: $20 each in advance; $30 at the gate.
The Louisiana Crawfish Festival
Established in 1975, The Louisiana Crawfish Festival returns to Chalmette for a weekend of music, arts and crafts, entertainment and, of course, heaps of juicy crawfish.
Rain and warm temperatures have led to an abundance of these coveted crustaceans. The festival offers a slew of inspired dishes incorporating the crawfish, along with traditional boiled mudbugs. Alternative fare also will be available, such as pizza, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, a variety of po-boys and oyster rolls, among other eats.
The live entertainment roster features acts from local favorites, The Chee-Weez and Bag of Donuts. A mecca for family fun, the festival includes roller coaster rides for adventurous patrons of all ages.
WHAT: The Louisiana Crawfish Festival
WHEN: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Sigur Cultural Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette
The Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour Beefsteak Dinner
Save room for Sunday night dinner. Following a week of events, The Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour presents an all-you-can-eat, New York City-style beefsteak and beer banquet. This enticing concept gets even better: You must eat with your hands.
During the Sunday night dinner, which takes place inside Republic New Orleans, beefsteak will be the featured menu item. This delicacy is essentially a rare piece of steak that is grilled, sliced, dipped in butter and Worcestershire sauce and served on a piece of day-old bread.
Snacks, along with dry-aged miniburgers from Cleaver & Co., also will be on hand. Because carnivorous attendees are expected to indulge without utensils, they will be given a souvenir apron upon arrival.
“The concept is all-you-can-eat,” Dermont said. “It is 100 percent eat with your hands and wipe your hands on your apron.”
Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Brown Ale will be served. Chef Andrew Gerson, Brooklyn Brewery’s house chef, will serve as the master of ceremonies and man the grill.
WHAT: Brooklyn Beefsteak Dinner, presented by The Brooklyn Brewery Mash
WHEN: 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Republic New Orleans, 828 S. Peters St., New Orleans