The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is teeming with flavors — some from classic Louisiana tradition, some from more recent immigrant communities to call this place home, some that are unique to Jazz Fest.
When the Fair Grounds gates open Friday morning, the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will commence its celebration of an especiall…
Each year I give an ever-evolving list of top picks based on many years eating around the Fair Grounds. This time, let's cut into the best po-boys.
Cochon de lait po-boy (Food Area 1): Smoky pork, the creamy crunch of slaw, packed together into a crisp-crusted pistolette. This is Louisiana barbecue.
Vaucresson hot sausage po-boy (Food Area 1): The spicy, pork and beef link from this generations-old sausage maker provides an important base ingredient for many Creole gumbo is around town. You get one all to yourself in this classic po-boy.
Soft shell crab po-boy (Food Area 2): In other cultures they might look askance at such a gnarly, leggy thing wedged into a loaf. But we know that a whole fried soft shell crab is one of the gifts of southeast Louisiana’s robust seafood heritage. Casually chowing down on these while strolling between Jazz Fest stages is one of the joys of living.
Roast beef po-boy (Food Area 1): Few New Orleans dishes inspire as fierce a debate as roast beef po-boys, with connoisseurs comparing texture, cut and degrees of sloppiness (a compliment in this context). DiMartino's is best known for the muffuletta is serves at its three West Bank locations (and also at Jazz Fest), but it fields a roast beef that achieves the golden mean with thin sheets of beef soaked in a peppery gravy that seeps into the airy crumb of the traditional po-boy loaf.
Yakiniku po-boy (Food Area II): This Japanese style po-boy is like a marriage of a banh mi and a cheesesteak. The bits and strands of meat give a delicious jus, cucumber and carrots add crunch and an (optional) overlay of chunky garlic chile sauce brings the heat. The Vietnamese-style French loaf holds it all together and completes this multicultural mash up.
Merguez po-boy (Food Area 2): The handmade, spiced lamb sausage brings North African flavor; the French bread pistolette gives it a po-boy profile. The squirt bottle of thick, spicy harissa pepper sauce gives earthy heat.
Shrimp remoulade po-boy (Food Area 2): When the weather gets hot and the sun starts beating down on the Fair Grounds, this cool take on the shrimp po-boy can be a refreshing meal all on its own. The airy loaf is filled with shrimp under the sharp horseradish bite of the remoulade, and a layer of slaw added more crunch.
Jazz Fest is teeming with flavors - some from classic Louisiana tradition, some from more recent immigrant communities to call this place home…
Some dishes rock the Jazz Fest food world like Acura stage headliners. Others are more like that delightful, lesser-known act that got the nod…