by Erin Z. Bass
Roadfood’s second-annual festival in New Orleans couldn’t have asked the culinary gods for better weather or better attendance this year. With the sun shining bright and a cool breeze blowing, Roadfood hit the streets of the French Quarter, kicking off March 27 with the building of the “World’s Longest Poboy” in partnership with Louisiana’s Oyster Jubilee. After 340 feet of fried oysters and French bread were devoured on Bourbon Street, the Storyville Stompers led the crowd in a second line to the festival a block over on Royal Street. Roadfood’s white tents went on for five blocks, serving the best “folk” food from New Orleans and other Roadfood destination restaurants around the country.
Roadfood Festival Highlights:
Seeing such a feat as the “World’s Longest Poboy” and getting a taste of a perfectly fried oyster nestled in fresh French bread and topped with blue cheese from Cafe Reconcile.
Perusing the festival’s 20 food vendors and trying to decide where to start. The Famous Maine Diner‘s seafood chowder, packed with scallops, lobster, shrimp and crab, won and did not disappoint.
Choosing a sweet treat from Turtle Alley Chocolates, who came all the way from Gloucester, Mass., for the festival. Their caramel-filled chocolate lollipop with sea salt and lavender was delicious!
Day two of the festival called for BBQ, starting with New Orleans’ Que Crawl truck. Their pulled pork poboy with purple cabbage coleslaw was made to order and well worth the wait. Louie Mueller’s Texas Barbecue was next on the agenda, but the line about a block long was evidence enough of this BBQ’s goodness.
A late addition to the festival roster, Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro from Lafayette drove in with chicken and sausage sauce piquante and cheese grits. Not available on the restaurant’s menu, tasting this Roadfood special was a treat.
Time for more sweets, Bud Royer’s pies displayed on a blue-and-white checked tablecloth were too tempting to pass up. And after finding out the Buttermilk Delight contained chocolate chips, pecans and shredded coconut, it was the clear choice.
As the sun beat down in early afternoon, it was difficult to keep bypassing Plum Street Snoball. We finally gave in and finished off the festival with a cherry-flavored one. I’ll just say I’m still thinking about this snoball’s perfect ratio of ice to juice and will be stopping by the stand’s Uptown New Orleans location the next time I’m in town.
For lots more poboy and food pics from the festival, see our Flickr photostream.
Update: According to the festival’s “Post Festival Release,” an estimated 30,000 visitors and nearly 50 restaurants representing four states and eight cities participated in the second-annual event. Vendor Louie Mueller Barbecue from Taylor, Texas, sold over 700 pounds of brisket during the weekend, and New Orleans’ Cafe Reconcile sold out their entire inventory of 500 Roast Beef Debris Poboys each day.