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
Road Food Festival Celebrates "Folk Food" in New Orleans.
by Erin Z. Bass Asked why New Orleans was chosen as the location for the annual Roadfood Festival, "Roadfood" creator Michael Stern didn't hesitate giving an answer. "New Orleans is a natural place to have a food festival," he says. "I think you can argue that it’s kind of America’s culinary capital, in the sense that it has more unique, interesting, diverse things to eat than almost anywhere in this country, plus when you’re in New Orleans you feel like having a party."
While the Roadfood Festival, scheduled for March 26-28, was created to honor American food, the fact that eating can be a form of entertainment hasn't been lost on its founders. Assembling of the world's longest po-boy and celebrating foods like pecan pie and cracklins is far from stuffy. Just as the diners, delis and roadside stands featured in Stern and his wife, Jane's, "Roadfood" guide most likely don't have a dress code, the festival strives for that same informal way of eating. Admission is free, and any person standing around can walk up and taste a piece of the po-boy or walk down Royal Street and purchase a sample of
by Erin Z. Bass Anyone who's set out on a road trip knows there are a couple of essentials that must be loaded into the car. A legible map, iPod or CDs for background music and a bag of beef jerky will come in handy. But seasoned road trippers know they can't leave home without Jane and Michael Stern's "Roadfood" guide. Before it got left in the side door of a UHaul, my copy had stars and notes by places my husband and I had stopped at over the years - Frontier for green chili in Albuquerque, NM, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, CA, for artichokes. I had even brought the book on our drive to Texas to visit his family, just in case we didn't make it in time for dinner and needed to stop along the way.
So, when I read in the "Roadfood" e-newsletter that they were having a Roadfood Festival in New Orleans, I immediately marked my calendar for the last weekend in March and wondered if I was going to be able to wait out the months until then. Lots of boudin and a road trip to "Roadfood"-approved The Dinner Bell Restaurant in McComb, Miss., helped, but now