Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jazz Fest Foods I Won't Pass Up

It is almost here!  Tomorrow at 11:00 am the Jazz Fest gates will open up a world of music, food, art, and culture to first timers and festival regulars.  At one time in our courtship, Mark and I would tote nothing more than the Gambit fest guide through those gates.

 Now, we will bring a stroller packed to the brim with all of the "day at the fest with Jane" necessities.  Maybe she's too young to go.  I'm sure that is what most people think.  But, I swear to you, the light in her eyes is never more firey than when she hears local music play.  It's something about the beat and the rhythym that just captures you.  You feel it in your soul.  And it feels good.

We plan to meet up with several friends tomorrow who are also bringing their children.  I imagine there will be a lot of very funny and unusual dance moves observed in our group.  Although, at the fest, strange dancing is kind of part of the fun!

Aside from the music scene and the rows of craft vendors to peruse, I cannot wait to sample all of the amazing food the fest has to offer.  Every year, I have to eat some of my Jazz Fest favorite dishes, but I also have to try something new.  Here's what's on my Jazz Fest plate:

The Oldie But Goodie:
  • Spicy Natchitoches Meat Pie by Mrs. Wheat’s Foods in Food Area II: Sometimes you have to grab a bite and hustle from one stage to the next.  These are the perfect bite on the go. 
  • Crawfish Monica ® by Kajun Kettle Foods, Inc. in Food Area II: I don't know a fester who leaves without sampling some of this delicious crawfish pasta.
  • Cochon de Lait Po-Boy by Love at First Bite in Food Area I topped with Cracklins by Fatty’s Cracklins in Food Area II: This is a feat.  You have to make it from food area I to food area II without eating your po-boy!  You will want to stop along the way and chow down because the cochon de lait (slow cooked and shredded pork with slaw) is just that good.  But, the only thing that can make it better is to top it with fried cracklins.  MMMMM!!!!!
  • Jama-Jama (Sautéed Spinach) and Fried Plaintains by Bennachin Restaurant in Congo Square
  • Rosemint Herbal Iced Tea by Sunshine Concessions: The days at Jazz Fest can be long and hot.  There is nothing more refreshing than a 32 oz herbal tea.
The New to Me Items:
  • Boudin Balls by Papa Ninety Catering in Food Area I: I love boudin balls and have no idea why I've never tried them at Jazz Fest.  It sounds like another perfect on the go bite.  Boudin balls are made by taking the traditional Cajun rice sausage, forming a ball, breading it and frying it.  Traditionally, they are not very spicy.  I think we'll try to give this to Jane as her lunch.  She loves rice!
  • Fried Crab Cake w/ Smoked Tomato & Jalapeño Tartar by Gallagher's Grill in Food Area I: I love crab cakes, I love smoked anything, and something spicy never hurts.  This dish sounds amazing!!
  • Merguez (Grilled Lamb Sausage) by Jamila's Cafe in Food Area II: I had some Marguez recently at Root and really loved it.  I'm excited to try someone else's approach to this sausage.
  • Ambrosia (Berry Black) Iced Tea by Sunshine Concessions: Sunshine Concessions had to pull their Mandarin Orange iced tea off the menu this year due to supply issues.  Lucky for us!  We get to try this caffeinated version that sounds like it truly is nectar of the gods.

Well, that's the round up of my Jazz Fest menu.  Here's to basking in the sunshine and dancing to the beat of your own drum!


  1. Ooh that sounds like so much fun!

  2. The meat pies are YUM. I was spoiled in college because I went to school in Natchitoches, so we had them readily available all the time. IN fact, every Thursday was meat pie day in the student union's hot lunch line! Now I have to either go to FQF, Jazz Fest, or back to Natchitoches to get my fix! LOL

    oh, and yes, the cochon de lait po boy... and the french fry poboy... ahhhh so many good things to eat, so little time.

    oh, and if you like cracklins- the best ones come from out by where my extended family lives in Central Louisiana. Next time I head out that way, if you want me to grab you a bag, let me know! THey are soooo good (but so bad for you) LOL

  3. Jazzfest is on my bucket list of things to make it to one day. I hope y'all had fun.



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