The seventh post in a series about the New Orleans Jazz Festival covering food (restaurants and recipes), fun, music and travel tips.
In the run-up to our Jazz Fest trip in early May, we are building anticipation by looking back at past good times in New Orleans and sharing our travel tips.
Today, we discuss a rather serious situation: The Foodie’s Dilemma.
How to Enjoy Festival Food and Yet Save Room to Experience NOLA’s Restaurants?
The issue at hand is: the festival food is so wonderful, so food-truck-trashy-tasty good, so “mama’s been making it for years just like this” authentic, that any self-respecting foodie simply has to eat it. And yet, as a proud foodie, you want to save room for the dinners at the myriad of super-fine restaurants New Orleans has to offer, like Bayona, which was profiled in an earlier post. It’s a difficult thing. I’ve been to Jazz Fest five times and still don’t have the formula right for solving the Foodies’ Dilemma. The best advice I have is to do a lot of walking and make room for more! Since there are nine different food locations all around the festival offering over 250 menu items, you can do a lot of your walking just trying to make up your mind! The other strategy we deploy is to skip breakfast, make a reservation for an early lunch at a foodie’s choice restaurant, then head out to the festival and start the serious snacking in mid-afternoon.
How to Choose from All the Mouthwatering Goodness?
And that’s the second part of the Foodie’s Dilemma: once you’ve realized you’re just going to be stuffed the whole time, and not really as ashamed about the gluttony as your Mama taught you to be – how do you pick between all of mouth-watering goodness provided by the 70+ vendors? With the memory-laden lure of your old favorites, how can even a foodie branch out and try something new? I’ve never had the Crab & Crawfish Stuffed Mushrooms that Prejean’s restaurant brings to Jazz Fest, but how could I pass up the Crawfish Monica or Crawfish Strudel that I always have? In the crawfish department alone, there were 18 different selections featuring this delicious little crustacean in 2016. So many options, so little time! The Foodie’s Dilemma is actually a Foodie’s Delight.
Festival Food Photos
So today, for your culinary daydreaming pleasure, here’s a look at some of the delectable festival food, just random pics I’ve snapped during a few of our Jazz Fest journeys. Some of the food was mine; some was in the hands of strangers. People are always really nice about letting me photograph their food.
People are always nice at Jazz Fest, period. It’s like a great big family reunion, but, instead of genes and upbringing, the thing you have in common is a love of music and food.
Catfish Almandine, Potato Salad and Creole Stuffed Crab
Fried Crawfish and Greek Salad with Gyro Sandwich
Have these photos piqued your interest? The resources below include a link to the food section on the Jazz Fest web site. There’s a lot more there to see and salivate over.
Crawfish Monica Recipe from Emeril’s Test Kitchen
Did you know that the amount of rotini pasta used to make the Crawfish Monica sold at the festival in a single year is 6 tons??? That stuff is hurt-yourself good. So here’s a Crawfish Monica recipe via GoNOLA, with a video from chef Chris Wilson, the director of culinary operations at Emeril Lagasse’s test kitchen.
- Food list on the official New Orleans Jazz Fest site
- More New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation posts
- Post #1 of this series, an affectionate memory of an amazing Jambalaya Pizza.
- Post #2, the official announcement of the lineup for Jazz Fest 2017
- Post #3, This City is a Quirky Feast for the Eyes
- Post #4, Bayona is a Foodie’s Delight
- Post #5, The Importance of Hats (and Bandanas)
- Post #6, Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch
- Jazz Fest Food post on EatDrinkCulture blog
- What to Eat at Jazz Fest article in Southern Living
- Top Ten Eats at Jazz Fest post on Albany Woodworks blog
- Jazz Fest Food by the Numbers article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune
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