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Favorite Jazz Fest Food

Jazz Fest is now just two weeks away! I wonder if anyone here may want to contribute to a best (food) of the Fest list?

My top choice is the Cochon de Lait, although I cannot exclude the mango freeze and the rose mint tea.

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  1. Can jfood post when he returns.

    Dinners already booked at Brigtsens (already ordered the duck), CP, Stella and Luk (may go to Jacque Imo instead). He is running a couple of miles a day to get in shape for the uptick in calories.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jfood

      You are stronger than me. I have increased my alcohol intake to expand my stomach! When you return, or before, do you have any favorites that are at the Fest?

      1. re: sirvelvet

        I am going to be hurting since I have not started exercising (tho that was my plan) nor have a prepared for that uptick in beer consumption. Or temperature, for that matter. It is snowing here today!

    2. I have a lot of favorites, but here is my list pulled directly from the jazzfest food site...which I study quite a bit.

      1) Pecan Catfish Meunière, Seafood Mirliton Casserole,
      Fried Crab Cake w/ Smoked Tomato & Jalapeño Tartar
      C.P.G. Catering, Mandeville, LA (My Favorite combo and a must every year)
      2) Cochon de Lait Po-Boy, Love at First Bite, New Orleans, LA
      3) Ya Ka Mein, Miss Linda’s Catering, New Orleans, LA (great for hangover)
      4) Fried Soft-Shell Crab Po-Boy, Galley Seafood Restaurant, Metairie, LA
      5)Pheasant, Quail & Andouille Gumbo, Prejean's Restaurant, Lafayette, LA
      6)Curry Chicken Pattie, Palmer's Jamaican Cuisine, New Orleans, LA
      7)Caribbean Fruit Salad, Scales Strawberry Lemonade, New Orleans, LA
      8) Indian Tacos, United Houma Nation, Golden Meadow, LA

      2 Replies
      1. re: malenky

        What is the Cochon de lait po-boy like?

        1. re: karykat

          It is a good bit of shredded pork pilled into a loaf topped with cole slaw. It is absolutely wonderful.

      2. Anything from Patton's Catering. Crawfish sacks are yummy!

        1. Oh to be at the fest. I'm taking a break this year...and already regretting it. I will dearly miss the soft shell crab po boy and just about everything else.

          1. Mango Freeze
            Merguez from Jamila's w/the hot relish on top
            Frozen cappucino from Brocato's (cap flavored gelato in a little paper coffee cup w/handle)
            Jama-jama & fried plantains

            7 Replies
            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              I have to agree with the jama jama and fried plantains.
              I looked at the list and didn't see the cuban sandwiches, i loved those, would start every single day off with a bllody mary with my friends that run the shirt/poster booth then get a cuban sandwich.
              The grilled chicken livers with pepper jelly look good.
              Pheasant quail and andouille gumbo is always a must
              Rosemint tea
              Cochon de lait po boy
              The cajun duck poboy is new this year and looks interesting
              And of course the cracklins.

              Sadly I won't be in attendance this year, the first time in 17 years I will not be there, but my wife will sample all things and call me after each one. lol

              1. re: roro1831

                Speaking of duck poboys I just 20 minutes ago had the roasted duck poboy from Crabby Jack's at his booth at French Quarter Fest (on my lunch hour and twenty minutes) and it was horrible. I have never had it at the restaurant, but I sure hope it's better over there. It was a gloppy, bland mess, like Mother's new debris poboy but even gloppier. The duck tasted of nothing at all. There was only flavor was provided by the pickle. Judging by the texture it was stewed, not roasted.

                Flour Power, on the other hand, has a very tasty praline creme brulee in puff pastry.

                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                  I've only had the CJ duck poboy once, and it didn't do it for me either.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    me three.

                    but then again I love the Roasted Duck dish at Brigtsen's, and yeah, the duck is very stewy at Crabby Jack's. Next time at Crabby's I'm getting the french fry po boy or the paneed rabbit po boy and the blackended drum fish with hollandaise.

              2. re: Hungry Celeste

                I was surprised I had to go down the posts this far before I saw Jama-jama ummm! One of my favorite go to dishes at JF

                1. re: Hungry Celeste

                  soft shell crab po boy

                  alligator pocket

                  mango freeze


                  creole cream cheese cake with strawberries.

                  gallons and gallons of the rose mint tea.

                  merguez sandwich sluiced with harissa.

                  fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce.

                  crawfish enchiladas.

                  buttery trout topped with lump crabmeat.

                  1. re: kevin

                    Had that strawberry cheesecake for the first time today. It was great. The pecan cake and the red velvet cake from the same stand were no so great, but the cheesecake was awesome.

                2. I love the crawfish sack, the fried oyster spinach salad & the crawfish bread. Also, the seafood cornbread is amazing!!! I am hungry!

                  12 Replies
                    1. re: mrsfury

                      I guess we could start another thread titled "JazzFest Food That Everyone Loves Except You." Crawfish bread would be at the top of my list. I don't get why people wait in line for this stuff. It tastes to me like a bad grilled cheese sandwich. I can't even taste the crawfish. And who wants that greasy, dense hunk of hot cheese in 90 degree weather? What am I missing?

                      1. re: Blumie

                        I used to love the crawfish bread, now I don't care for it so much, maybe because I don't need it as a base for tons of beer.

                        Along the same lines, I don't get having sushi out there in the heat, I know they keep it cold, hopefully, but sushi is not my thing at a festival.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          I agree--it's a gross, leaden lump of congealed grease, IMHO. Possibly the only thing I ever bought at JF that went into the trash after two or three bites. Blech, even on the rare occasions that the weather is cool.

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            i remember the first time i had crawfish bread and it was great. however, the last few years i would have to agree with the above posts. greasy, sometimes cold, hunk of oily cheese and some crawfish tails. not very good. when hot and fresh still decent but only for a bite or two.


                            best fest food (my opinion)

                            cochon du lait po-boy
                            pheasant, quail, andouille gumbo
                            crawfish monica
                            mango freeze
                            MEAT PIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            1. re: mcegielski

                              Well I guess I'm outed. I have not been to the Jazz Fest recently but I loved it when I went. Guess I won't recommend that to anyone anymore. Thanks for the tip.

                              1. re: mrsfury

                                I agree - the bloom is off the rose on the crawfish bread....

                                As Roro, who is now a Hoboken boy, said, it made a great foundation for countless beers. Great taste in the past, but now just a grease blob.

                                My brother, after splitting a softshell crab poor with me, on his own found the Cochon du Lait and crawfish monica.

                                The Kim Ahn combination bun platter is very good, and really refreshing in the heat, but I have to admit that meat pies are a guilty pleasure.... and now provide the foundation for countless beers.


                          2. re: Blumie

                            My JFFTELEY is Crawfish Monica. I can make it better, and eat it at home in the a/c.

                            1. re: uptownlibrarian

                              Uptown - I'm totally with you on the Crawfish Monica - I loved it my 1st year, but its lost its luster - too many other options with better flavors, in my opinion.

                              My other JFFTELEY is the Mango Freeze - too sweet for me.

                              1. re: Ludlows23

                                I always sneak in some vodka to add to the mango freeze...it tames the sweetness some.

                            2. re: Blumie

                              Whoa, well I have not gotten to Fest in about 4 years, and even though the weather was warm - it tasted fine to me....I guess I'm not missing anything then as far as crawfish bread goes.........

                              1. re: Blumie

                                Agree with Blumie about the crawfish bread. Love the Pheasant, quail, andouille gumbo, Mrs. Wheat's meat pies, softshell crab po-boy, and mango freeze. I've had some pretty tasty ribs with white beans as well very good maque choux with andouille.

                          3. A few daily faves:Gumbo from Prejean's.Soft Shell Crab po boy from The Galley.Strawberry Shortcake and the Cochon du Lait po boy.I can't wait.Happy Jazzfest Everyone!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: rockbound

                              Ahhhhh...memories. Can't wait to get back for fest. My faves:

                              Fried Crab Cake w/ Smoked Tomato & Jalapeño Tartar
                              Crawfish Sacks
                              Soft Shell Crab Poboy with all the fixins
                              Cochon Du Lait Poboy

                              1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                You mention the Soft Shell Crab" w/all the fixens"? What do you mean all the fixins? I only recall hot sause or ketchup?

                                      1. re: Blumie

                                        they serve it on the french bread with pickles, and you yourself have to add the other condiments. all i need is some hot sauce and i'm ready to go.

                                        Great, great, great stuff.

                                        1. re: Blumie

                                          Anywhere else in town, the way you order a po'boy with "all the fixin's", as you put it, is "dressed"

                                          1. re: paz5559

                                            I ordered a torta (like a poboy) at a taco truck last week, and the proprietor asked if I wanted it "dressed" (I did, and dressed meant shredded lettuce, mayo, sliced tomatoes, and sliced avocado).

                                1. tops in my book for the past couple of years has been creole's stuffed bread. it's out of this world. be sure to break it in half and douse the inside with the green pepper sauce they have there in the squeeze bottle. other than that, i'm with the others on the cochon de lait poboy. i'm also thrilled to see that the cracklins are back this year. nothing better than a paper bag of hot cracklins right out of the fat!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Shiloh

                                    I've always been a big fan of Creole's stuffed bread, and agree that it's best opened up and spiced up with your favorite hot sauce.

                                  2. Haven't been to J-Fest since Katrina, and I understand that Omar the Pie-Man passed away a few years ago, but I hear that his recipe got passed along; will someone be selling sweet-potato pies from his recipes?

                                    Also, based on FQ Fest this last weekend, the Vaucressons' sausages are still killer. . . .

                                    . . . and soft-shell crab po'boys; if the crabs are good (and they seem to be this year) it's hard to get a bad SSCPB at Festival, since the passage of time between the fryer and the mouth is the most critical variable on these, and the fast turn-over at J-Fest guarantees that they're not sitting around. . .

                                    1. I first tried the White Chocolate Bread Pudding from the Coffee Cottage about 10 years ago and was immediately hooked. As with many Jazzfest dishes, it tastes the best when eaten at the Fest (it's a good thing for my waistline that Jazzfest only comes around once a year!)

                                      And like many others, I also love the Mango Freezes

                                      1. My faves are:

                                        Pecan Catfish Meunier w/ Seafood Mirliton, Crab Cake (jala tartar)
                                        Soft Shell Crab
                                        Spicy Crawfish Roll w/seaweed
                                        Pheasent andouille quail gumbo
                                        Crawfish Sack
                                        Trout Baquet
                                        Lamb Sausage sandwhich (also the combo they offer)

                                        Those are just my VERY favorites, other goodies are:

                                        Crawfish strudel
                                        Crawfish enchalada
                                        Crawfish monica
                                        Soft shell CRAWFISH
                                        Hot Sausage Po Boy
                                        Meat Pies
                                        Crawfish pie (circular NOT empanada style, although those aint to shabby)
                                        Oyster Pattie
                                        Cochan de lait

                                        Yes Jazzfest is glorious.... See you all there SOON

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: indiwaiter

                                          Very nice list! I'm a big fan of the soft shell crawfish, too, perhaps more so than the soft shell crab.

                                          1. re: Blumie

                                            Soft-shell CRAWFISH? Never heard of 'em, or seen 'em, or et'em at seven or eight Jazz-Fest visits, or even in town! Who's got 'em, where, when, and how're they served?

                                            r gould-saltman

                                              1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                Had softshell crawfish app. at K-Paul's many years ago. Don't know if they still run them as a special in season. Don't remeber much except I didn't like them. Of course tastes change, wasn't a fan of softshell crabs back then either.

                                                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                  Soft shell crawfish created a little buzz & were common as a novelty menu item for a while in the mid-late 80s, but they're fairly uncommon these days. 1)they're always frozen, as opposed to softshell crabs, which often are available fresh/alive during warm weather. 2)they just don't taste very good, I think. Nowhere near as tasty as softshell crab.

                                            1. I can't believe no one has mentioned boudin balls!! They are a must have for me. Other favorites:
                                              stuffed bread
                                              crawfish monica
                                              oysters on the half shell

                                              and I wash it down with about 10 large glasses of rose mint tea.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jessicheese

                                                I almost forget the great Strawberry Shortcake nearby the Merguez at Jamila's stand. get those two and the soft shell crab po boy at the galley along with the crawfish enchilada from prejeans and you're good to go for lunch. and some beer and rosemint tea to wash it all down.

                                              2. Today I had the Cochon de Lait po-boy which was perfect despite the unending rain. The pork was soo flavorful and the horseradish just put it over the top, though admittedly my affection for horsradish borders on kink. I also had a stuffed artichoke which was very good, better than most I've had in fact. Also, I got a mango freeze based on the recommendations here and was not disappointed, though I could only have a few bites as it was tres sweet. I was bummed about not getting the white chocolate bread pudding or beignets, but once it started pouring I couldn't motivate myself to get out of the gospel tent and get re-soaked.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                  we got rained out last year today on the initial day. that sucked, but nothing like the sight of getting food with the rain reached up to your knees when wearing jeans. but the lines are real short when it rains.

                                                  i remember the mango freeze being perfect, cool and not sweet, maybe it's sweeter this year (and i don't like my desserts too sweet at all).

                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    My husband did not think it was too sweet and he doesn't have hald the sweet tooth I do. In general, though I like it, I can only eat a bit of mango at a time. It was probably more my attitude towards mango than the actual freeze being overly sweet.

                                                2. I went to JF (for the first time) on Fri. and the cochon de lait poboy was definitely the best item we tried. The pork was so succulent and flavorful (without seeming fatty) -- delicious! Worth noting that the second one we got later in the day wasn't as good -- bread was a bit dried out.

                                                  The other item I really liked was a nectar snoball with condensed milk from the Plum St. stand. I'd never had one before and while it was extremely sweet, it was very very tasty.

                                                  And, yeah, the crawfish bread wasn't so great.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: emily

                                                    just back from Fest and I gotta say the Cochon de lait po'boy was my fave, wow so succulent, honestly i think it was far better than the Cochon de lait we had at Cochon for dinner (that seemed dry and stringy in comparison.)

                                                    Also, guess I'm in the minority but I loved the Crawfish bread, I love anything with melted cheese, I'm a grilled cheese junkie so this was yummy to me! And of course, the soft-shell crab po'boy.

                                                    Also had the Cuban sandwich because we were at that point looking for something simple and the line was long so we figured they were good. And they were!

                                                    I actually didn't eat as much as I would have liked (!!!) due to the rain we just hunkered down in the Blues tent on Saturday, I was starving but no way I was leaving my seat :)

                                                    1. re: jinx

                                                      Had the cochon on Friday and Sat. Still the best thing at the fest. Period. Smokey meat, crunchy slaw, creamy slightly sweet dressing..... I'm drooling. A new item this year is the cajun duck P.Boy. Good, but needs a shot of hot sauce to wake it up. Soft S. Crab sandwich is great, but lines were ridiculous! Can never decide which I like better, the Nac. meat pie or the Creole stuffed bread. Had them side by side and I have to call a tie. Note: the "combo" plate (sacks, patty, beignet) - are for the tourists only - $13 is ridiculous and the quality has slid so far downhill (beignets are all grease, no flavor, the sacks are overcooked and thew patties are good, but too much gloppy sauce).

                                                      1. re: BKAL

                                                        Meat pies!!!! I used to love the Crawfish Monica, but the portion seems really small this year.

                                                        1. re: fryguy

                                                          it was very small last year too.

                                                          though sometimes if thedishes are small that is better so you can try multiple dishes.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            Same size as every year, although this year they did not offer the larger size that had been offered in the past.

                                                  2. The only JazzFest food jfood was able to grab in between the monsoon was the Soft Shell Crab Po Boy. It was outstanding.

                                                    The people jfood was with gave him unending crap about the way it looked, its little tenticles sticking straight uo from the roll.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                      The people jfood was with don't know what's good; they should shut up and have a soft-shell crab sammich.

                                                      r gould-saltman no avatar

                                                      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                        Since I only had one day at JF I relied on the input of this board to help make my decisions, and I want to thank you all for steering me straight. At least we didn't have to deal with soggy/rainy food on Sunday.

                                                        I've called NC home for the past 15 years, so I have had more than my fair share of shredded and chopped pork dishes, and the cochon de lait po-boy is one of the best I have ever had, anywhere period. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Meat Pies, and the gumbo from Prejean's. The mid-day heat sapped a little bit of my appetite, and I didn't want to miss a second of Santana's show, so by the time I made it by the Crawfish Monica stand they were sold out. But I had a pretty good Chicken and Tasso Stew over rice instead. And we devoured 3 mango freezes. I would have purchased a Cuban Sandwich, but the lines were too long every time I went past there.

                                                    2. Here are the standouts for me: was sick day 3, and the gumbo from Prejeans cured all my ills. So good! Very much enjoyed the crab cakes, the fried green tomatoes, the duck po'boy, and chocolate eclairs from the stand near the fais do do stage were the best eclairs I've ever had. And the fried chicken/jambalaya combo was tasty as well, even though i had to wait 15 minutes for the white meat.

                                                      1. Just for the record, with the exception of maybe 10 days (and was out of the country for 4 of those, regrettably), I have been on the Fairgrounds everyday since 1983. I eat. It's what I love about the place almost above the music and the friendly, amazingly well behaved crowds. That being said, will someone, anyone, who loves the stuff, please explain to me the appeal of

                                                        CRAWFISH MONICA?

                                                        It's glop. Anyone who can cook a little bit and come up with a similar, and most likely better dish-especially if it's fresh and includes tails that aren't like rubber and cheese that you might want to eat if it wasn't melted into glop.

                                                        I mean, nothing against them, they are very nice folks, and that they are all volunteers and that alot of the money goes to charity, but those lines in front of that stand just perplex me to no end.

                                                        Let the sniping begin. I stand behind my assertion that Monica is average, at best.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Hadacol

                                                          I think it's globby too. But some might think it's like fettucini alfredo w/ crawfish in it. It must be said, I don't like fettucini alfredo, but I do love crawfish.

                                                          1. re: Hadacol

                                                            I don't like it much, either. Here's my theory: it was once a shocking new thing to combine italian flavors & pasta & crawfish....but that was a long time ago. Now it is a quaint institution....providing a similar function as all those green bean casseroles at Thanksgiving--food some people feel compelled to eat, taste be damned.

                                                            1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                              It clearly has not lost its appeal for many. I haven't eaten the stuff in years, but when my 8-year-old got hungry at the Fest and I offered her mac-and-cheese with crawfish, she gobbled the stuff up. The next day she asked for more.

                                                          2. This was my first time at Jazz fest and I honestly say that the Cochon de lait po'boy was so amazing I am still dreaming of it. I had it both Friday and Saturday it was that good. I tasted the soft shell crab po'boy and it in no way compared to the deliciousness of the Cochon de lait po'boy.

                                                            Crawfish bread was a greasy mess! I missed out on trying the mango freeze as the rain on Saturday made me so cold I couldn't do it.