Boudin and Beer not quite as much fun as last year
It was much larger and much more crowded which made getting around and checking out all the booths difficult.
With 50 chefs, you aren't really going to get 50 different takes on boudin. While I didn't sample everything (impossibility) I think there were maybe 3 or 4 that were really boudin. There were others that barely contained pork.
But it is not really a compliant as there were some great variations working with the starting point "sausage". And having out of state chefs was also a great idea as some of their offerings were very good and gives them good local exposure.
The specialty Abita's are also nice and they again had the cask conditioned bourbon barrel pecan ale.
While Chef Mario gets some bad press on how his staff has been treated (which may be earned, I don't know), for the second year I'm amazed at how approchable he is. This year I sat at a table next to him for almost an hour and he had dozens of photos taken with fans, even getting them to come closer so that the photos could be taken better with phone cameras.
dunno about you but i was absolutely stuffed -- stuffed! -- with boudin. granted most were paired w/ other stuff to create a unique dish, but i welcomed it. MiLa's asian influence was my favorite, followed by Butterworth's dumplings... Boswell's boudin cake w/ hollandaise was the most generous, i hated not being able to finish it. i was surprised to not really care for Mario's that much.
was crowded, but not uncomfortably so. i loved the plethora of bars scattered throughout the event, effectively preventing lines. i walked thru all 50 booths and usually could grab & go; only a couple had a short wait. the tables and serving staff were plentiful and i felt it was a really smooth operation. enjoyed it.
I wasn’t crazy about Mario’s either. Emeril’s traditional was good, but I’ve had better. I liked the one from Alon Shaya the best. I thought it was a very well done party. The music was good and the atmosphere was really fun. There was way too much food to try everything, but I sure gave it my best shot.
Yes, it was a pig out (chortle) I wanted to like the dumplings but didn't. That's why there is more than one restaurant in town and what we report on is subjective. I think if I had ordered it as part of a meal at the restaurant I would probably like it, but it just wasn't what i expected in those surroundings.
My wife has been raving about the duck dog. By the time she told me about it I was topped off so didn't sample it.