I wasn’t really prepared for the madness of this year’s Po-boy Preservation Festival. I knew the 2009 Festival was a success and it got extra publicity from a write up in the New York Times courtesy of John T. Edge. However, I just wasn’t expecting the sheer mass of people that I would meet on Oak Street last Sunday. Driving down from Jackson, I thought arriving there around noon would give me plenty of time to scope out the booths and plan my attack. Unfortunately, once I exited onto Carrollton, I saw that almost 10 blocks away, people were parking and walking to Oak Street. I eventually found parking on River Bend at the end of Dante Street and walked into what would be one big line.
Wouldn’t you know the first line I got in was one of the longest? It was the line for GW Fins and their Fried Maine Lobster Tossed in Crystal Hot Sauce Po-boy.
With my traveling companion holding our spot in the GW Fins line, I made a game out of how many po-boys I could bring back before we actually got the lobster po-boys.
Still having time to spare in the GW Fins line, I also made it to the Saltwater Grill Tent.
Eventually we made it to the end of the festival and I was captivated the idea of a Fried Boudin po-boy from Franky and Johnny’s
After that I had to go across the street to Emeril’s Delmonico.
Breaking away from the po-boy trend, I went with something different from Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant.
I was nearing my limit, but I knew I had to try what Grand Isle had to offer.
I wish I could say that I had tried more po-boys but when I tried to walk back to Carrollton, I was just overwhelmed. In front of Jacques-Imo’s, it was a complete standstill. From there to the beginning of the festival, it was a solid wall of people and lines which meant I was quickly separated from my companion. With no cell phone service and running low on patience, energy, and funds, I decided to walk back to the car. Fortunately, my companion had the same idea. Even though there was another two hours to the festival, I couldn’t bring myself to go back and stand in line. The 2010 Po-boy Preservation Festival was fun, but the crowds were a nightmare. That being said, I’m already planning for next year.