Where will you be the weekend of March 27th? If you’re a foodie who loves to travel, I hope you’ll be at the New Orleans Roadfood Festival, scarfing your way through the French Quarter.
The New Orleans Roadfood festival is the brainchild of several foodie “authorities,” including travel writers and radio personalities Jane and Michael Stern. The Sterns tour the country looking for the greasy spoons and hidden treasures along America’s highways and byways. They chronicle these journeys in books and as regular guests on NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” Frankly, these two know food. And any kind of festival they come up with is bound to be a rollicking good time.
The Roadfood Festival is a concentrated culinary tour of the U.S. It features regional food from cafes and diners stretching between Arizona and Maine (including several jewels out of our own state of Louisiana): comforting midwestern porridge, creamy northeastern chowder, meaty southwestern tamales, and the eternally favorite Natchitoches Meat Pie will be in attendance, just to name a few.
The festival kicks off on Friday, March 26th with a cocktail reception, and continues until the 28th. During that time, the 300-700 blocks of Royal Street in the French Quarter will be transformed into a multi-regional cornucopia with representatives from restaurants all over the country. Saturday morning will be marked by the birth of the World’s Largest Oyster Po’Boy. The sandwich is divided into 10-foot sections, with each section customized by a different New Orleans restaurateur. (Psst…now’s your chance to be a part of gastronomical greatness!) While admission is free, the food will be served up in “affordable, sample-sized portions,” ensuring that no one gets burnt out on one Philly cheese steak and has to head back to the hotel to take a nap (an amateur move).
Proceeds from the food and drink sales benefit Cafe Reconcile, a non-profit New Orleans “enterprise” that provides on-the-job training in the hospitality industry to the city’s disadvantaged youth.
More information, including a schedule, directions, and lodging information may be found at the festival’s official website, www.neworleansroadfoodfestival.com
Or become its fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roadfood
Or follow the festival on Twitter at Roadfood123! Phew! It seems this festival is quite a 21st centrury venture.
If you see me, say hi! I’ll be the one discreetly sliding pimento cheese sandwiches into my purse.