One of New Orleans' favorite culinary celebrations — the Oak Street Po-boy Festival — returns for its eighth incarnation this year, as tens of thousands of hungry visitors will once again head to the Riverbend in search of the most creative po-boy concoctions that chefs can conceive.
Over 50 sandwich slingers will be on hand to serve up their spin on New Orleans' signature loaf, from lobster to schnitzel. While all will undoubtedly quell a po-boy craving, a number of particularly quirky options seem worth exploring for the novelty factor alone, including a Thanksgiving-themed turkey rib po-boy with cranberry barbecue sauce from Metairie's The Harbor.
New for 2014 is a family-friendly offshoot event — Family Fest at Po-boy Fest. The smaller, kid-friendly satellite event will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal School as a way for families (who may have been unable to participate in the past) to enjoy po-boy festivities without fighting the crowds. A little something for everyone will be available, including a rock climbing wall for kids and a wild boar po-boy for adults, all set to the live tunes of Amanda Shaw.
The majority of last year's winners (including Boucherie and Red Fish Grill) will be returning to defend their titles, with one notable absence. Slow Food NOLA, who won both "Best Beef Po-boy" and "Best Sausage Po-boy" in 2013, will not be participating as a vendor this year, leaving the betting pool in these meaty categories wide open.*
Musical guests for 2014 include the soulful sounds of Tank and the Bangas, Rebirth Brass Band and (of course) Los Poboycitos.
If you'd like to test your po-boy knowledge prior to attending, a quiz on the history of the po-boy is available to assess your historical chops. (Yes, there was once a mayonnaise and banana po-boy created and sold.)
WHAT: 2014 Oak Street Po-boy Festival
WHERE: Oak Street and St. Andrew's School (8012 Oak St.)
WHEN: Sun., Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.