POSTED Wed. Nov 20, 2013
The Insider Guide to Po'boy Festival 2013

As a Cajun guy born and raised in Lafayette, LA, when I think of the word “sandwich” in the abstract I envision a chunk of crusty French bread stuffed with fried seafood. The po-boy sandwich, devised by Louisiania brothers Bennie and Clovis Martin in 1920’s New Orleans, is a regional institution. Down here, it is the platonic ideal of the sandwich.

My favorite po-boy ever was at Crabby Jack’s, which has fallen from grace somewhat recently given its bevy of health code violations. An employee told me years ago that the paneed rabbit po-boy was discontinued for being a high cost/low margin offering, but it was amazing.

I can testify to how good this sandwich was via anecdote. In 2004, I was a college junior and my mother was visiting New Orleans for the weekend. Always looking for a free meal, I asked her to pick up a rabbit po-boy for me while I was in class. She did, but went shopping for a few hours in the New Orleans May heat without thinking to refrigerate the sandwich.

The lactose in the remoulade sauce went bad whilst sitting in her car and I resultantly had the worst food poisoning I have ever had in my life. This type of experience can color a person’s worldview toward a certain food indefinitely. It can put you off of it for life.

Three days later, I had the exact same sandwich for lunch. And it was awesome.

This Sunday, November 24, from 10am-7pm, New Orleanians will shelve their paleo diets to gather on Oak Street and pay homage to our regionally exalted sandwich. There are three stages and performances by over ten local music acts throughout the day, as well as offerings from over thirty food vendors.

Here are a few veteran pro tips for maximizing your Po-Boy Fest:

1) Get there early. Take it from me, Po-Boy Fest gets PACKED and Oak is not the roomiest of streets. As the day goes on, vendors and music create chokepoints that can impede your gastronomic pursuits. Don’t forget about the Food Truck Village on Leonidas St.

2) Don’t worry about missing the Saints game. They don’t play on a Sunday for two weeks!

3) Don’t overcommit; diversify. Be judicious with the capacity of your digestive system. Bring along a buddy or two and split everything. The key is to take approximately two bites of as many po-boys as possible.

The large number of culinary options at Po-Boy Fest can be intimidating. As a man who has eaten many po-boys in this town over the past 13 years, I will suggest a few not to be missed.

1) BBQ shrimp po-boy from Boucherie. This is my favorite BBQ shrimp po-boy in town.

2) Duck BLT from Mahony’s. Because all their stuff is great.

3) Sausage po-boy and/or jambalaya from Crescent City Pie & Sausage. Made by a legitimate Cajun dude.

4) Surf & turf (roast beef and fried shrimp) from Parkway. Timeless classic.

5) Prime rib dipper from Rib Room. Because gravy dipping.

6) Slow Food Nola’s locavore chaurice po-boy. Bellegarde Bakery makes amazing bread and the sausage guy from Cleaver & Co is among the best artisanal sausage guys in town.

Support local food, y’all.

Those interested in volunteering to help out at the Fest can sign up here.

All images courtesy of the New Orleans Po’boy Festival


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook