The 31st annual Creole Tomato Fest delivered food, music, cocktails, food demos and the perfect backdrop to 2 parades, the Naked Bike Ride and the Gay Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). It was a warm, breezy day in the French Quarter so crowds were steady but lines weren’t too long. We headed straight for George’s Produce Co. for my favorite dish every year, The Pontchartrain – Sliced Creole Tomato topped with lump crab meat remoulade. So simple and so freaking good. We weren’t surprised when they won Best of the Fest’s “Tastiest Dish.”
We followed that with a delicious Creole Stuffed Tomato with Cool Creamy Shrimp Pasta from LaDelyo’s Creole Catering. Every year at Jazz Fest, there’s a dish everyone says you have to try. This year, all I heard about were the Crawfish Beignets from J’s Seafood Dock so I was delighted to find their non-tomato booth – and with none of the legendary wait in line! And yes, the beignets were well worth the hype and the guys at the booth were great.
We ventured to the other end of the French Market in Dutch Alley in time to catch the All Around Brass Band leading a second line past the row of Bloody Mary booths. Saint Cecelia offered a Bloody Caprese that looked good. All of the offerings had fun ingredient ideas paired with creative toppers.
We headed back toward the Mint to try whatever Miss Linda had prepared. We passed on her legendary and award-winning YakaMein and went for the comforting Shrimp & Crabmeat Dressing Over Fried Eggplant. We finished our day with a second serving of The Pontchartrain from George’s Produce Co. It was even better than the first one. The Fest continues Sunday!