Usually, the only weather concern for Satchmo SummerFest is the oppressive heat and humidity but this year brought a huge rain storm that dumped over half a foot of rain in under an hour, overwhelming the pumping systems and flooding the entire city. That said, we did manage to have some fun at the fest before the weather came through. The distinctively dulcet voice of John Boutte serenaded us as we sampled the food booths starting with a Debris Po-Boy from the Rib Room – which we topped with horseradish mayo to bring out the flavor. Next we tried the Deep Fried Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers and the Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade Salad from Café Dauphine. We washed it all down with a cold Purple Haze Abita beer. Continue reading
Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s August birthday, Satchmo SummerFest is often the sweatiest festival of the year, but rain cooled the day. The rain also left the grassy yard of the U.S. Mint a muddy mess. But much of the fest is tented and Friday was a great kickoff to the fest with food and beverage booths, non-stop live music on multiple stages and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics. We stopped by The Preservation Brass entertaining a crowd then started our day with a Soft-shell Crab Poboy served on Dong Phong Bread with Pink Sauce from Ajun Cajun and a Royal House Chopped Salad with Fried Oysters. Continue reading
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.” Continue reading
The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading
I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.
The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code. Continue reading
Because people have jobs, Thursday can be the least crowded day of the entire Jazz Fest schedule. Add a cold rain until after lunchtime and things got off to a very slow start. I volunteered to work in the Kiwanis beer booth to raise money for local children’s activities and got to spend the day remembering everything I love about Jazz Fest. The “shoe forecast” called for boots owing to the rains the night before – todays showers weren’t predicted. But I loved seeing all the fashion fun “boot weather” brings out (favorite pictured below). My friend, Wendy, and I ended up wearing the exact same pair – extra funny since we met when she dressed my character in The Loft years ago.
We set up the booth, got a requisite Crawfish Monica, then wandered to the nearby Acura Stage to watch Cha Wa. Continue reading