Saturday is always the busiest day of the 4-day French Quarter Fest. All of the 20 stages and 50+ food booths were open and crowded. We started with the quieter sounds of Sarah Quintana before moving on to rocking and rolling with Irene Sage Band. When it comes to covers of anything by Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac, Irene Sage is still the only singer that fills me with joy.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles filled the big stage with beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian suits. I especially loved the Big Chief’s rendition of Indian Red.
Lunch was another Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($12) from Walker’s Southern Style BBQ – one of my favorite fest foods. Continue reading
With over 20 stages of regional music and MANY local food booths throughout the Quarter, French Quarter Fest (FQF) is easily my favorite fest of the year – which in saying something in a city with literally hundreds of annual festivals. This is the Fest’s 35th year and things keep getting bigger and more crowded, but it’s still free and that’s amazing. The weather was perfect – upper 70’s, breezy and sunny. The Irene Sage Band was playing Led Zeppelin when we arrived. I’ve written them into my next Charlotte Reade Mystery so it was a fun way to start the day. Continue reading
YLC’s Wednesday at the Square really outdid themselves with the one-two punch of Westbank Mike and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Lafayette Square was already packed when we arrived and Irene Sage was playing tambourine with the Westbank Mike boys. Even trumpeter Ian Smith joined in for the bluesy funky songs. For those not in the know, the “Westbank” is the part of New Orleans on the other side of the Mississippi, lead singer and guitarist Mike Doussan’s home. Continue reading
The French Quarter Fest is as much about local cuisine as it is about our amazing music with over 65 local vendors tempting tastebuds with everything from spicy seafood to sweet snowballs. Saturday, the festival was also the proving ground for Rouses Crawfish Eating World Championship. There were several rounds of competition culminating with the 4th annual win for Sonya Thomas AKA “The Black Widow.” She managed to pack 2.2 pounds of crawfish into her 100 pound body in 10 minutes. Louisianan hunk Adrian Morgan came in second with 2 pounds. I finished one Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with Cole Slaw ($6) from The Joint while watching Continue reading
For 30 years, the French Quarter Fest has been bringing together the best of New Orleans music and food. The festival continues to grow in size and scope, this year adding a film festival and an additional stage on Decatur St. bringing the total to 21. With 800 local musicians to see for free and over 65 local restaurants offering local cuisine, the festival is my favorite every year. Continue reading
Friday was another amazing day at French Quarter Fest. The weather was, again, amazing. We started with a yummy Cochon de Lait Po-Boy from Love at First Bite ($7) as well as a Combo of Shrimp Cakes and Cajun Shrimp Bowl ($7) from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Then it was off to see the Irene Sage Band Tribute to Coco Robicheaux. The music was great and the recently-passed Coco would’ve certainly been pleased but the highlight was definitely the bees. Yep, the bees. Continue reading
French Quarter Fest day 2 began with the welcome cry of Mr. Okra driving by, “I’ve got fresh plums. I’ve got fresh oranges.” My mother recently told me that her first words were not mama or dada, but “swimp boy.” Growing up with wagon vendors outside her window, everyday she heard the guy roll by yelling, “Shrimp boy” like an ice cream truck’s bells announcing goodies coming your way. Mr. Okra drives a truck donated by locals after Katrina but his call-outs are part of the soul of New Orleans. We bought 7 over-ripe bananas and 4 plums for $2 and headed out. Continue reading