Wednesday, April 13, 2011

French Quarter Fest 2011

Yeah, I'm a little late on posting this, I know. But I've been inspired by NOLA blogger Bayou Creole about her Fest experiences.

Rather than wait till the Saturday of FQF, we decided to hit it on the Friday. The weather was perfect and the crowd wasn't as heavy as it was last year.

We arrived at the Fest at 10:30, hoping to get a jump on the crowds only to find out that they wouldn't start selling food till 11.

So we bought Abitas and strolled to Jackson Square to pick up a piece of art I bought from Leveeland Creations , which is "New Orleans Folk Art from Salvaged Wood and Found Objects" by NOLA blogger Lance Vargas

Here's Lance Vargas in his "Office" at Jackson Square

Here's the piece of art I bought. I know it's huge (you should've seen us walking it back to the car!), but I love it!

By the time we got said art back to the car it was FOOD TIME!!!

Our first item was 12-hour roasted tenderloin with horseradish sauce and pickled red onions from Bourcherie

This picture doesn't do it justice, it was very good. I just wish they'd offered sides of the horseradish sauce, because I ate the dollop on top in one bite!

We were looking for good music and we didn't have too look to far. At the Louie Louie stage on the riverfront, we found the Marc Stone band, sponsored by our facebook friends Craig and Kimmie Giesecke of Janita's at the Rendon Inn.

Here are Kim & Craig watching the band on a rare day off for them

The Marc Stone Band. You like blues, you like slide guitar? You'll like them!
They play Wednesday evenings in Lafayette Square and later on Wednesday nites at the Rendon Inn. Check them out.

We decided to wander back to Jackson Square in search of food.

It was here we found the best food of the Fest. Our first sample was a stuffed mirliton with shrimp & crabmeat in a creole sauce from Tujagues Restaurant, right around the corner.

Mrs. Wheat's Meat Pie was good, as always.

The Court of Two Sisters' Crawfish Louise. VERY good!

While waiting on hubby to get us another sampling of food, I noticed this bird having a good old time in the fountain. He seemed so happy.

Next we sampled crawfish in puff pastry with a mustard sauce and dill from Broussards.

I must admit I was a little disappointed with this dish. I couldn't taste any mustard and the crawfish were a little chewy. But the fresh dill was very good.

Our last food in Jackson Square was the best. From Desire Oyster Bar, we got the Shrimp and Grits (I'm salivating thinking about them). The whole dish was perfect, in my "I'm not a chef but I know good food" opinion.

I've lived in this area for over 30 years and have never been inside St. Louis Cathedral. Billy and I went inside to cool off and to have some contemplative time. We didn't take pictures out of some kind of respect (my Catholic guilt, I guess), but I was amazed at the beauty of this place. And to think it is over 300 years old.

After that wonderful respite, we headed on down to the U.S. Mint to check out some Rouse's crawfish. We decided to ditch the crowds and walked down Royal Street. Got some good pictures, which will be the subject of a future blog post.

Halfway down Royal Street we spotted this car.

And they were GIVING AWAY RED BULL! If you know me, you know I must have my Red Bull in the morning. This started after I kinda bumped into a truck in front of me at Powers Junction one morning about 5 AM when I kinda of nodded off waiting to pull into traffic. But I digress.

Once we got to the Mint we started to smell the crawfish. It's not as if we didn't get enough crawfish during this particular day, but there's something about the smell and taste of boiled crawfish that gets me excited. And to think that 2 years ago I didn't like crawfish!

For $8, Rouses was very generous, given the crazy price of crawfish this time of year. And yes, they were delectable!

After glutting ourselves on mudbugs, I got a call from my daughter who was in Jackson Square and wanted to see us. So we headed back that way, happy to be moving after all the food we'd consumed during the short 5 hour period.

We found them happily eating a nutella/strawberry crepe. I hadn't seen my little sweetie in about a month, so a hug from her felt good.

While we were talking, I noticed this very cool tatoo and couldn't resist taking a picture of it.

It was about 3 and we decided to head back to the car to get back home. On our way back to the parking lot, we saw two Mardi Gras Indians strutting their stuff. I kind of laughed when I heard someone say "they're asking for donations". I felt like saying "Yeah, they put these costumes together by hand, cough up some money!".

Still heading toward the parking lot, we had to stop when we realized who was on stage by the Aquarium.

None other than one of my favorite NOLA artists, Coco Robicheaux (ro-bee-show). We decided a few extra minutes of enjoying this wonderful day was worth it before heading back to the "dreaded" northshore.

It was. French Quarter Fest 2011 Rocked. Looking forward to next year.

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