If you’re considering spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans, consider arriving a little early. People who travel for food will want not want to miss the 2011 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, on November 20.
Po-Boys aren’t elegant and they can be messy, but they are oh-so-satisfying. They are comfort food at its finest. There’s a reason the Po-Boy has such a following. There’s a reason it has its own festival.
Po-Boys came into being during a 1929 New Orleans Transit Strike. Bennie and Clovis Martin, owners of the Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market, had worked as streetcar conductors and were sympathetic to the cause of the transit workers. In the words of Bennie Martin, “We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’” They lengthened the traditional French loaf, and their bigger sandwiches sometimes fed whole families. Read more about the history of Po-Boys.
Nowadays, Po-Boys are a New Orleans staple and they’re enjoyed throughout the Southeast. You can put just about anything inside a loaf of French bread, and people do.
More than forty vendors will be at the 2011 Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, and there is a good chance more than 40 types of Po-Boys will be served. There will also be plenty of live music. Bring an appetite and wear dancing shoes.
New Orleans Bed and Breakfasts welcome Po-Boy enthusiasts. Choose a New Orleans Bed and Breakfast near the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, in the Carrollton District, or stay in one a bit farther away and burn off calories when traveling to and from the festival.