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New Orleans Po-Boy Festival Sunday November 23, 2008

22 November 2008


The New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival returns this weekend to the surprised delight of the organizers, who weren’t sure if anyone would show up last year. Yes, it has been a year since the first running, which jammed six blocks of the old Carrollton commercial stretch of Oak Street.

The name is tongue and cheek as there is no danger of extinction anytime soon for the favorite sandwich of New Orleans. In fact, there are more good poor boy shops in New Orleans now than ever before.  About the only datum that gives one pause is the disappearance of many bakeries that used to make the unique, light, essential poor boy loaves. Maybe that’s why Leidenheimer’s–the city’ biggest French bread baker, the one that absorbed Reising’s, Angelo Gendusa, and some other old names–is a major sponsor of the poor boy festival.

Last years’ festival was a blast. The only glitch was were the configuration of the lines leading to the vendors’ booths. The lines were long enough that they gridlocked a couple of blocks. But who knew so many people would show up? The restaurants serving poor boys last year also underestimated the crowds. Many of them had to send back to their restaurants for more food. And for the best of reasons: the food was uniformly great, with an an amazing variety of sandwiches. This year, there’ll be thirty vendors, about half again as many as last year. Of course, there’s lots of music, crafts, a kids’ area, a competition, and plenty more to keep you there for hours. The entire list, and what they’re serving, is on the Po-Boy Festival web site.

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