A Preponderance of Pig

My friends went to Jazz Fest and I didn’t even get a lousy t-shirt (I didn’t want one).  LRoy Eat-Some-Pig Goldberg generously contributed this guest post – so much tastier than a t-shirt. Thanks, LRoy!

When one thinks about the New Orleans Jazz Fest (and you really should), a pig is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But when the gang gathered there this year, it seems the theme of the weekend was in fact the humble domesticated peccary.

It started Thursday night with dinner just a few hundred yards from our hotel. “Cochon” is its name and you Frenchie sophisticates know what that means.cochonrestaurantlogo

For you real ‘Merkins: Check out the menu – you’ll notice that many pigs were harmed in the production of this meal:

http://www.cochonrestaurant.com

I had the smoked pork ribs with watermelon pickle. Indescribably delish.

Friday morning we ate a light breakfast (no bacon!) so our appetite was ragin’ for the first Cajun delight on the Fest grounds:cochon-de-lait-1cochon-de-lait-540x260

Note the flying pig atop the booth.

For you kosher types, the combo of “cochon” and “lait” makes for double trefe (thus canceling each other out), though I don’t think any milk is actually used in the recipe. Just stare at the picture for a while and you can taste it right through your eyes.

Friday night, well, no pig here:IMG_2044

But a great show, maybe the best music we heard all weekend. Man, can they swing a Sh’ma!

Here’s a pic (not a pig) of me – note the URJ t-shirt – the proper attire for massive pork consumption:IMG_2070

Saturday night at Mother’s and this table is full of the kind of eaters your Mother would be proud of. We ate, well, everything. The gent with glasses and a goatee (second from left below) is a world champion eater who demonstrated how one can pig out gracefully, without breaking a sweat. Bravo, Scott from Cleveland! His son Aaron, to his right, is a real up-and-comer chow hound too.

Mother’s is of course known for, what else, the “World Best Baked Ham”:

http://www.mothersrestaurant.net

I messed up and ordered the seafood combo. You think I would have gotten the theme by this point.IMG_2072

Sunday, we woke to the threat of a serious downpour – what to do?! I know – eat some pig! Off to Cochon’s sandwich place: Butcher:

http://www.cochonbutcher.com

Way too many amazing choices. These guys really know how to make a sandwich – and have a good time doing it.

Here’s me with Peggy and Martin. Peggy is eating the muffaletta I think. Note the laminated picture on the left – this is how the waiters identified which table to bring your order to. That’s the cast of “Who’s the Boss” if you didn’t recognize it right away. Good question with Martin and Peggy in close proximity…

Plenty of pig in that ‘wich:IMG_2102

I couldn’t resist the pastrami however, so here is Peggy berating me for once again missing the whole point:IMG_2103

Just a beauty shot of the French Quarter in the rain:       IMG_2094

Finally, there was Sunday dinner at Upperline: http://www.upperline.com

Okay, so you have to look hard to find the noble pig on JoAnn Clevenger’s menu. But really, this place is so elegant and down-home, artsy and haimish all at the same time that complaints are simply not allowed. Fried green tomato with shrimp remoulade to start? The pig can wait outside.

Here are the girls with JoAnn who generously gifted us a mini cast-iron skillet for the wife waiting patiently at home. It came with an amazing pecan-topped sweet potato puree, but she cleaned it before handing it over. We love you JoAnn!

IMG_2099

So, that’s how we became one with the pig in Nawlins. Next year we’ll have to carry the pork chop totem – we earned it!:12672557-mmmain

L.Roy

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