The 11 Best Dishes at the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival

[Photographs: Grav Weldon]

Barbecue from Memphis. Pork tenderloin sandwiches from Iowa. Natchitoches meat pies from middle Louisiana. Tamales from Tucson. Where else can you dine this fine in the middle of the street?

The New Orleans Roadfood Festival celebrates the best of America's highway diners and eateries each year with an invitational festival showing off the greatest bites along the nation's roadways. Some 30 restaurants from across Louisiana and the rest of the country shared versions of their best dishes with an estimated 40,000 visitors to Royal Street in New Orleans at this year's festival.

Vendors offered small versions of their best dishes, ranging from $3 for a trio of muffuletta sliders to $13 for a pound of smoked Texas beef brisket. There was music in the streets, appearances by event Grand Marshal Jennifer Jones decked out in her finest, a beignet-eating contest between the New Orleans Police Department and Fire Department and plenty of cold, refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

My job? To find the best of the best and share it with you, the eleven best dishes discovered at this year's New Orleans Roadfood Festival. Check them out in this special slideshow, or individual dishes below: