New Orleans: 25 of the Best and Strangest Po' Boys at the Oak Street Po' Boy Festival

[Photographs: Grav Weldon]

There may be no food in New Orleans that's consumed or celebrated quite as much as the po' boy. A quick history: it's attributed to Benny and Clovis Mavin, who benevolently fed hungry workers during a streetcar strike in 1929. Since then, the po 'boy has become the sandwich standard in a town known for incredible food.

Each year thousands come to Oak Street to celebrate the long sandwich in all its variations. This year well over 50,000 crowded the streets to sample po' boys from some 40 vendors while enjoying music on three stages.

We set out to document every single po'boy at the Oak Street Po' Boy Festival. The selection was impressive, ranging from traditional po' boys with fried shrimp and cochon de lait (roasted pork), as well as several versions of debris (beef in gravy), and some truly inventive po' boys. Actually, many of these wouldn't even qualify as true po' boys. Bananas foster po' boy? Sashimi po' boy? We can hear the purists grumbling now.

But we tried them all anyways. Here are 25 of the best and strangest sandwiches at the festival.

Cochon de Lait Po' Boy

Onwards to the po' boys »