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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Feasting & Festing: A Look at the 2016 Baton Rouge Blues Fest

by Sydney Blanchard

Baton Rouge Blues Fest
A gorgeous day in #goBR at the Baton Rouge Blues Fest


I'll admit, I was pretty sleep on the Baton Rouge Blues Festival until last year. I think a combination of the festival's rebranding and Blair's involvement as the Food Chair put the festival on my radar, and I've got to say, for a free festival, the Blues Fest kills it.

In the last two years, the festival has hosted some incredible blues legends like Buddy Guy as well as up and coming local talent like Honeyvibe on multiple stages in downtown Baton Rouge. While music acts entertain all day, beer and food vendors keep festival goers hydrated and well-fed.

But don't think you're in for typical festival food. Fried foods and burgers abound, but this year's fest brought on some insanely delicious food vendors.

On Saturday, my girlfriend and I biked to the festival early, and I was ready to eat.

I started with this boudin stuffed pretzel roll from Rösch Bakehaus with a side of homemade mustard for dipping, and I think I might have been their first customer at the festival. For some reason, all the other booths had lines of people waiting to be served, but no one was in line for the pretzels.

Baton Rouge Blues Fest pretzel
Boudin stuffed pretzel bun from the Baton Rouge Blues Fest


I feel sorry for anyone who didn't try this pretzel bun. I love the sweet and doughy flavor of pretzels, and combined with boudin and mustard, this made for a heavenly bite and only set me back $5. Blair said business picked up for them once the word got out, and for good reason.

Ryan opted for a hot sausage dog from MRTN Ventures out of Mandeville. She and I both love specialty hot dogs (and Costco hotdogs), and this one surpassed her high hot dog standards.

Baton Rouge Blues Fest dog
Hot dog with toppings at the Baton Rouge Blues Fest

Next, I begged my friend Alex to let me snap a picture of her wood-fired personal pizza from Dat'z Italian. I didn't get to try the pizza much to my dismay, but it looked and smelled delicious, and pizza is definitely not typical festival fare. 

Baton Rouge Blues Fest pizza
Wood-fired pizza from Dat'z Italian at the Baton Rouge Blues Fest


There's no better way to cool down this time of year than with a snowball from Cool Tiger Ice. One of my favorite snowball stands in town, these ladies make a mean summer treat. When I die, bury me with perfectly fine shaved ice and cover me with rainbow syrups, please. Gotta represent, even from the afterlife.


Baton Rouge Blues Fest snowball
Rainbow snowball from Cool Tiger Ice at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival

There are just a few of some of the amazing food vendors who served up local flavor at this year's Baton Rouge Blues Fest. I wish I'd gotten the chance to try them all! I guess there's always next year.