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Musicians Reveal Their Favorite Jazz Fest Eats: Part I

 Anders Osborne at Jazz Fest
Anders Osborne at Jazz Fest
Photo: Jayne Tansey-Patron/Anders Osborne Official Website

If you're a seasoned, sun-broiled Jazz Fest veteran (and there's no reason you shouldn't be by now), then you no doubt have your favorite festival foods, and while we're quite sure your semi-official Guide to Eating Your Way Through Jazz Fest and Going Home Early to Pass Out From Sun Poisoning (HarperCollins, $24.99) is very insightful, you're not a famous musician, which means we have no reason to trust your judgment. Only famous musicians command that kind of credence in New Orleans, but fear not lest you be baffled by the supernumerary food vendors! Eater has has asked some of your favorite local acts like Irma Thomas and Anders Osborne what they're favorite festival foods are, leaving you free to go about your business of doing what all ordinary people when they can't decide how to behave?imitate a cool musician.

Ben Ellman, Galactic's saxophonist and harmonica player, is quick to name Walker BBQ's Cochon de Lait po boy, a sandwich of semi-legendary proportions, as his number one festival favorite. The rest of his top five goes something like this:

2. Guil's Gator bites. It's a alligator dish where you can really taste the gator meat.

3.Pheasant, quail, and andouille gumbo.

4. Crawfish Strudel?flakey dough stuffed with crawfish goodness

5. Crawfish bisque?LOVE the stuffed heads. If you beg, you might get an extra one.

Wash it all down with some Rosemint Tea and, if your stomach hasn't ruptured, finish it off with the white chocolate bread pudding. And don't blame Ben if you then need to lie down in the middle of the fairgrounds.

Anders Osborne echoes many of his fellow musicians when he insists, "You gotta have some Crawfish Monica [from Kajun Kettle Foods] and rinse it down with some Strawberry Iced Tea." For dessert? Have a mango freeze and thank whatever deity you worship that you don't have to put on your winter coat anymore.

Phil Frazier, aka "Tuba Phil" from the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band, seconds the Crawfish Monica Strawberry Tea combo, but adds that first-timers really ought to pay Ms. Linda Green, aka the much-heralded Ya-ka-mein Lady, a visit.

Big Sam, from the eponymous Big Sam's Funky Nation, needs to get some Natchitoches meat pies and some soft shell crab. Oh, and he also needs a little Cochon de Lait and some Ya-ka-mein. Actually, there's so much good food at Jazz Fest, that Big Sam has adopted a more omnivorous approach?he'll try the first thing he sees, since it's almost impossible to make a bad decision (but especially if that decision is getting Cochon de Lait).

Irma Thomas, the "Soul Queen of New Orleans" and quite possibly sweetest woman in this or any proximal galaxy, will be taking her first perambulation around the fairgrounds since having knee surgery two years ago. She'll be sure to get some Crawfish Monica, Mango-Peach Iced Tea, and Crawfish Pies. She also has sage words of chiropody for all those Jazz Fest greenhorns: don't wear flip-flops because your poor, muddy feet may never forgive you.

· All Jazz Fest 2013 Coverage [-ENOLA-]