The Swamp Pop Music Festival

What do cars, motorcycles, music, and jambalaya all have in common? They are all part of the Swamp Pop Music Festival this Friday and Saturday at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. There is live music from a variety of great musicians, as well as a car and truck show, Swamp Pop Festival Queen Pageant, motorcycle poker run, children’s area, and a jambalaya cook-off.

Because we love food at I Must Eat, here is a little information about jambalaya, a Louisiana favorite and a common food item at many of our featured restaurants.

Jambalaya traditionally is made with rice, meat, and vegetables. Ham, chicken, sausage, pork, shrimp, and oysters are popular meat options, and many recipes include garlic, onions, peppers, and  a variety of seasonings. Families might have preferred recipes, but what makes jambalaya so popular is its versatility: the cook can essentially mix in whatever ingredients they have on hand.

Creole jambalaya, which tends to be favored in the New Orleans area, includes tomatoes and Cajun jambalaya does not. Jambalaya is a cultural dish. French, African, and Caribbean influences are evident in the cooking methods and ingredients seen across the South.

On Friday, the gates for the Swamp Pop Music Festival open at 5pm and the music doesn’t stop until midnight.  Saturday, the gates open at 10:30am and the music lasts until 11:30pm. Friday admission is $10 and on Saturday it’s $15, with all proceeds benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Stop out if you must eat jambalaya!

Is There a Wine Thief on the Loose?

Picture this: you log into IMustEat and order dinner from your favorite restaurant. You stop and pick up your meal and as you drive home, you imagine how delicious dinner is going to be, especially with that nice bottle of white wine you have waiting in your refrigerator.

Then it happens. You carry your dinner into the house, lay it all out on the table, and open up the fridge only to discover that the wine is gone! Your wife/husband/sister/roommate etc. has drank it down to the last ice-cold drop.

There is a solution. For about $26 plus shipping and handling, the Combination Bottle Lock can prevent these types of transgressions from happening in your house ever again.

This wonderful gadget fits snugly on the top of your favorite vino, and comes equipped with a four number combination so you can keep it safe from all sorts of natural wine predators such as loved ones, neighbors, and other folks who all agree that you have great taste in wine.

Lock it into place, set the combination, and go to work in the morning knowing that your wine will be waiting for you tonight when you get home with dinner.

You Must Eat Naked Pizza!

When you ask your family what they want for dinner, does everyone yell “pizza!”? Have you thought about changing your family name to “Mozzarella”? Do you consider your favorite pie one of the four food groups? Do you care about what you put into your body?

If this describes your household, and you must eat pizza, then you must try Naked Pizza, where “naked” really just means “natural” and “pizza” is not synonymous with “junk food.”

At Naked Pizza, they describe their pizzas as “an honest diversity of all-natural, whole food ingredients that taste better and are better for you.” Some of the ways in which they live up to this promise begin in the crust. They use an Ancestral Blend® of 10 grains plus prebiotic agave fiber and probiotics bound by water and made by hand. Included in the grains are oats, brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, teff, spelt, tapioca, and two kinds of wheat.

The wholesome goodness doesn’t stop there. Their sauce is all natural without added sugar or citric acid. The vegetables are all natural without any additives. The meats are free of growth hormones and antibiotics. Even the cheese is 100% natural! Unlike most of the competitors, the Naked Pizza does not add high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oil to any of their ingredients either. They even have a gluten-free crust if allergens are a concern! Click here for more nutritional information.

Pizzas come in three sizes and topping combinations are almost limitless with 3 sauces, 15 vegetables, 5 meats, and 3 types of cheese. Check out the menu to create your own pizza or try one of their favorites.

Hungry? Naked Pizza is ready to take your order seven days a week starting at 10:30am. They stay open until 10pm Sunday through Thursday and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.

New Orleans Neighborfood Festival 2013

Do you love to eat? We know you do, or you would not be a loyal I Must Eat patron.  If you love to eat and you especially love to try new dishes, gather up your friends and family for a fun-filled dining opportunity this weekend.

On June 30th, the “We Live to Eat Neighborfood” festival is going on from 2pm to 5pm in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans.

Eight different restaurants including Roux Public House, Honeydeux, Diva Dog, Down the Hatch, Voodoo BBQ, Food Drunk NOLA, and NOLA Pie Guy are serving you in the name of local charities such as the Second Harvest Food Bank and the March of Dimes.

For a mere $10 you get into this fantastic event and you get to enjoy a special dish or drink at one of the participating neighborhood restaurants.  You can try things such as mango bubble tea, chargrilled oysters, red bean chili dogs, or BBQ pulled pork. Don’t worry. If you can’t decide on just one tasty eat, you can purchase extra food and drink tickets for $5. Also included with your entry fee are 5 raffle tickets for prizes. All the restaurants are within walking distance, making this perfect for the entire family!

Get to know your neighborhood. Live it, love it, and eat in it. The day of the big event, tickets will be $15, so be sure to order yours in advance for only $10 here.

In Honor of Miss Dot

Dorothy “Dot” Domilise died Friday of congestive heart failure at the age of 90. For more than seven decades Miss Dot welcomed guests with hugs and friendly questions about their families at Domilise’s Po-Boy and Bar, located at Annunciation and Bellcastle streets in New Orleans.

“Now she’s makin’ po-boys for the Big Man up there” said one customer. Other loyal patrons recalled the matron of their favorite Uptown restaurant with much love and appreciation.

Along with local politicians, the neighborhood restaurant was visited by actors such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, journalist Anderson Cooper, and singer and guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Photographs of football players Peyton Manning and Eli Manning adorned the walls behind the bar, and reality show star Anthony Bourdain once interviewed her for his hit television show.

According to one loyal customer, Miss Dot referred to the thousands of po-boys she served over the years as “sandwiches” and regardless of which sandwich was ordered, plenty of napkins were a must.

Miss Dot lived in a small apartment connected to the restaurant, and it is said that her least favorite day of the week was Sunday because on this day the restaurant was closed. She missed the customers who she thought of as friends.

The South is revered for its cuisine, and po-boys are no exception.  Legend has it that the origin of the po-boy can be attributed to transit workers who were on strike during the late 1920’s. The Martin Brothers offered the hungry men large sandwiches.  “Here comes another poor boy” the brothers exclained in reference to the strikers who filed into the Martin Brothers’ Coffee Stand and Restaurant for a free meal.

Miss Dot perfected po-boys over the years, and she will be equally remembered for her generous spirit and cheerful smile.

Find Love at Two Tony’s

We all know the scene: sweet, bashful cocker spaniel and rough and tough mutt find love in a climatic cinematic moment over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.  Romantic music sets the mood as uptown girl falls head over heels for downtown boy while a lone strand of spaghetti connects them across the table. Meet  Lady and the Tramp.

You and your sweetheart can stir up amorous feelings of your own. You need a cobble-stoned alleyway, a wine barrel table with a white and red cloth, laundry drying in the moonlight between buildings, and a candle casting shadows across your shared meal. You can go the extra mile and find a happy chef or two to play a romantic ditty to really set the stage.

If this seems like a lot of work to you, there is an easier way.

Two Tony’s serves authentic Italian flavor Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11am – 9pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11am – 10pm.  They are closed Sundays and Mondays.  The Montalbano family has been in the restaurant business for over 55 years and has positive reviews from the likes of the Travel Channel.

Their menu features appetizers such as Italian Fried Artichoke Hearts with creole horseradish sauce, Grilled Shrimp with homemade pepper jelly sauce, and Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms with garlic butter sauce.  They serve soup by the bowl or cup and a variety of salads to appeal to everyone.

Specialty dishes include items such as Montalbano, a delicious paneed veal or chicken topped with mozzarella cheese and a rich creole mushroom meuniere sauce; or Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Steak topped with lite lemon butter sauce. They also offer a variety of Po-boys and seafood dishes. They even have traditional pasta favorites such as Zucchini Parmesan and Lasagna.

And of course, they have Spaghetti and Meatballs.

If you must eat Italian, you must check out Two Tony’s.

You Must Have This App

In the spirit of food junkies everywhere, we recognize that not all of your meals will be within the confines of the mileage provided by our website. In fact, with summer comes vacations and with vacations come (drum roll, please) new adventures in food.

Here is where a pretty fabulous app for travelers comes in handy. Triposo is designed for folks who are exploring foreign lands.  In fact, it has up-to-date information for 15,000 destinations in 200 countries worldwide.

Location, time, weather, and personal preferences are considered when providing recommendations for the user. Type in your destination and you are able to learn about the culture and the history of your destination, its currency, and language spoken. You can even book a tour, find hotels, and figure out the best spots for good local grub. Triposo will also tell you about museums, shopping, other activities including the best beaches. Even pharmacies are included for emergencies.

Curious?  Check out this list of countries, click on one, and get started. For example, we selected France, known for its excellent cuisine.  In addition to top destinations, there is information about almost every category you can dream up and many that you probably never would. Select a city, in this case we selected Paris, and you are provided top recommendations from fellow travelers. 

If you must eat in Paris, check out L’Entrecôte, which specializes in the contre-filet cut of sirloin.

If you are looking for more than what the guide books tell you about, download Triposo now. In their words: “At Triposo we believe that getting lost will set you free—as long as you have Triposo to help you get back home.”