We arose bright and early Sunday morning to drive to Luling for the big alligator festival. There is nothing on earth we’d rather do than spend a morning walking around a festival grounds in Louisiana; eating gator, drinking High Life, and listening to live music.
Thirty minutes out of the 9th Ward and we’re parking in a dirt lot under the looming Hale Boggs Bridge. Luling is gorgeous.
We run through all the food booths, and there are plenty, before deciding that Schexnayder Acadian Foods of Kenner would be a good source of an alligator po boy breakfast.
That was a mistake.
“I’d like an alligator po boy please” I proffer eight tickets to the counter girl, she takes them then returns seconds later with a foil-wrapped, precooked sandwich.“That’ll be eight tickets”
At first I thought she was kidding but after a short debate where I felt like I was talking to a particularly stone-faced warden at nearby Nelson-Coleman prison, I quickly realized that we were going to be paying twice for that one po boy or we weren’t going to be eating.
I briefly consider going raging bull and demolishing the Schexnayder food tent and a good half of the festival grounds but I have zero desire to get gunned down by St Charles Parish deputies so I pay, again, and retire to a nearby tent to eat breakfast.
It’s good. The smoked alligator sausage has been well-tended over a hardwood fire. Fat content is proper as the link is juicy, and well seasoned with salt and pepper. I suspect there’s a fair amount of pork in the farce as gator meat is notoriously lean.
The loaf bread may have had the signature po boy crunch to it at some point but being wrapped in foil has steamed away the crisp. Accoutrement of lettuce, pickle, onion and tomato comes separately in a Glad bag. There are no condiments but a heavy drift of Blue Plate mayo would’ve been much appreciated.Hale Boggs, the namesake of the mighty bridge we’re eating beneath, and a towering figure in Louisiana politics, went missing in the early 70s on an airplane ride in Alaska. He’s never been found; much like the hard-earned $8 that we were divested of by the cashier at Schexnayder Acadian Foods.