This Louisiana staple is surprisingly hard to find done well.
Meat pies are more than a tradition in Louisiana; they’re an official state food!
A product of Northern Louisiana popularized in Natchitoches, the modern meat pie contains ground meat, onions, peppers, garlic and spices, and is fried in a crescent-shaped pastry shell. An almost identical comparison for the pie is the empanada, found throughout Spanish-influenced countries in North and South America.
Despite the prevalence of the delicacy in Louisiana, finding excellent meat pies in the New Orleans area can be a bit of a challenge. Indeed, this listing of the top meat pies in New Orleans speaks of warmed over convenience store offerings, odd spins on the traditional dish … and several of the listed restaurants are now closed!
Yelp! is a little more helpful, but many of the same issues keep cropping up there as well. A traditional Natchitoches meat pie hot off the fryer is actually difficult to find … unless it’s festival season.
The top purveyors of meat pies in New Orleans are the fine folks at Mrs. Wheat’s Foods, who provide the tasty treats to hungry customers at festivals like French Quarter Fest and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. We caught up with Bryant Wheat at Jazz Fest and asked him what makes their meat pies so great. He had plenty of insight.
So what do you think? Do you consider the meat pies at Jazz Fest the best in the area? Or are there other year-round offerings that are as good (or even better)?