Mardi Gras Food Ideas

February 21, 2012 by staff 

Mardi Gras Food Ideas, Mardi Gras: those two words might make you think “No way!” Or it might make you scream, “No limits!”

If you fall somewhere in the middle – if you want to drink some Hurricanes or Abitas, and wear some beads but keep your shirt on – and can’t make it to New Orleans for the parades, here are a few places around the country that might almost make you feel that you’re there. And hopefully not worry about finding a clean bathroom.

At his 30-year-old-restaurant in Chicago, which now has three locations, Jimmy Bannos Sr. turns out remarkable Cajun food; training with legendary New Orleans chefs Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme will do that for your cooking. Bannos’s cookbook, “Heaven on Seven: Where It’s Mardi Gras All the Time!” makes you think it’s going to get a little crazy on Fat Tuesday. Especially when you see the cover photo of Bannos with more beads than I would have thought humanly possible.

Basically every New Orleans-style dish you could want, the Gumbo Pot has got. The huge menu has a New Orleans Favorites section with classics like jambalaya, red beans & rice, 13 different po’ boys as well as muffulettas; there’s also meatloaf and frog legs and traditional or chocolate beignets, served with chicory coffee. There’s a brand new location on Hollywood but the annual Mardi Gras party with zydeco music and parades takes place at the Farmer’s Market at 3rd & Fairfax.

David Guas is an New Orleans native and at Bayou Bakery, he takes his heritage seriously. On Mardi Gras Eve, he’s hosting a dinner with a jazz quartet playing (dancing!). “Beads and cups are yours to keep, costumes optional, and a Bourbon Street attitude necessary,” says the website.

Fat Tuesday will feature parade-route fare including: crawfish etouff233;e, crab boil peppa weenies, Bayou Bakery’s outstanding cream cheese-stuffed King Cakes and cups of Rebirth Punch.

This new spot in Queens checks off the greatest hits of Louisiana from boudin ballsto muffuletta, served whole or “nice half.” Around this time of year, you’ll see specials like any po’ boy plus any Abita beer. They serve the Purple Haze, Turbo Dog, Amber, IPA or the root beer, which is terrific, for $15.

If you’re in Atlanta and wanting to celebrate Mardi Gras with some pralines rather than a parade cup filled with Southern Comfort, then you should go to Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Miss D uses an authentic New Orleans recipe and Georgia pecans to make her terrific candies. She also has some amazing, New Orleans-inspired popcorns, like Cajun Fried Pickle, Banana Caramel and Jalapeno.

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