In America, Mardi Gras seems to be more synonymous with getting Bourbon-faced on Shit Street than celebrating for Lenten season. But, that’s what we love about this country– the perpetual yearning for reasons to dress up, party hard and eat cake.
Feb. 12 is Fat Tuesday and you don’t have to be in New Orleans to celebrate French Quarter style. Plenty of places around Austin will shovel out their fair share of NOLA food, stout drinks and of course, beads. The celebrations start as early as Feb. 08 so pull out your favorite purple, green and gold ensembles and prepare your bellies.
A Mardi Gras Party at Homefield Grill kicks off the Carnival Season with all of the essentials: beads, masks, parades, King Cake and NOLA booze favorites such as Hand Grenades, Hurricanes and Sazeracs. Speaking from personal experience here, if the grenades are true to their NOLA roots, one should suffice.
Then, at 7 p.m., Cajun and Creole foodie Todd Michael St. Pierre will present his new New Orleans cookbook, “Taste of Treme,” at Bookpeople just in time for the celebrations. Buy his cookbook in the store and get it signed before you set off to cook up some cajun-inspired favorites.
Antone’s presents World Carnaval, a show that will bring Austin musicians together to present an array of musical and dance styles that are represented around the world during Mardi Gras. Acts include: Suns of Orpheus, Austin Samba School, Morena Soul, Seu Jacinto and McCallum High School Knights Steel Drum band.
In lieu of the connotation of their name, Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden is going into Mardi Gras festivities with a bang for their Second Chance Sunday: Mardi Gras Edition. They are actually roasting an alligator, swamp rat and wild boar in the name of the crazy cajuns. The delicacies will be served at noon and feed salivating (maybe a little reluctant) mouths until it runs out. While you munch on gator, (which literally tastes like chicken), cajun music group Gumbo Ce Soir and the Dead Music Capital band will perform in full make-up and costume, making the revelry that much more authentic.
02/12- FAT TUESDAY
J. BLACK’S Feel Good Kitchen and Lounge will host Mardi Gras 2013 beginning at 4 p.m. with Bacardi Hurricanes and traditional Nawlins gumbo. At 9 p.m. they will hold a mask competition with first, second and third place prizes.
If you feel more inclined to keep the blood pumping while partaking in Mardi Gras merriment, join Rogue Running and Brooks Running for their Fat Tuesday Pub Run. They will set off at 5:30 p.m. after pre-drink warm ups with Hops & Grain Pale Dog and Alternation to get you warm and fuzzy before an estimated four miles of pub crawling.
Central Market Cooking School will host a Fat Tuesday Feast demonstration featuring Cindy Haenel, CM Cooking School instructor, who will show participants how to make classic cajun favorites such as Mini Muffulettas, Smoked Duck and Shrimp Jambalaya, Creole Grits and Andouille Sausage, Fried Catfish Po-boys and Beignets a la Mode.
If you want to leave the gaudy hoopla out of it and just see some good, live music for Fat Tuesday, Gruene Hall will celebrate with Americana and bluegrass bands Slim Bawb and Cornbread. Brauntex Theatre will have a jazzy good time with Alex Meixner, The Thirsty Nickel has Mike V on the set for Fat Tuesday and The Sahara Lounge will entertain with Mardigras, Danny B. Harvey and Black Cadillac.
However you decide to celebrate, Mardi Gras annually gives us a reason to don ridiculous phallic-shaped necklaces, wear feather masks and get Cajun-boy wasted. It is also a great reassurance as to why you are part of the ones giving up alcohol for lent as you head into Ash Wednesday with a killer Hand Grenade hangover. Evil things. Regardless, don’t be upset if you cannot make it to The Big Easy for the biggest excuse ever to gorge yourselves with delicious Cajun food and King Cake, listen to jazz and blues music or get completely shmammered because Austin has you covered. In the meantime, go grab some King Cake from Easy Tiger for $15 starting now through Mardi Gras.
Click for the full Do512 list of Mardi Gras events.
- via Courtney Goforth