We're usually looking for a reason to convince our more responsible friends to go out drinking on a Tuesday night, which is why Fat Tuesday is one of our favorite days of the year. As much as we wish we could pack our bags and hit Bourbon Street for authentic eats and Hurricanes, we'll be celebrating in the Valley of the Sun, which -- thankfully -- does not mean we have to sacrifice on all of the Southern flair and fare we're craving.
Here are five spots in metro Phoenix to eat, drink and maybe even earn yourself some beads in honor of Mardi Gras this year.
Mardi Ra at Ra Sushi All Valley locations Tuesday, February 12 from 7 p.m. to close
They certainly aren't serving traditional Southern fare, but that won't stop Ra Sushi from celebrating. In honor of Fat Tuesday they've got a variety of spicy flavors on special including a Spicy Chicken and Shishito Green Necklace, a noodle dish tossed with chicken, green and red bell peppers, onion, garlic, chili sesame sauce, and shishito peppers, garnished with Sriracha and black sesame seeds for $7. To wash it down, try a Southern Julep, made with Southern Comfort, Makers Mark, simple syrup and mint or a HurRAcane, featuring Southern Comfort, fresh fruit juices, lemon lime soda, simple syrup and grenadine - both for $8.
Mardi Crawl in Downtown Phoenix Saturday, February 9 at 9:00 PM Begins at CityScape
Join the Downtown Phoenix Partnership "Mardi Crawl Krewe" on the annual pub crawl around some of Downtown Phoenix's best watering holes. A $15 ticket will get you trolley transportation, a pub crawl guide, a swag bag, and VIP treatment at each of the bars. The booze tour will include stops at Copper Blues, The Rose and Crown, Seamus McCaffrey's and Majerle's Sports Grill. Find food trucks lined up on Central Avenue between Jefferson and Washington streets after 9 p.m. to satisfy the munchies. For details about drink specials at each bar check out this map. Purchase tickets at the Downtown Phoenix Partnership website.
Mardi Gras Brunch at RnR Sunday, February 10 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
It's always a party at RnR in Old Town Scottsdale and this Sunday they'll be doing it Maris Gras style. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the bar has endless mimosas and bloody marys to start the party. Then from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. they've amped up their happy hour menu with specials such as $5 Hurricanes and mint juleps and $5.99 beignets. For more information visit their Facebook page.
Mardi Gras at Kelly's Tuesday, February 12
The Old Town Scottsdale pub offers plenty of reasons to celebrate with multiple bars, a giant patio and dart boards to spare. But for some southern flavor they're offering a $30 dinner special that includes a Hurricane or nonalcoholic beverage, your choice of jambalaya or crawfish and slice of king cake. The lucky winner who ends up with the baby will walk away with a $100 Kelly's gift card good on your next visit.
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Mardi Gras 2013 at Fat Tuesday Tuesday, February 12 from 5 p.mm to 2 a.m.
There's Mardi Gras flair 365 days a year at Fat Tuesday -- which means that on the actual day they're going all out for their 23rd annual Mardi Gras Celebration. Partnering up with Canteen Modern Tequilla, the bar will host a block party on Mill Avenue with multiple bars, live bands, beads, DJ's, contests, beads, and a Cajun crawfish boil. Of course, they'll also have their usual variety of Big Easy-style daiquris and beads...lots of beads. For more information visit the Fat Tuesday website.