Spring is less than a month away, but if you're hoping to celebrate early, look to Mardi Gras to put you in the mood. And you don't have to travel to New Orleans to find a place to party. In Phoenix, there will be beads, masks, crawfish-eating contests, jambalaya, and gumbo — all the essentials to honor Fat Tuesday (which falls on February 25 this year) — at the following 11 spots.
Angry Crab ShackMultiple Locations
On Tuesday, February 25, Angry Crab Shack will do a cajun seafood boil and serve up New Orleans drinks for $5. That includes Abita Purple Haze, Abita Mardi Bock, and Abita Strawberry Lager, as well as hurricane cocktails. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m.
Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen2051 South Dobson Road, #18, Mesa
Since 1989, Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen has been serving creole cuisine in the Valley, and its Mardi Gras vibe is year round. Happy hour specials, like seafood for $6, crawfish étouffée for $8.25, and hurricane shrimp for $8, are available daily from 2 to 6 p.m. Baby Kay's offers all manner of authentic Creole and Cajun cuisine, including gumbo by the cup with choices of chicken, sausage, duck, and crawfish.
Boulders Resort & Spa34631 North Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree
Boulders is celebrating Mardi Grass with a jazz-style brunch. From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m on Sunday, February 23, they'll be serving speciality dishes like warm beignets, egg sardou Benedict, Cajun gumbo, a seared scallop station, and a bananas Foster flambe. New Orleans-style hurricane cocktails are also in the mix. Cost is $75 per person. For reservations, call 480-488-9020.
Fat TuesdayMultiple Locations
What kind of upside-down world would this be if Fat Tuesday wasn't celebrating Fat Tuesday? On Tuesday, February 25, the restaurant will offer fresh gumbo jambalaya, po'boys, and King Cake, plus Abita Purple Haze for $5 and hurricanes for $3. There will also be live music, fire performances, burlesque queens, and a bead competition. For ticket information, call 623-230-2509.
Harold's Cave Creek Corral6895 East Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek
Harold's Cave Creek Corral is serious about its Mardi Gras celebration. Starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, the restaurant will serve a buffet spread of everything from crawfish to oysters, jambalaya, chicken gumbo, and shrimp etouffee. The buffet costs $18.99 per person. Celebration includes a Mardi Gras costume contest and live music. Call 480-488-1906 for reservations.
Hot N Juicy CrawfishMultiple Locations
Highlighted on shows like Man vs. Food and the Cooking Channel, Hot N Juicy Crawfish will put you in the mood to celebrate Mardi Gras. On Tuesday, February 25, the restaurant is hosting its annual crawfish-eating contest. Prefer to take it easy on your stomach? You're welcome to feast on a variety of po'boy sandwiches at your own leisurely pace.
Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que2030 East Rio Salada Parkway, Tempe
No need to wait till Fat Tuesday, or worry about missing it. Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que already has bayou Cajun shrimp, jambalaya, and NOLA-style gumbo on its year-round menu. Pair your entree with the aptly named Southern Hospitality — a martini with rye whiskey, fresh grapefruit, mint, and lemon juice.
Sandbar Mexican GrillMultiple Locations
All Sandbar locations are celebrating Mardi Gras all month long. Sandbar is currently offering a crawfish and shrimp taco platter for $15, along with jambalaya (also for $15). Complement these entrees with the "Mardirita," which blends tequila, chambord, blue curaçao, sweet and sour, and lime for $8. Each location is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Southern Rail Restaurant300 West Camelback Road
From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, Chef Justin Beckett of Southern Rail will be serving up an all-day menu that includes red beans and rice, jambalaya, po'boys, and beignets. There will also be King Cake, as well as New Orleans-themed signature cocktails.
VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen1325 West Elliot Road, #106, Tempe
From 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 21, VooDoo Daddy's Steam Kitchen is offering its usual menu of Cajun cuisine, plus live music and Louisiana Hurricanes for $4.50. From 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, patrons can enjoy jazz music and a mask-making party for kids, and every guest will receive a King Cake donut from The Donut Parlor. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, the restaurant will serve Cajun and Creole favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, and shrimp creole — and, of course, live jazz will accompany your dining experience.
West Alley BBQ & Smokehouse
111 West Boston Street, Chandler
There will be no skimping on the Mardi Gras celebration at West Alley BBQ & Smokehouse. From 6 to 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25, New Orleans-style food will be served and King Cake will be available for every guest, and zydeco music by BlueZone will be playing in the background. Masks and Mardi Gras beads, too, but space is limited. Call 480-248-8819 for reservations.
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