Though Austin may be the party capital of Texas, it doesn’t quite reach the level of extravagance and joie de vivre found at a typical Fat Tuesday celebration on Bourbon Street. But just because we might not have torrents of beads flying through the air doesn’t mean that's a good excuse to shut yourself in for the evening; this town can still offer a full range of ways to let the good times roll.
A prime element of a proper Mardi Gras celebration is music, and that music must reflect the spirit of the bayou. The Rattle Inn will offer two great examples of musicians that have blended blues and jazz into their styles: The Belltower Trio combines the styles of American roots music (blues, jazz and R&B) for a unique addition to the traditional blues tradition, while master harmonicist Greg Izor and his band will keep the blues in full swing as everyone enjoys some frozen Hurricanes.
Copious amounts of booze are also a must for a proper Mardi Gras fête, but unless you prefer to hit a few beer bongs at some bar on Dirty Sixth then try some of the classy cocktails specially offered at Drink.Well. on Tuesday.
The menu will include craft drinks such as a French 75, a Sazerac, the ubiquitous Hurricane and the “All-Staff Ramos Gin Fizz,” which will be shaken by every bartender when ordered. If the drinks aren’t enough to get you there, then consider there will be a special confection on hand for the night — King Cake Twinkies.
Food is probably the final required component for proper festivities, and why just buy some traditional New Orleans fare when you can learn to make some of it yourself with the help of Central Market.
Join Cindy Haenel for a demonstration on how to cook classic dishes from the Big Easy, such as smoked duck and shrimp jambalaya, Creole grits and andouille sausage, and beignets a la mode. That should help you to properly display the spirit of Fat Tuesday.
The spirit of Mardi Gras is living life to the fullest before we have to return to the real world, and the night of partying offered at Gibson Street Bar should help to make the inevitable hangover at the office next day more than worthwhile.
Earn your beads with drink specials, Louisiana’s own Abita beer, king cake and other yummy Cajun dishes from Gibson’s neighbor Luke’s Inside Out. Mardi Gras-themed trivia should provide the best opportunity to show off your party-smarts or learn something new, unless you take advantage of their Jell-O shots, in which case say goodbye to anything you may learn that night.
But then again, isn’t it not remembering Mardi Gras night the true meaning of Mardi Gras?