Though there is truly no substitute for being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Austinites in search of beaded revelry will head downtown for some local debauchery this Tuesday night. But braving Sixth Street on Fat Tuesday is not for the faint of heart, so luckily there are many other ways to let the good times roll all across town.
Nola’s unbeatable cuisine can always be found at Shoal Creek Saloon, where they’ll be serving cochon de lait (whole roasted Cajun pig) and fried turkey plates with red beans, rice and jambalaya for $12.99. Wash that down with a hurricane, Abita Purple Haze or Amber draft (or five), which will be specially priced all day.
Red’s Porch will be hosting its third annual Fat Tuesday crawfish boil starting at 5 p.m. Besides the hundreds of crawfish they’ll be boiling, other Cajun favorites will be featured, with frozen hurricane and Abita specials.
Muffalettas, po’boys and seafood platters are always on the menu at Cherrywood Cafe, but it’s not every day you get to nosh on those to the tune of jazz musician Jimmy Lohman playing classic Nola favorites (starting at 6 p.m.). Don’t forget a side of Zapp’s with that.
J Black’s Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge will feature Bacardi hurricanes and traditional Nola-style gumbo, as well as a best mask contest at 9 p.m. with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.
Just a hop, skip and a jump outside Austin, Parrain’s Louisiana Kitchen might be worth a Hill Country drive for their regular menu alone, boasting treats like seafood fondue and boudin balls. Fat Tuesday will also bring all-day drink specials, a crawfish boil, king cake and music by Fred Jay Ross from 5 to 9 p.m.
Zed’s will be throwing it down Big Easy-style starting at 5 p.m., with Creole food specials, Louisiana-style drink specials, king cake, beads galore and live music by the Dave Christianson Band on the patio.
Choose from a full menu of Cajun and Creole cuisine at Evangeline Cafe, with delicacies like alligator sauce piquante, stuffed redfish and catfish with crawfish macque choux (creole corn chowder). Live music from Gumbo Ce Soir (6 p.m.), Dan Holmes Band (8 p.m.) and Austin Cajun Aces (10 p.m.) are sure to have diners dancing in the aisles all night.
Midnight Cowboy, the downtown brothel-turned-cocktail lounge, might be the eye of the Sixth Street storm, but classy drinkers can seek refuge here, where mixologists will be skillfully slinging classy ‘tails like sazeracs, milk punches and hurricanes (done right). Be sure to reserve secure your seats online.
Cypress Grill has fun for the whole family, with hot boiled crawfish in addition to the regular Cajun menu and a kids menu, as well as drink specials, live music from Jean-Pierre & the Zydeco Angels from 6:30 p.m. until close, and face painting for kids. Try to save room for signature bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
It’s always Fat Tuesday at The Boiling Pot, where you can feast on your own personal tableside crawfish boil. Order the Cajun combo or choose from sausage, crawfish, shrimp, stone crab, king crab and oysters a la carte. The Boiling Pot also offers fresh seafood to go “in a hot tub” — but good luck making it down Sixth Street with that!