Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Let the Good Times Roll Across Atlanta Today for Mardi Gras

Today is Fat Tuesday, and we're not about to miss out on the opportunity to live it up on one of the greatest days of the year for foodies. Honor the occasion with all of the food, frivolity, sweets and spirit(s) of a NOLA native. These Atlanta establishments are doing just that!

Call it Mardi Gras or call it Fat Tuesday. Either way, the annual day of decadence before Lent has "all you can eat and drink" written all over it. 10th & Piedmont is more than happy to oblige on Tuesday, March 4, beginning at 6:30 p.m. They're coupling an all-you-can-eat low country boil and an all-you-can-drink deal on select premium beers. Local singer/songwriter James Patrick Morgan performs. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.  

The Fat Tuesday celebration at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland promises a full day of beads, beers (including Abita Restoration), hurricanes, oysters, gumbo, king cake and po'boys. Go ahead, parade down Highland Avenue with your krewe.

Mardi Gras knows (almost) no time constraints at Marlow's Tavern locations, where Bayou 'n Bourbon emphasizes New Orleans tastes through March 31. Fill up on "Mo' Betta" specials such as roasted chicken and shrimp gumbo, fiery spice lump crab cake, Honey Jack chicken and andouille flatbread, N'awlins-style po'boy, a Bayou burger packing andouille sausage and crispy crawdads, deconstructed jambalaya and Sweet Bourbon St. rib-eye steak ($6.50-$26). Jack Daniel's Honey douses the honey bourbon bread pudding ($7). Marlow's upholds Bourbon Street's beverage traditions and spins its own twists: the (not Pat's) Marlow's hurricane jazzes up Pat O'Brien's recipe with Bacardi Light rum and a floater of 151, and Ramos gin fizz, Bourbon St. lemonade and a Cajun cosmo are just as heady ($8-$9.50). Louisiana "home brew" Abita Restoration and malty Abita Amber pair perfectly with all things Cajun ($5.50); Sokol Blosser Evolution from Oregon keeps wine lovers in the loop ($11/$44).

Are your feet on Bourbon Street, NOLA or in Ray's in the City on Peachtree Street, ATL? Ray's in the City plants Mardi Gras merrymaking right into the heart of downtown Atlanta on Tuesday, March 4. From 5-8 p.m., Ray's in the City rocks the Mardi Gras vibe with fun drink specials, live music and Cajun-inspired appetizers. Bust out your gold, purple and green beads! It's time to party hearty, and there's no cover charge.

If clamoring that Cajun-French expression "Laissez les bons temps rouler" or "let the good times roll" sends visions of rich and round bonbons twirling through your head, roll right into Chocolate South. The artisan chocolate shop on Atlanta's Westside is crafting Mardi Gras sweets. Key lime balls are as colorful as Mardi Gras beads, and Kona coffee with Gran Marnier beauties look a bit like the fleur de lis worn by the New Orleans Saints, don't you think? These tasty baubles are a steal at $3 each.

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