Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day, it’s the day before Lent begins, which means it’ll be this Tuesday.
The name came from the consumption of fatty, rich foods on the final day before the austerity of Lent. Hence the Polish tradition of paczki (pronounced poonch-kee), rich filled doughnuts that prompt long lines at bakeries in some parts of the Midwest. In Las Vegas, the Polish Deli at 5900 W. Charleston Blvd. plans to have raspberry and mixed-fruit paczki from Thursday through Tuesday.
Cornerstone, Gold Coast
This classic New Orleans drink is made with Hochstadter’s Rock & Rye 100, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters, $10.
Monkey Bread Pudding
The Oyster Bar, Santa Fe Station
A New Orleans favorite, it’s made in-house with creamy egg custard and bourbon sauce, $5.
Antoine’s Oysters Rockefeller
Freedom Beat, Downtown Grand
Freshly shucked oysters topped with fresh spinach, butter, Parmesan and a hint of Pernod, they’re part of a three-course New Orleans menu available only March 1, $35.
Blackened Red Snapper Meuniere
The Oyster Bar, Sunset Station
One of the Mardi Gras dishes being featured through Tuesday, it’s topped with crawfish tails, shrimp and crabmeat, $24.
“And I’m sure we’ll be handing out some Mardi Gras beads with the King Cakes,” said Britt Beeland, room chef.
Beeland points out that both he and his sous chef, Joshua Williams, are NOLA natives.
“So you have two New Orleans guys running the oyster bar,” Beeland said.
Mardi Gras pancakes
Hash House A Go Go, multiple locations
In celebration of National Pancake Week, which starts Monday, and Mardi Gras, also known as National Pancake Day, Hash House’s Apple Cinnamon Flapjack is decked out with purple, green and gold sprinkles, $10.99, $1 of which goes to Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth.
New Orleans tradition King Cake will be available here, too, at Freed’s Bakery at 9815 S. Eastern Ave. from Thursday until Tuesday. They’re $24.95 and come in cinnamon-sugar, sweet cheese or almond flavors. For other dates or to ensure availability, order online at shop.freedsbakery.com. NOLA tradition requires that a small plastic baby be buried in each cake; the person who finds it either has to give the next party or buy the next King Cake, depending on your social group. Freed’s will make them with a baby, without or with a separate baby.
Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen
King Cake has been available at Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen since Jan. 5, which is the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. On Tuesday, the restaurants at 241 W. Charleston Blvd. and 1220 N. Town Center Drive also will have crawfish, drink specials and drawings and, promises owner Lola Pokorny, lots of beads.
Beads also will be on the menu Tuesday at Zydeco Po-Boys at 616 E. Carson Ave., along with shrimp etouffee.
Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Find more of her stories at www.reviewjournal.com, and follow @HKRinella on Twitter.