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Houston’s Best Restaurants for Mardi Gras — Where to Celebrate New Orleans Style

The Closest Thing to Bourbon Street

BY // 02.08.21

COVID-19 once again puts the kabash on Mardi Gras as we once knew it, but that doesn’t mean there is no tasty fun in store for next Tuesday. A number of Houston restaurants are going for the laissez les bontemps rouler.

With safety protocols in place, eating, drinking and being very merry is still in play. These are Houston’s best restaurants for Mardi Gras:

Brennan’s — Where Tradition Reigns

Of course, Brennan’s of Houston, the genteel sister of New Orleans’ venerable Commander’s Palace, is going to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021 just as it has since opening in Houston in 1967. Balloons, live music and libations will accompany a three-course specialty menu ($65) that will be available from 5 to 9 pm. The Vincent Trio Jazz Band and the Sin City Drag Band will bring the sounds of the Crescent City.

And the menu options are to-die-for with classic Brennan’s selections. Will it be the turtle soup or the shrimp remoulade that we will chose from the eight starter offerings? In fact, each of the three courses has eight options. So will it be the Bayou City Shrimp Chippewa (shrimp over goat cheese stone ground grits) or the Blackened Palacious Red Fish laced with Breaux Bridge Crawfish Etouffee for the entree?

And for dessert, yes to all. Mardi Gras Mambo King Cake with Brandy Milk Punch Ice Cream, Creole Bread Pudding and on and on.

Reservations are taken by phone only at 713-522-9711.

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The Rustic’s Masked Fun

It’s going to be a “Mask-Erade” at The Rustic Uptown Park where there will be live music on the outdoor stage, a mask competition (the more extravagant the better) for a Rustic gift card and, in a nod to the “Mardi Craw” dubbed fête, there will be plenty of Cajun-inspired cuisine. Think, crawfish etouffee and fried tails, jambalaya and more. All to be washed down with the beverage of your choice or signature Bacardi Hurricanes and Swamp Thing.

The party starts at 11 am and rocks on until 10 pm. Secure your reservations here.

Mask, beads, dueling pianos and more are set for the third annual B&B Butchers Mardi Gras brunch this Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

B&B Butchers’ Saturday Party

Not waiting until Fat Tuesday, B&B Butchers holds its third annual Mardi Gras Brunch this Saturday, February 13 with dueling pianos, face painting, New Orleans-inspired dishes, specialty cocktails from Beam Suntory and “festive” swag (beads and more) to further ignite the fun. In addition to the Creole fare, regular brunch items will be on the menu.

Space is limited so reservations should be made asap by calling 713.862.1814 or on OpenTable.

One Fifth Southern Comfort’s Treats

Chef Chris Shepherd and his team at One Fifth Southern Comfort are rocking their culinary traditions with Cajun treats to-go as well as a party at the restaurant, inspired by contemporary jazz, funk, and R&B musician Jesse McBride. The HSPVA and University of New Orleans music program grad studied under Ellis Marsalis, Peter Martin and Doug Bickel.

Whether you’re dining in or celebrating Mardi Gras at home, the offerings include crawfish at $13 a pound, shrimp at $15 for half a pound, snow crab clusters for $32; All served with corn, potatoes and andouille sausage. And for this night only, Shepherd is reviving his gumbo, $10 a serving.

The culinary maestro advises, “Don’t sleep on Victoria’s King Cake. If you get the baby in your cake, you get 20 percent off your next visit.”

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Krewe de Plethora promises a New Orleans/Bourbon Street revelry for those who join the Mardi Gras pop-up at 711 Main. (Plethora photo)

Partying New Orleans Style

The official carnival/Mardi Gras season begins on January 6 and continues until Fat Tuesday, which this year is next week. In the interim, typically parades and parties build to a crescendo the weekend before the manic Tuesday. Following that tradition, the Krewe de Plethora launched a lively Mardi Gras pop-up happening on February 6 and one that continues far past the start of Lent, closing at the end of the month.

The two-story restaurant/club at 711 Main Street kicks off the New Orleans-inspired fun at 11 am every day from now through February 26. The revelry includes second line musicians, mask making, bead throwing, a tarot card reader, painting with a twist, a full menu of cocktails, mocktails and a Cajun-style food menu. The pop-up’s Instagram post promises “a secret project” and more.

Admission is $20. Reservations are available here.

Max’s Wine Dive celebrates Mardi Gras with King Cake French Toast on the menu through February 28.

Happy Hour all Day Long

Eunice, with its roots deep in Louisiana Cajun country, will celebrate Fat Tuesday with a happy hour that begins at lunch and goes until closing time. For those with their hearts in New Orleans, King Cake Milk Punch, Hurricanes and Sazerac will be on the cocktail menu. Also, Eunice has partnered with NOLA Brewing Co. and will be doing buckets (soft cooler bags) of NOLA beers including LA Lager Light, Hopitoulas, and Muse’s for $25.

Known for its authentic Cajun cuisine, Eunice will offer food specials including oysters, crawfish dishes, and King Cake.

French Toast at Max’s Wine Dive

Max’s Wine Dive Washington and Max’s Wine Dive Fairview is celebrating the season with — throw that diet out the window — King Cake French Toast. The dish is made with Max’s traditional Crème Brûlée French Toast with the addition of King Cake cream cheese frosting, bourbon caramel sauce and cinnamon. It’s available breakfast, lunch and dinner and is on the menu through February 28, which suggests that we not give up sugar for Lent. At least not until the end of the month.

Feges BBQ’s Cinnamon Power

Feges BBQ isn’t hosting a Mardi Gras celebration but its Cinnamon Roll King Cake has me practically drooling, it looks so delicious.  The lavishly decorated cinnamon roll will be available in the Greenway Plaza location February 15 through February 19.

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