Fat Tuesday parties in the tropics

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, you could consider driving the 842 miles that separates Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans. Or you could save the time, money and headaches by experiencing a South Florida-style Mardi Gras in your own backyard.


Several Big Easy parties are being planned to capture the spirit of the Big Easy.


Bourbon on 2nd is a new Cajun-Creole restaurant and bar at 201 SW 2nd Street in downtoen Fort Lauderdale, with Mark Sulzinski, the chef from the former Creolina’s, cooking dishes like seafood gumbo and crawfish étouffée. The place will throw a party March 8th with JP Soars and the Red Hots performing at 7 p.m.. Hurricane drink specials are available throughout the evening, and you can expect lots of beads, oysters, clams and fried gator tail.


Mardi Gras is celebrated daily at Lulu’s Bait Shack but the band Rapid Fire will turn things up a few notches for the 12th Annual Mardi Gras Bash to benefit Covenant House. The admission price is $10 for Young Professionals for Covenant House members and $15 for guests. Get admission and a membership in the Young Professionals group for $25. The tab includes two drinks, live music, beads and masks.


Check-in will be in the Beach Place Courtyard. The Cajun restaurant and bayou bar, at Beach Place on 17 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard, offers an 84-ounce fishbowl, called the kitchen sink of alcoholic beverages.


In Hollywood, the Fat Tuesday Bar Crawl Carnivale starts at 6 p.m. at Whiskey Tango, 1903 Hollywood Blvd., then moves to Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub at 1921 Hollywood Blvd. It ends at The Big Easy Bar & Grill at 1925 Hollywood Blvd. with live music by Niles Blaize and Joey Gilmore. Prizes will be awarded for the best carnivale themed costume. Admission is $20 with all proceeds donated to the Ann Storck Center. (Call Elizabeth Glynn at 954-584-8000, ext. 347 to register).


The French Quarter Bar & Grill, at 2341 N. Federal Hwy. in Pompano Beach, specializes in lagniappe. Pronounced “lan-yap”, it’s a Louisiana-French word which means: a little something extra. Usually it refers to over-stuffed sandwiches and heavily poured drinks but for Fat Tuesday, it means the party starts on Monday with an extended happy that runs from 3 to 9 p.m., a karaoke party at 6 p.m. and a free bead giveaway. Enjoy more free beads, Louisiana’s own Abita beer, a free jambalaya cookout and the Albert Castiglia Band from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tuesday.


Marcel Anton’s Zydeco Band is playing throughout the evening at the Mardi Gras Casino at 831 N. Federal Hwy. in Hallandale Beach.


And if you’re craving a crawfish boil, head to Rosey Baby, at 4587 N. University Dr. in Lauderhill, where the staff will be boiling 400-500 pounds, along with other Big Easy favorites starting about 4 p.m., plus there are drink specials and live music at 7:30 p.m.


Shuck N Dive Cajun Sports Café, 650 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale, is throwing a Fat Tuesday party-charity benefit for Special Olympics, with a crawfish boil starting around noon.


Their regular menu features voodoo burgers (with hot peppers, jalapeños and horseradish), beef and sausage gumbo, étoufée, soft-shell crab, catfish and po-boys.


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