Fat Tuesday rolls around next week, but Evansville-area eateries already are getting in the Mardi Gras mood. If you’re craving some New Orleans favorites, here’s where to find them.
Walton’s Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen, 956 Parrett St., kicks off Mardi Gras week today with a $15 New Orleans-inspired daily lunch buffet featuring crawfish etouffee, boudin, chicken creole, crabmeat hushpuppies, and more, and a $22 dinner buffet with all lunch offerings and blackened redfish, carved roast beef, and a chicken and andouille boil. Pair your jambalaya and alligator bites with a Sazerac cocktail on Walton’s featured drinks list.
Knob Hill Tavern, ever the fan of a themed menu, also is celebrating Fat Tuesday through its annual Cajun Fest. Diners at the eatery with the neon fiddler sign at 1016 IN 662 in Newburgh, Indiana, can tuck into fried oysters, red beans and rice, a French Quarter muffuletta, multiple varieties of po’boys, and even crawfish and andouille sausage pizza. All dinners come with sweet-and-sour cole slaw or fries, a chicken leg, and French bread. Don’t forget the bread pudding with bourbon sauce for dessert!
Feel like being philanthropic this Fat Tuesday? There are several ways to show your charitable side while indulging in seasonal goodies. From Feb. 16 to Feb. 21, the Stockwell Inn, 4001 E. Eichel Ave., will host its annual Mardi Gras for Paws in support of shelter animals, specifically those at nearby It Takes a Village No-Kill Rescue. Menu items include boudin balls, fried gator, oysters on the half shelf, Cajun hushpuppies, gumbo, and jambalaya. Stockwell Inn also will sell Mardi Gras beads, with those proceeds also benefiting It Takes a Village.
Franklin Street Events Association’s ninth annual Gumbo Cook-Off is 1-4 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 18. Stop by one of several spots along West Franklin Street, including Leroy’s Tavern and Franklin St. Boutique, for a custom event mug filled with steaming gumbo, but remember to bring your own spoon! Tickets are required; pre-orders cost $25, while day-of ticket purchases are $30. Proceeds benefit several local nonprofits.
Foster Care in the U.S., an Evansville nonprofit for homeless youth and young adults, is hosting its second annual Gumbo Grab a week after Mardi Gras. Diners can pre-order lunches of gumbo and sweet corn cakes now through Feb. 24, with orders of 15 or more servings qualifying for free delivery. Orders also come with Frank’s (kickin) red hot sauce and your choice of maple syrup, honey, or molasses. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the I Am Tomorrow, Today (IATT) house for the homeless, foster care, and at-risk youth and young adults in the Evansville area.