The one day when being gluttonous is a must.

And just like that, it’s already Mardi Gras.  For the past few years, this day holds a special place in my heart.  It all started when I celebrated at the best place ever, #NOLA (New Orleans).  Well actually, I went to visit the bf (who was, at the time, a student at Loyola University) during my only break and it just happened to be during Mardi Gras.  Did you know that Fat Tuesday is a month long celebration in New Orleans?!?  Nonstop partying and celebrating with good eats, cheap drinks, colorful costumes, countless floats, and beads on beads on beads.

mardi_gras_french_quarterMardi Gras in New Orleans was a must do on my travel check list.  Experiencing the crowded streets in the French Quarter, where you always have a drink in your hand.  Admiring the extravagant costumes people are donning.  Trying to catch beads at the expense of the woman’s exposed breast next to you.  Getting the bird’s eye view from a balcony on Bourbon Street.  Being able to ride the streetcars on non-parade days.  Walking down St. Charles Street for miles because the streets are closed.  Seeing Will Ferrell as the God of Wine alongside the Krewe of Bacchus.  Hoping a coconut will land in your hands at the Zulu parade.  It was an awesome trip, which I hope to experience again one day.  Have y’all been there?!?  Tell me your experiences and what you love about the city.

mardi_gras_beignetsFor me, I like to explore a city like a tourist, obviously, to sightsee, but I love even more to adventure a city like a local and experience the wonders of what and why people call it home.  I love eating like a local because locals always know the best places to eat (in my opinion).  I’ve been to New Orleans a few times now and every time I’ve been there, the bf and I ate well.  By no means am I a NOLA foodie expert, but I do have a few local spots I have to eat when I’m there.  Yes, that includes beignets, but I’m not racing to Café du Monde.  Don’t get me wrong, the beignets there are delish!  Sometimes when I have a craving and Café du Monde isn’t open and I need to get my fix, I head over to Morning Call Coffee Stand.  I love it there because it is open 24 hours, I don’t need to wait to get a table, and I can control how much powdered sugar I want (cause sometimes more is better, like in this case).  Look!!!  So good!!!

mardi_gras_beignets_fingersBut it doesn’t stop there.  On one visit, we did a day trip to Baton Rouge and happened to stumble on an unforgettable find.  It’s the beignet fingers!!!  Yes, you read correctly, the soft pillowy beignets in the form of slender sticks.  I love when an unexpected stop turns into a delightful treat.  You can find these beignet fingers at Coffee Call, where they are very generous with their portions.  We both loved this place so much, we came back again to kickstart our road trip back to Los Angeles.

raising_canes_chicken_fingersA new eatery in SoCal (the OC to be exact), is Raising Cane’s, a causal fast food chain serving quality chicken finger meals.  Raising Cane’s was born and raised in Louisiana, so my first time tasting these amazing chicken fingers was in NOLA.  I just flew in around midnight and the only thing still open was Raising Cane’s.  I was hooked right away.  The chicken fingers were juicy with a crispy breading.  The texas toast was buttery and I loved dipping it into the Cane’s Sauce.  The fries, ooh do I love hot and crispy fries.  Mmmm, I’m getting hungry 🙂

How do y’all celebrate Mardi Gras?  I truly abide to the name of Fat Tuesday and just feast because for the past few years I have been on a vegetarian diet during the 40 days of Lent.  This year, we’re doing a little Fat Tuesday celebrating at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which originated from New Orleans.  Just so fitting right?  And when we can, we like to top it off with a King’s Cake (it’s harder to find here in Los Angeles).  But don’t forget to hide the baby, it a must!  Tradition says the person who finds the baby is the King or Queen and has to fork up the King Cake for next year.  Yeah, for us, that tradition didn’t last very long cause the cousin didn’t buy the following King Cake.  I guess we can try again this year 🙂  Like I said, celebrating Mardi Gras holds a special place in my heart.  Laissez les bons temps rouler!!!mardi_gras_french_quarter