Munch and Mambo

To-go options for food and festivity along the parade route

Munch and Mambo

Oh well, it’s Carnival time and everybody’s drinkin’ wine.

Al Johnson warbled those words in his classic Mardi Gras song, recorded in 1960 (because after all, you can’t go wrong with a rich cabernet on a chilly parade night). But nowadays, in addition to their preferred wine (boxed, bottled, or canned), revelers are sipping strawberry margaritas, Paradise Park lagers, and fizzy champagne — and they are snacking on bites from the city’s best restaurants. 

Food and beverage options along the parade route seem to improve with each passing season, and this preview proves that Mardi Gras 2020 is no exception.

Eateries on and near the parade route are serving up specialty drinks and packaged hot meals to-go, including crispy fried chicken baskets, batches of BBQ hot wings, and heaps of jambalaya (just to name a few). Other locales are setting up outdoor concession stands and offering catering menus, so that parade-goers and house-party hosts can plan ahead. 

But if you are bringing your own goodies to the parade, check out our suggestions on what to pack – and how to pack it. We can almost guarantee there won’t be a soggy or squished poor boy in sight.

 


 

Picnic Provisions & Whiskey is situated just a few blocks from Jefferson and Magazine, where several parades begin. So when feeding your hungry tribe of family and friends, consider Picnic’s catering menu for to-go options, before heading out to the route. A mixed chicken basket, complete with cornbread and collard greens, for $105, or a box of crawfish boil hot fried chicken sandwiches, for $117, will hit the spot. The menu includes sides and beverage selections.

 


Tip: Picnic Provisions & Whiskey hosts a daily happy hour, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., making it an ideal place for some pre-parade fun.

 

Uptown – St. Charles Avenue

The front gallery of The Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue) is the perfect place for relishing a panoramic view of the parade, admiring the dazzling floats, and people watching – all while enjoying quintessential New Orleans cuisine. The charming locale will host a four-course brunch and all-day seating on Bacchus Sunday, for $100; and breakfast and lunch, until 3 p.m. (with takeaway and a la carte bistro menus after that), and all day seating on Fat Tuesday, for $125. The Columns is also providing passerby an express menu with three popular take-away items, ranging from $6 to $8.

Celebrate LulaGras at Lula Restaurant Distillery (1532 St. Charles Avenue) as the parades ramble down the avenue. Guests can visit the Barrel Room and sample a little bit of everything from an all-you-can-eat buffet. Dishes vary depending on the day, but overall they include pulled pork, jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, fried chicken tenders, bread pudding, and of course, king cake. Tickets range from $45 to $60 and pay for access to restrooms and a cash bar. Patrons can also watch the parade from atop a private balcony. 

Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar (4338 St. Charles Avenue) will set up an outdoor bar and sell classic cocktails and signature drinks, like the Campari With Us, $9, with Milagro tequila, Campari, yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, and orange bitters. Inside the vast restaurant, which grants a close-up view of the Uptown parade route, diners can enjoy a variety of Creole food favorites: char-grilled oysters, $25 for a dozen; crawfish and crab bisque, $8 a cup; BBQ shrimp, $15; and fried alligator, $13.

 


Tip: Be sure to pack plenty of beverages for parade watching. Glass is a no-no, so go with chilled canned beer, wine and pre-mixed cocktails.

Uptown – Magazine Street

La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine Street) sells Carnival-inspired delicacies to-go, including a Floodwater punch, $6, and a soft pretzel king cake, $16, topped with purple, green and gold salt and plated with whole grain mustard; along with their usual favorites, like a pork sausage and cheddar cheese breakfast sandwich, $6.50; salami on a buttered baguette, $8.50; chicken salad on a croissant, $9.50; and steamy gumbo with rice, $7. 

Although it’s new to the Mardi Gras food scene, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey (741 State Street) is already a crowd-pleaser. During Thoth Sunday, the restaurant will set up an outdoor bar and serve three mild fried chicken tenders (or two hot chicken thighs) for $6. Add a Paradise Park lager for $2. Wine, beer, and strawberry habanero margaritas will also be on hand. The full bar and restaurant menu will be available inside. 

Adding Mexican flair to traditional Mardi Gras festivities, Araña Taqueria y Cantina (3242 Magazine Street) will provide frozen margaritas with four to-go cups, for $49, to revelers en route to the parade.

 

 

Uptown – Touro

Milan Lounge (1312 Milan Street) – a hotspot during Carnival season – will serve double bloody marys and double hurricanes, for $10 each, an assortment of jello shots, canned beer, boxed wine, and cocktails to-go. Milan Lounge will have small snacks on-hand, and possibly a food truck stationed outside.

 

Warehouse District and the CBD

Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas) will prepare their popular mini king cakes, complete with a cute piglet, for $7.50. These sweet treats are easy to munch while you’re on the move.

Inside the Ace Hotel (600 Carondelet Street), Josephine Estelle and Stumptown Coffee Roasters will delight merrymakers with one-of-a-kind king cake scones, filled with cream cheese and covered with purple, green and yellow sprinkles, $4. Josephine Estelle will also offer gourmet to-go snacks and drinks, all day (starting at 7 a.m.).

 


There’s an art to packing an ice chest for parades. 
To fit everything you need, and to prevent snacks from getting mushy, place your beverages and cocktail mixers into the ice chest first. Add ice, and then edibles sealed in Ziploc bags. Need food ideas? Try potato salad, which easily morphs into any space; pistolette or French bread sandwiches stuffed with deli meat, wrapped in a napkin (which you can use later!) and aluminum foil; or peeled, hard-boiled eggs, already sprinkled with salt and pepper. Remember to label packaged items with a Sharpie marker. That way, you aren’t unwrapping and rewrapping sandwiches, searching for the “turkey with no mayo.”

 

Downtown

Effervescence Bubbles & Bites (1036 N Rampart Street) will supply revelers with a $45 parade pack that includes one bottle of Faire La Fête Sparkling Brut, four champagne to-go cups, and an ice bag to keep your bubbles nice and cool.

 

Multiple locations

If you’re stocking up on dulcet donuts (or savory bites) before a long day of parades, you can count on District: Donuts.Sliders.Brew. (multiple locations; visit districtdonuts.com) for creative takes on this beloved dessert. But the café is also baking two types of king cake – an old-school brioche confection, dusted with colorful sugars and sprinkles; and a cake made with a Danish, croissant-style dough, coated in a pearly glaze. Prices range from $15 to $25.

 


10,000 king cakes
Over the course of Carnival, District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. is planning to sell more than 10,000 king cakes.

 

Mid-City

If you’re headed to Mid-City for the Krewe of Endymion, swing by Blue Oak BBQ (900 North Carrollton Avenue). The restaurant is preparing pick-up orders comprised of 50 smoked wings and a gallon of a specialty daiquiri, for $90. Other tasty menu choices include the jerk pulled pork sandwich with slaw and fresh jalapeño, $12.25, and a classic cheeseburger made with brisket and sharp cheddar, $13.25. Such sides as roasted garlic macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and ginger sesame slaw are available for $7.25 a pint.

 


Kid-Sized Fun
Pack small water bottles and canned drinks (like the eight-ounce variety) to prevent waste. Juice pouches are easy to pack. Surprise little ones with treats they don’t often eat: MoonPies, mini powdered donuts, spice drop candies, and snack-sized bags of Elmer’s CheeWees or Zapp’s Potato Chips. Keep them munching (and busy), while waiting for the parade, with pockets of shelled peanuts.

 

Hosting a house party? 

La Boulangerie can help. Their catering menu includes an assorted sandwich platter, desserts and breakfast pastries (prices vary), along with a Congregation Coffee carafe, complete with paper cups, stirrers, and sugars, for $30.

  1. Cut up a large king cake before heading out the parade; slicing it in on the route gets messy. 
  2. Wrap hot foods in foil and place in a disposable foil pan or pie tin, which will keep them from getting broken. Store in a brown paper bag; this will keep the goods warm and insulated.
  3. Be sure to bring paper plates, cups, cutlery, napkins, a garbage bag, and baby wipes, which are perfect for cleaning sticky hands. 

 

Crawfish season can start as early as December, which means you may be able to enjoy spicy, boiled crustaceans while watching the parades. Bevi Seafood Co. (236 Carrollton Avenue; 4701 Airline Drive) provides crawfish live, boiled, and catered on-site. Not sure how much crawfish to buy? Bevi suggests five pounds per person. Prices vary each season. Visit beviseafoodco.com for more information.

 

Mardi Gras Shopping

GO-CUPS

Takin’ it to the streets: These go-cups, carriers, and festive necessities are perfect for parties on the parade route. (They also make great hostess gifts!) Bead fence, bead tree, crown, and Nola “nom noms” cups; each $12.95 for a sleeve of 10, from Miss Smarty Pants. (misssmartypantsnola.com)

Oyster beer bottle opener

$13.95, from Miss Smarty Pants. (misssmartypantsnola.com)

Four-ounce, functional bracelet flask

$17.99, from NOLA Gifts & Décor. (nolagiftsanddecor.com)

Canvas tote bag

$24.99, from NOLA Gifts & Décor. (nolagiftsanddecor.com)

Corkcicle Cooler Eola bucket bag

$130, from PHINA. (phinashop.com)

BEER FREEZE cup with cooling gel

$20, from PHINA; keeps your beverage cold for hours. (phinashop.com)

Fleur de Lis beverage napkins

$7.50, from PHINA. (phinashop.com)

 


 

Food From the heart
On the other side of St. Charles Avenue, near Sacred Heart’s Mater Campus (4301 St. Charles Avenue), members of the Academy of Sacred Heart’s Fathers’ Club will serve frozen daiquiris, beer, and hot meals from within a trailer. 

 

PARADE GUIDE

Saturday, Feb. 1
Krewe of Chewbacchus
7 p.m., Marigny

 

Friday, Feb. 7
Krewe Boheme
7 p.m., French Quarter

 

Saturday, Feb. 8
Krewe du Vieux
6:30 p.m., French Quarter

 

Krewedelusion
follows 

 

Sunday, Feb. 9
Little Rascals
Noon, Metairie

 

‘tit Rx
4:30 p.m., Marigny

 

Friday, Feb. 14
Krewe of Cork
3 p.m., French Quarter

 

Krewe of Excalibur
7:30 p.m., Metairie

 

Krewe of Oshun
6 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Cleopatra
6:30 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Alla
follows

 

Saturday, Feb. 15
Krewe of Pontchartrain
Noon, Uptown

 

Krewe of Choctaw
follows 

 

Krewe of Freret
follows 

 

Knights of Sparta
5:30 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Pygmalion
follows Sparta

 

Magical Krewe of Mad Hatters
5 p.m., Metairie

 

Krewe of Centurions
6 pm, Metairie

 

Sunday, Feb. 16
Mystick Krewe of Femme Fatale
11 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Carrollton
follows 

 

Krewe of King Arthur
follows 

 

Krewe of Barkus
2 p.m., French Quarter

 

Krewe of Kings
5:30 p.m., Metairie

 

Wednesday, Feb. 19
Krewe of Druids
6:15 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Nyx
7 p.m., Uptown

 

Thursday, Feb. 20
Krewe of Babylon
5 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Chaos
5:45 pm, Uptown

 

Krewe of Muses
6 p.m., Uptown

 

Friday, Feb. 21
Krewe of Bosom Buddies
11:30 a.m., French Quarter

 

Krewe of Hermes
5:30 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe d’Etat
6:30 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Morpheus
7 p.m., Uptown

 

Saturday, Feb. 22
Krewe of Iris
11 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Tucks
Noon, Uptown

 

Krewe of Endymion
4:15 p.m., Mid-City

 

Sunday, Feb. 23
Krewe of Okeanos
10 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Mid-City
11 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Thoth
11:15 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Bacchus
5:15 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Athena
5:30 p.m., Metairie

 

Krewe of Pandora
follows

 

Monday, Feb. 24
Krewe of Proteus
5:15 p.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Orpheus
follows 

 

Tuesday, Feb. 25
Krewe of Zulu
8 a.m., Uptown

 

Krewe of Rex
10 a.m., Uptown

 

Elks Orleanians
follows Rex

 

Krewe of Crescent City
follows Elks Orleanians

 

Krewe of Argus
10 a.m., Metairie

 

Krewe of Elks Jefferson
follows Argus

 

Krewe of Jefferson
follows Elks Jefferson

 

Northshore parades can be found on our Carnival coverage page located on our website, myneworleans.com.

 


 

Categories: Carnival Coverage, Homepage

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