> Carnival diet
It’s finally the big week of parades and parties and general mayhem before Fat Tuesday. Over the course of the past weekend, I have consumed a very necessary pre-parade breakfast burrito from the fabulous El Pavo Real, approximately ½ a tray of grocery-made finger sandwiches, an undetermined amount of chicken tenders, a quarter of a king cake, Chee Wees, Jell-O shots, parade punch and keg beer. And the fun is just beginning! This weekend, the Carnival culinary marathon continues. I’ll be on deck to welcome friends during Endymion in Mid-City with hot dogs, Zapp’s, ‘lil smokies in BBQ sauce, more king cake and plenty of cold beer.
> Self-care and mocktails
During this time between parades, it’s important to remember self-care (and hydration). To that end, I treated myself to an amazing new cut at Sweet Olive Salon and got a lash and brow treatment at Uptown Charm, both of which make getting ready for party-ready for a second weekend a breeze. With a quick trip to Earthsavers Salon + Spa, you can also pick up a quick at-home hydration mask, or opt for a full spa treatment. If you are looking to add in some low- or no-alcohol beverages to your party, be sure to take a look at our recent take on the modern mocktail for places and ideas to indulge-ish.
> They had us at “Nutella king cake.”
In king cake news, we purchased a strawberry Nutella king version from the folks at Mayhew Bakery on Orleans. If you haven’t popped into this corner bakery near Bayou St. John, get on over. They feature freshly baked breads, New York style pizza, sandwiches and to-die-for desserts. The fresh-baked-bread-and-pizza-something-good-is-in-the-oven aroma when you walk in the door is simply intoxicating.
> Carnival pod
If you are looking for a Carnival podcast to keep you in the mood between parade days, I recommend a deep dive in to our own sister-pod, Mardi Gras Beyond the Beads. Executive editor Errol Laborde heads up the conversations that cover history, COVID-19 safety, marching krewes and much more.
> New Orleans icon
Your Carnival and spring festival playlists most likely includes music by the iconic Irma Thomas. Learn more about the Grammy-award winning queen of soul with the documentary “Irma: My Life in Music.” It features interviews with New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival director Quint Davis, conversations with the late singer-songwriter-musician extraordinaire Allen Toussaint, and Irma herself, plus many more recognizable faces. The New York Times profiled the documentary and interviewed the living legend for a recent article, which you can read here. You can watch the documentary via WYES.org/Live or the WYES and PBS apps.
> Pole position
Don’t forget to tune (virtually @RoyalSonestaNO or in person) in this Friday at 10 a.m. to the annual greasing of the poles at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. This year’s theme is “Return of the Big Greasy” with contestants vying for the most applause, and kicking off the big Carnival weekend.