We are most assuredly in the Season of the King Cake. They are seemingly everywhere.
Throughout Carnival Season, both Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588.7675, cochonbutcher.com) and La Boulangerie (4600 Magazine St, 269.3777, laboulangerienola.com) will offer King Cakes ranging from traditional to specialty, including: cinnamon, apple almond, chocolate and the beloved “Elvis,” which is filled with peanut butter, banana and topped with house-cured bacon, marshmallow and traditional Mardi Gras sprinkles. In place of the traditional small plastic “baby,” all of the Link Group’s cakes contain a petite pink pig as their signature “baby.” La Boulangerie is also offering a traditional French Galette des Rois, filled with almond cream and topped with a small porcelain féve.
Throughout the Carnival season Drew Knoll of Station 6 (105 Old Hammond Highway, Metairie, 345-2936, station6nola.com) is offering a precious, petite King Cake dessert. Knoll’s playful twist on the traditional King Cake made with classic pâte à choux is filled with King Cake gelato from local proprietor Piccola Gelateria, and topped with purple, green and gold sprinkles.
While you are there check out the new menu items from Knoll and Alison Vega-Knoll. New starters include smoked seasonal seafood spread with pita chips and Southern shrimp and corn chowder with a biscuit. Fresh sandwiches include a crispy shrimp roll on a brioche roll and a Bucktown Rueben with crispy oysters, “collard-kraut,” provolone and “6” sauce. The newest salad is Ali’s wedge with little gems, house smoked bacon, chopped egg, pickled red onion, tomato, blue cheese dressing, Crystal glaze and onion straws. New main courses include Charbroiled redfish on the half-shell, vegetables and parmesan toast and the Station Pasta will feature bbq Gulf shrimp, capellini and biscuits. For dessert in addition to that fabulous little king cake bite that is available only for the season, a chocolate peanut butter doberge with ganache is on offer.
If you prefer your Carnival action in a cup Picnic Provisions & Whiskey (741 State St., 266.2810, NolaPicnic.com) has a King Cake Daiquiri available throughout the Carnival season. The frozen treat is made with Buffalo Trace cream liqueur Absolute Vanilla vodka, house-made cinnamon syrup, whole milk and heavy cream, and a festive finish of a purple, green and gold sugar rim. In addition, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey will host their annual Thoth Parade party on Sunday, Feb. 23, beginning at 9 a.m. with music, cocktails to go and mild tenders and one-hander chicken sandwiches.
Also pouring seasonal spirit, PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans (pjscoffee.com) is featuring several Carnival-season inspired drinks: Zulu Coconut Iced Mocha (Viennese blend cold brew paired with milk, Hershey’s syrup and coconut concentrate served over ice), King Cake-flavored latte (espresso, steamed milk, and flavors of vanilla and cinnamon, topped with whipped cream and purple sanding sugar) and Protein Velvet Ice (a healthy option meeting Ochsner Eat Fit guidelines, a 16 oz. serving has 26 grams of protein with cold brew concentrate, fat-free milk, no sugar added vanilla powder, and Whey Protein Concentrate). PJ’s will also serve hot drinks with flair in Mardi Gras themed to-go cups. The Mardi Gras beverages and cups are available at all 100+ PJ’s locations now through the end of February.