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Feb 16, 2010 08:11 AM

Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday two days after Valentine's? That snuck up on me. Town Hall's already sold out. Anything else going on in Berkeley / Oakland / SF?

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  1. We snagged an early reservation at Angeline's for tonight. No crawfish boil this year (they said it's too early in the season), but they're doing a number of special items tonight (fried gator, king cake, some kind of Hurricane cocktail, etc.) in addition to their regular menu offerings.

    Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
    2261 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    1 Reply
    1. re: abstractpoet

      Well, now I've tried king cake and will probably pass on it in the future. Angeline's version had cream cheese and blueberry. Tasted more or less just like a blueberry danish (and not a particularly good one at that). Don't know if they made it in house or sourced it from somewhere else.

      I like the food at Angeline's generally, but their Mardis Gras menu wasn't anything special, so we mostly just stuck with the same dishes we normally order. The only other thing that appealed to us on the specials menu were the Natchitoches meat pies, served with peppers and sweet tea jelly -- those were actually pretty good. But again, I'm not sure if they actually made the pies in house or just had them shipped in (i.e. frozen).

      No fried gator -- they had some kind of alligator chili instead, which we weren't in the mood to try.

    2. it is also Malasada Day - who is frying malasada in San Francisco?

      1. Front Porch says they are doing a crab boil on their website. We went last year for what they advertised as a crawfish boil, but ended up with a shrimp boil. It was still fun and delicious, but I'd probably call ahead to see what they are actually offering.

        1. Chenery Park has a Mardi Gras menu, including crayfish etouffe with housemade andouille sausage and dirty rice, bbq shrimp, gumbo, red beans and rice, among other items:

          Service at Chenery Park has always been very good when I've gone; food generally can be hit or miss but the Southern/Louisiana items have always been the best bets there, in my experience. One of the chefs is from Missippi and trained in NOLA under Paul Prudhomme. Plus, the bartenders are great and could probably whip up something appropriate!

          If I were in town, I'd be very tempted. However, Tuesday is also kids's night there, so if one doesn't want kids around during their MG celebration that could be an issue. That said, they usually seat all the kids upstairs, so downstairs near the bar should be good unless one is bringing kids of one's own....

          1. Pican in Oakland is advertising a party and NOLA in Palo Alto is always crazy.

            5 Replies
            1. re: myst

              is the food at nola an accurate representation of true new orleans food? the SO and i have been to new orleans several times, and he went to tulane, so we are always looking for new orleans food here, from mr. b's bbq shrimp to clancy's gumbo and everything in between. we've tried several places in the bay but nothing seemed right. i'd love to take him to nola if it's got the right food, but if it doesn't, it will be a bitter disappointment. thoughts? other suggestions for true n'awlins food?

              1. re: artemis

                If you find someplace, please let us know. I spent 2 long weekends in N'awlins eating and have never found anything here that was more than a pale imitation (and that includes some places mentioned here).

                In fact the closest approximation that I found was when Paul Prudhomme imported his restaurant here for a month-long run and later for a New Orleans By the Bay festival at Shoreline. Other than that I've been most satisfied with gumbos at small soul food places like Dorsey's Locker. I did like LA Bayou but they went the way of all flush after a bathroom accident lawsuit and an armed robbery..

                Nothing here will remind you of Brigtsen's or K-Pauls or anything in between.

                Me, I'm going to Popeye's for the leg and thigh special for 1.29! They make a very credible Shrimp Poboy.

                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                  that's a real bummer. i keep hoping some enterprising soul from new orleans will come out here and make a killing with a restaurant offering all the glorious food that city has to offer. until then, all we have are the cooks illustrated recipes.

                  1. re: artemis

                    I fear that grail is not to be found hereabouts. You can take comfort in the fact that Popeye's here is probably the same as Popeye's in New Orleans. Their red beans and rice are pretty good, but very salty and their etoufee quite good, although they only had it for a couple of weeks last Fall. Is there some sort of crawdad shortage? I actually had their mac and cheese last night doctored up with some leftover shredded Old Quebec cheddar. I really like their biscuits too. I live between San Pablo and 4th Street and the neighborhood restaurants I've been to most have been Popeye's and Cafe Rouge (Popeye's by a wide margin).

                    1. re: artemis

                      Have you tried Queen's Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe?

                      Also, check out Yats, temporarily serving out of Annie's Bistro. ( According to a NO native, their oyster PoBoy is as authentic as they come.