Top 10 Places to Celebrate Mardi Gras
The idea behind this Top 10 is to list the 10 best places for New Orleans cuisine in honor of the carnival season, which culminates today in Mardi Gras.
The problem is that we don't have that many restaurants to choose from, so the best may also be the worst. Still, it is an opportunity to get some new places into the discussion.
If you don't read this blog for anything but the Top 10 lists once a week, please read this first.
Here's my list: ...
* Acadiana in Washington. I rarely include DC restaurants in our discussions. But there are so few places on today's list that aren't just bars having an event in honor of Mardi Gras, I thought I would mention a restaurant that serves a serious, upscale version of New Orleans food.
* Ale Mary's in Fells Point. The menu for the week is completely Cajun, and today's blue plate special is beef Wellington with a Cajun crawfish cream sauce and crawfish empanada for $5.99. I'm speechless.
* Bayou Cafe in White Marsh. Known more for its music than its food, the new menu under a new chef still focuses on Cajun cuisine. Maybe the changes will make it more palatable to some of our commenters.
* Clarence's Taste of New Orleans in Edgewood. Ex-LIVE reviewer Karen Nitkin gave the food three stars, and the oyster po' boy sounds fabulous.
* Ethel and Ramone's in Mount Washington. This well-regarded, funky little place serves a mixture of Cajun cuisine and Maryland fare.
* Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point. The bar is featuring a Mardi Gras celebration tonight with hurricanes, fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffée, barbecued shrimp and oysters.
* Louisiana in Fells Point. It's expensive, and it gets mixed reviews, but it's as close as Baltimore gets to French Creole cuisine in an elegant setting.
* Mother's Federal Hill Grille in Federal Hill. Half-price gumbo all day and beer specials.
* Pickles Pub downtown. Mick Kipp, owner of the Whiskey Island Pirate Shop, will be cooking crawfish and chicken and shrimp gumbo tonight from 7 p.m. till 10 p.m. It's all you can eat and drink (beer) for $25, plus a band that starts at 8 p.m.
* RA Sushi in Harbor East. To celebrate its first anniversary, RA is holding a Mardi RA party Thursday, with Cajun wings, a voodoo roll and Creole crawfish. The special drinks include a Queen of Parade and a King Cake Martini.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, FILE)