Thursday, March 3, 2011

P Raid Eatin 'n Drinkin

The good thing about eating and drinking oneself into a coma over the next 5 days is that you work it all off. Walking to the neutral ground (hint: only acceptable side to be on, unless you have children) while toting three coolers, a tent built for Denali, and four pop up chairs burns 1700 calories an hour. Toss in waving, screaming, the occasionally game of flip cup, and late night dance parties to Prince and Professor Longhair mashups and you aren't looking at a party; you are staring down an exercise regiment.

Which means you need to keep that athletic body well-fueled. Popeyes is the de facto parade cuisine, but the sheer volume of sodium pumped into that stuff will leave you bloated and swollen like a duck in southwest France. Will I eat Popeyes between now and Ash Wednesday? Of course. Will I regret it? Yes.

Now, let's say you are lucky enough to have a friend on the parade route and said friend has extended the bathroom pass to you and yours. Bring food. Bring beer. Bring toilet paper. Bring ice. Clean up after yourself. On the first of those marching orders, why not set some time aside soon to make a pot of red beans? You know how to do this. Red beans are always better after a day or so in the fridge, they pack and travel easy, plus you can reheat them while you make rice, which you can fit in your back pocket.

The cardinal rule in toting food to someone else's house is this. You have no idea what kind of crappy knives, dull spices, and rusty cookware you may encounter. So do the cooking ahead of time and eliminate your degree of difficulty. This is not the time to try out a recipe from The French Laundry Cookbook or use that liquid nitrogen you jacked from your dermatologist friend. Keep It Simple, Stupid. When in doubt, just bring a few bags of chips, some dips, and one of those veggie trays people use for Bloody Marys.

Now the important part: your booze. This is when you want to call on your old friends Bud and Miller. I know, I know, you are mature now and drink beers with names longer than the Queen of Rex's train. But not now, Jack. Why? Well, for one these beers are justifiably more expensive and Mardi Gras is a sharing environment. The goal is everyone brings enough beer for them and ten friends. That way no one runs out of beer, but if you do someone has extras. It will be very hard to part with that etched bottle of beer from a San Diego made micro brew that three other people have heard of (and only the same number will enjoy) when Slow Kevin asks for a beer. At the very least, you will resent the money you wasted.

Point two is this, the number one goal at Mardi Gras is to act like you have been here before. Rolling up to Bacchus with a six pack of Samuel Smith's Dopplebock Oatmeal Cherry Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter 2005 Edition, is going to immediately brand you as someone who is here to see chicks show their tits. Way to go. Hope that craft beer was worth it, Mr. Mature. If you just have to drink something nice, bite the bullet, be a man, and bring a keg of it. Then you will look like a pro.

Other stuff - vodka, rum, and bourbon - are all great options for screwdrivers, rum 'n cokes, and bourbon and ginger ales, respectively. Note, if you make a drink with a tincture of apple brandy bitters, we all reserve the right to sell you a ticket to the Mardi Gras. If you want to drink wine, keep it to yourself and keep it in a cup. No one will think you are sophisticated with a bottle of Yellow Tail sticking out the back pocket of your Dockers. Trust me, I know. Cheap sparkling wine however is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

Mardi Gras, or "Carnival" for you nerds out there, is a time of great merriment, frivolity, and hangovers. Drink and eat while you still can, because come Wednesday, it is time to get straight with the Lord.


ShannonPinNOLA said...


Celeste said...

Two words: Cold Duck. (the drink, not the food)

corinne said...

"Cheap sparkling wine however is not only acceptable, but encouraged." Looking forward to drinking copious amounts Cristalino with my Southern Mother, Miss Anne.

Awren said...

"Carnival" for all of Treme, out there.

Fixed Statement.

RBPoBoy said...

NOLA Brewing Co.'s draft-packs are perfect for parades.

Barry said...

you got a nickel, I got a dime. We put it together and drink some boxed wine. " cause its Carnival Time!!!

Frolic said...

Polly from the Avenue Pub pointed out that breweries keep an eye on Mardi Gras sales. If we all drank less crap beer this week, then we might see more breweries enter the market and rarer brews allocated to the state.

I did my part by picking a six-pack of Southern Star cans this morning.

Alex Rawls said...

I go with PBR partially for the sharing, and because it, Miller and Bud are the beers to drink when you're going to drink 20. The good stuff will bloat you or knock you down, but not the barely flavored water.

Anonymous said...

Great advice!

KS said...

High Life light, still says I'm here to see tits, but says it with more of "I paid my dollar to get to this side da river" or "it was a long drive up from da parish babe, we had to ice a second sixer when we hit da intrastate".

I respect you guys even more for having a friend with "slow" in front of his name. We all got one, but way to go for not forgetting to give yours a shout out at this most festive time of year. As to popeye's being salty, a doctor told me that the increased sodium makes you retain water and pee less, so I usually eat 4 boullioun cubes before zulu.

Rene said...


If you dont know who the Slow guy is in your group, it is you.


Southern Star Bombshell Blonde is my favorite dank beer. And love that it is in a can so I can crush it against my skull. Two birds, same stone.


Your point is the best reason for drinking the cheaper stuff. I need to be able to move quickly and deftly either through a crowd or a dancefloor/pool table at FMs.

Happy Mardi Gras everyone.

Kimberly Ranjbar said...

Do you post on Urbanspoon too? Just curious...