NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday," it's no surprise food is a huge part of the Carnival celebration. Some people are getting ready and others already indulging along the parade route. Carnival and crawfish season pair up just perfectly. Phil Hindelang said, "Well, we have some crawfish and some shrimp and beer." The roar of propane burners will be a common sound along parade routes. Hindelang said, "We have 120 people. We have probably got 600, 700 pounds of crawfish."
Whether for boiling, jambalaya or frying, the pots and tanks will be busy through the final Carnival stretch. Jim Wade said, "You want some food, we got plenty of food." Everywhere you go, from visiting street vendors to local favorites, there's no shortage. Troy Jones said, "It's just fun. You just got to have it." The only limit to what's available is the imagination.
Jones said, "The cocktails, and red beans and rice - just the whole spread." It's not a Mardi Gras spread without every body's favorite fried chicken. McHardy's Kermit Mogilles said, "It's hectic. It gets busier and busier and busier, and it climaxes on Mardi Gras day where we open at 6 o'clock in the morning and we will be running until 2 p.m." McHardy's is just one of the many places where revelers will be lined up for golden fried goodness, and the amount of yard bird sold will be staggering. Mogilles said, "Oh my God, cases and cases. We haven't even gotten the final count yet. We won't know that until after Mardi Gras, but it will be quite a number."
From standard Carnival treats like cotton candy and candy apples from vendors like Carrie Evans who said, "We sold out already and had to make more." To more adult fare like the frozen cocktails available from satellite bars like the one Chris Englert runs at Poydras and St. Charles. Englert said, "Business has been good. The Christmas story leg has been very popular." Pina Coladas and Bahama Mamas in interesting containers are irresistible to some. Even in the cold, the frozen drinks are a draw.
Englert said, "It's a little bit more chaotic. You can get quite a lively crowd." For some, the food and drinks figure to be just as important as floats and marching bands. Hindelang said, "We like it in Louisiana. It doesn't have to be Mardi Gras." New Orleans magazine recently named McHardy's Chicken as its gold standard for fried chicken take-out.