Abita, Abita Amber, Abita beer, Abita Turbodog, Bardot, beads, Blue Grass, Blues, Boozin Betties, boozin holidays, Brass Bands, Cat Shell, crawfish, drinking holidays, drunk holidays, Emily Gingham, Fat Tuesday, floats, good beer, holidays, Jazz, King Cake, Lent, local music, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras beads, Miami, Miami music, Miami musicians, music, New Orleans, NOLA, papier-mâché, parades, Pris Killingly, rituals, Soul of Miami, SoulofMiami, The Fish House, The Fish House Miami, traditions, Zydeco
Ah, Mardi Gras. A time to release all the demons of debauchery one last time before giving up your bad habits for Lent. Us Boozin Betties love the idea of any holiday that includes costumes, parades, and drinks a plenty, so it’s no surprise we were both dying to find a way to celebrate the event! Sadly, neither of us were able to make it out to NOLA for the big event (we promise you we’ll be there next year!), so we opted to find what we could do in our home town of Miami.
While the streets of New Orleans were rife with drunken revelers, colorful beads, and incredible music, South Florida was a bit more limited in their festivities. However, I (Ms. Killingly), thanks to a new friend who recently came from NOLA, caught wind of a Mardi Gras and Zydeco Festival happening at The Fish House, a seafood restaurant smack in the heart of Miami’s suburbs. A quick text sent to Ms. Gingham and plans were a-go!
I arrived with my new NOLA friends and met up with Ms. Gingham, who had just arrived with two of her pool shark friends, and the ladies stepped inside. The first room was packed tightly with jazz and blues fans standing around, sipping beers and watching performer after performer on the tiny makeshift stage in the back. We decided to grab some tables in the other room and get to drinking. I was extremely happy to see that they serve not only Abita Amber but also Abita Turbo Dog – both excellent brews straight from Louisiana. It made me long for my days in New Orleans last year.
The Fish House actually had 600 lbs of crawfish flown in from NOLA that day just for the occasion. Ms. Gingham and the rest enjoy pound after pound of the little crustacean (it was Ms. Gingham’s first time, to which she’d say “I feel sorry for the crawfish… but they taste so good!”) As the resident vegetarian in the group, I decided to jump straight for the King Cake. So soft, so sugary, so good! Didn’t find the baby inside though, so I guess I won’t have to buy a cake for the group just yet.
The rest of the night was a mishmash of cigarettes and conversation and after a couple hours, we parted ways. Ms. Gingham and the rest had early days so they wound up heading home. I left with my NOLA friend and after driving around Downtown for a bit, wound up arriving at Bardot. I walked in with my Mardi Gras mask and beads on in the hopes there might be something festive going on. Definitely was NOT Mardi Gras in there, but as a pleasant surprise, we stumbled upon local singer/songwriter Cat Shell’s album release party! Saw a few familiar faces (James and Annette of SoulOfMiami – always good to run into these two!), grabbed a couple glasses of Merlot, and plopped ourselves down on the couches for some quality entertainment. All in all, good times were had.
While it wasn’t a plethora of papier-mâché floats and Zulu costumes and brass bands, our first attempt at celebrating Mardi Gras outside of the Big Easy went without a hitch. Looking forward to the next boozin holiday! And as always, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!”