Let’s Get Fat (Tuesday)!

Extra Action Marching Band, the funnest jam ever, will play the Independent for Mardi Gras

We’re back in that special time of year where feasting and gorging is encouraged in some circles, because unlike New Year’s Resolutions, Lent-based restrictions are breakable only on pain of religious transgression. So before you go giving up meat, reality tv, brown liquor or whatever it is you overindulge in the rest of the year, Mardi Gras — specifically Fat Tuesday — is your chance to overdo it one more time.

To that end, a couple of little restaurant shindigs are going down around town:

Town Hall seems to have the most indulgent party, with all-you-can-consume Cajun fare (fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffee, BBQ shrimp) and cocktails (Bacardi hurricanes, Abita beer
Leblon caipirinhas) from 6 p.m. on. They’ve also lined up a band called D’Amphibians, as well as some professional Samba dancers. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. Order them here.

• Festivities at the Elite Cafe seem like they’ll be slightly more restrained. The restaurant is acknowledging the holiday by donating 10 percent of their sales to Hurricane Katrina relief funds. If, after you gorge on oysters, blackened scallops, and shrimp, duck confit, and andouille sausage jambalaya, you still need (and are able) to hit a big party, the Independent, just a few blocks away, is hosting a bash featuring the extra-fun, Extra Action Marching Band (tickets).

• Over in the Haight, beer and Cajun food lovers might want to check out Magnolia’s special Mardi Gras menu, which includes shrimp creole, turkey neck/andouille gumbo, blackened red fish with craw fish etoufee and new potatoes, and special beignets, available a la carte or as a tasting menu for $40 ($45 with beer pairing).

• We were going to tell you to go to Yats New Orleans Original Poboys for a bargain pigout. And what a feast it would have been for those on a budget. Yats is a steal, and located inside a bar that’s also a steal. Alas, they’re taking the first part of the week off to visit New Orleans themselves for the real deal. So if you want some top-quality, bottom-dollar Cajun food, and you’re a little bit loose about when, exactly, you celebrate Fat Tuesday, think about stopping by there later in the week.

Let’s Get Fat (Tuesday)!