Al’s Bar switching to Cajun menu, just in time for Mardi Gras

Cinnamon bon bon “pops” available from The Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, for Mardi Gras.
Cinnamon bon bon “pops” available from The Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, for Mardi Gras. Facebook

Al’s Bar, 601 North Limestone, is getting a menu makeover: Starting on Fat Tuesday, Al’s will switch permanently to a Cajun/Creole menu, according to owner/chef Lester Miller. Expect dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, red beans and rice, as well as burgoo and white beans, greens and ham, African peanut curry and fiery bison chili. Several vegetarian and vegan options will also be available daily. The current menu will still be available for a while, too. To inaugurate the new era, Al’s is having a Mardi Gras party on Feb. 9 with a shrimp and crawfish boil, free food for children 12 and under, New Orleans drink specials and the UK-Georgia game on the big screen at 9 p.m. The first 50 customers get free masks and beads with their order.

▪  Looking for a king cake for Mardi Gras? Donut Days, 814 Euclid Avenue and 185 Southland Drive and now in Richmond, 330 Eastern Bypass, has cinnamon, cream cheese or cherry for $17.99 each, including beads, coin and baby. Donut Days also has Super Bowl football jersey cookies $2.99 each and footballs for $1.89 each, by special order only. Call to order: Southland 859-277-9414, Chevy Chase 859-269-8223 or Richmond 859-623-9008.

▪  Ramsey’s will celebrate Mardi Gras with 1,000 pounds of live crayfish from New Orleans to serve along with red beans and rice; seafood gumbo; French garlic bread and king cakes and more. The celebration starts at 11 a.m. at all four Ramsey’s — 3090 Helmsdale Place, 151 West Zandale, 4053 Tates Creeks Center, 4391 Harrodsburg Road.

▪  Proud Mary Honky Tonk and BBQ, 9070 Richmond Road, will have boiled crawfish for about $10 a pound, plus a buffet of Cajun favorites including jambalaya, red beans and rice, crawfish étouffée, fried catfish and more for $27 per person the annual Mardi Gras blowout. The party starts at 4 p.m. Call 859-913-5611 to reserve a table.

▪  Windy Corner Market and Restaurant, 4595 Bryan Station Road, is celebrating Fat Tuesday and traditional New Orleans cuisine beginning Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. with music and a Cajun seafood special. Lunch and dinner specials will include étouffée (shrimp, chicken or crawfish), dirty rice, shrimp and grits and gator bites, through Feb. 9. Call 859-294-9338.

▪  Wallace Station, 3854 Old Frankfort Pike, will serve Cajun cuisine Saturday through Mardi Gras. Lunch and dinner menu specials include gumbo with chicken and andouille, oyster po-boy, and the Cajun Burger, with tobacco onions and andouille. Specials available for lunch and dinner. Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Call 859-846-5161.

▪  Smithtown Seafood, 501 West Sixth Street, will set up an all-day Mardi Gras dinner and raw oyster bar in the West Sixth Brewing Co. Barrel Room on Tuesday. Including king cake cupcake from The Midway School Bakery and a West Sixth King Cake Firkin, it’s $20. For $30, add a half-dozen fresh-shucked oysters. Oysters will be available for individual purchase. Find the toy baby in a cupcake or a sticker on the bottom of a firkin glass and win a West Sixth prize pack. Call 859-303-4100 or go to

▪  The Midway School Bakery, 510 South Winter Street in Midway, has king cakes and paçzki, (pronounced punch-keys, these are a traditional Polish Fat Tuesday treat), for pick-up on Feb. 9, as well as cinnamon bon bon pops and mask sugar cookies. Call 859-846-4336 to reserve.

▪  The Kentucky Wildcats play the Florida Gators on Saturday and per tradition, Bourbon ’n’ Toulouse, 829 Euclid Avenue, will be serving alligator étouffée all day Saturday and Sunday during the Super Bowl, too. And, of course, on Mardi Gras.

▪  Clawdaddy’s, 128 North Broadway, will have take-out specials for the Super Bowl but you need to call ahead 48 hours in advance to order: Get lobster spread for $19 a pint; mini crab cakes by the dozen for $36; shrimp dip or shrimp salsa for $15 a pint or $29 a quart. And for Mardi Gras, they will be serving crab cakes with cajun lemon remoulade all week for $19.

▪  Grimes Mill Winery, 6707 Grimes Mill Road, will do a chocolate and wine pairing from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 7: Enjoy Chocolates by Heavenly Confectionery paired with five Grimes Mill wines. Chocolates will be available for purchase. Bring your Valentine or just come and enjoy this pairing. Reservations required; cost is $15 per person. Call 859-543-9691.