Food & Drink

Oh baby! It’s Mardi Gras in Lexington. Do you know where your Cajun food is?

Making a king cake in two minutes

This timelapse video by John Fitzhugh shows how South Mississippi bakers make a king cake. (Feb. 9, 2016)
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This timelapse video by John Fitzhugh shows how South Mississippi bakers make a king cake. (Feb. 9, 2016)

Need some crawfish, po’boys and king cake for Fat Tuesday? Here are some places in Lexington and beyond offering specials for the holiday.

Bourbon ‘n’ Toulouse, 829 Euclid Avenue, will kick off the party at 11 a.m. Tuesday You still can get still bulk orders until 9 p.m. Monday. On Tuesday, alligator étouffée will be served all day, along with king cake from Sunrise Bakery for $30 and bread pudding. The crawfish boil starts at 6:30 p.m. Chevy Chase Inn next door will have hurricanes and drink specials all day, opening at 11 a.m. for extra seating. Tallboys of Kentucky will be on stage.

Gumbo Ya Ya, 1080 South Broadway and 294 East Brannon Road, will celebrate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Menu includes lobster étouffée (new), famous alligator sauce piquant, chicken étouffée and other Cajun staples. Free slices of king cake with meal. They are also taking pre-orders for made from scratch, fully decorated king cakes for $22.50. Call 859-252-9292 (Broadway) or 859-245-9292 (Brannon) for more details or to order king cakes, carry-out party packs or gallons for Fat Tuesday parties.

Smithtown Seafood, 501 West Sixth Street, will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with neighbor West Sixth Brewing open until 10 p.m., serving chicken, andouille and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice, Lisa’s famous crawfish étouffée, barbecued shrimp and Miyagi oysters on the half shell, shucked to order with cocktail sauce and mignonette for $18.00 half dozen or $3 each.

Windy Corner Market, 4595 Bryan Station Road, will have Tuesday Mardi Gras specials: Gumbo with Stone Cross Farm andouille sausage, étouffée with chicken, shrimp or crawfish, shrimp and grits and dirty rice, along with Windy Corner’s po’boy sandwiches.

Holly Hill Inn, 426 North Winter Street, Midway, is serving a Creole menu through March 16. Appetizers include fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell, frog legs Bordelaise, crab salad Delmonico and pan-fried chicken livers. Dinner entrees include duck two ways, Steak Diane, eggplant lasagna and blackened sea bass, all prepared with a nod to New Orleans cuisine. Reservations at 859-846-4732 or

Zim’s Cafe, 215 West Main Street, will have gumbo from sous chef Paul Hieb, with chicken, sausage and shrimp, and beignets.

Ramsey’s, all locations, will have a Mardi Gras special available for lunch and dinner. You can get a pan of crawfish, cup of chicken seafood gumbo, bowl of red beans and rice and French bread for $16.95. Still hungry? Get a second pan for $6. You can also get the items à la carte.

Proud Mary, 9079 Old Richmond Road, will be holding what the restaurant calls the largest Mardi Gras Party in The Bluegrass beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday and lasting until who knows. There will be live music, a king and queen contest, and a buffet with fried catfish, crawfish étouffée, barbecue shrimp, pork, brisket, ribs, chicken, jambalaya, red beans and rice, mac and cheese, smothered cabbage, green beans, potato salad, cole slaw, king cake and bread pudding for $29 for adults and $14 for young adults. Kids 10 and under eat free. You can also get boiled crawfish for $12 a pound, or get 3 pounds with corn and potatoes for $35 or 5 pounds for $55.

Oscar Diggs, 155 North Limestone, will have a week of Creole inspired food including shrimp po’boys, crawfish etouffee, and king cake, beginning 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Buddha Lounge, 109 North Mill Street, will host Roulay Restaurant and Bar’s crawfish boil extravaganza from 4 to 10 p.m. Menu includes crawfish boil, andouille sausage and chicken gumbo, shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, vegetarian red beans and rice, barbecue shrimp, gulf oysters on the half shell and peach cobbler and bread pudding.

Copper Roux, 861 South Broadway, hosts a huge Mardi Gras buffet from Bayou Bluegrass Catering. Seatings begin at 11 a.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. for dinner. Call 859-523-7915 or go to to book.

Winchell’s, 348 Southland Drive, will celebrate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with a menu of crawfish étouffée, sausage and chicken gumbo, Cajun red beans and rice with either blackened catfish or chicken, fried okra and crawfish tails, seafood jambalaya, king cake and drink specials. Reservations not required but recommended for groups of six or more. Call 859-278-9424.

Creaux, 310 West Short Street, will be open beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday with gator, gumbo, étouffée, red beans and rice, beignets and more. For $10, get gumbo or red beans, a slice of king cake and a drink.

KSBar and Grille, 1030 South Broadway, will have specials including hurricanes, jambalaya, beignets and shrimp po’boys.

Alfalfa, 141 East Main Street, will celebrate Fat Tuesday with classic red beans and rice for $5.

Blue Stallion Brewing, 610 West Third Street, is hosting a Mardi Gras party with a crawfish boil and Hot Peppered Helles release, beginning at 11 a.m. You can get Dad’s Favorites’ muffaletta sandwich served all day and crawfish beginning at 5 p.m.

J. Gumbo’s, 808 North Limestone, will have extra menu items for Fat Tuesday, including blackened creole beef stew, two-bean soup, boudin-stuffed French rolls, crawfish etouffee, and king cake and bread pudding.

Ever wonder the best technique for throwing Mardi Gras beads? We've got you covered with these four styles.

Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.

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