Celebrate Mardi Gras with a fabulous four course feast paired with four beers from Datyon Beer Company. Earn beads for answering trivia questions about Fat Tuesday, New Orleans and Mardi Gras!
Fat Tuesday, also know as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and Mardi Gras is is considered the last day of the Carnival season, before the beginning of Lent and it has been recorded as far back as the 17th and 18th century.
According to historians, it all began thousands of years ago as a few local celebratory events honoring spring and fertility among Roman Catholics. Then the debauchery spread to other European countries such as France, Germany, England, and Spain, and finally made its way overseas to America with early settlers at the beginning of the 18th century. The reason “Fat Tuesday” is the English translation of the French term “Mardi Gras” is because members of the Christian faith would stuff themselves with beef, bread, and anything else that was left in their homes on the last day before Ash Wednesday, which kicked off the 40 days of Lent leading to Easter Sunday.
Fat Tuesday moved throughout the U.S. in the 1800s when French settlers threw parties in New Orleans and other French settlements across Louisiana. These parties consisted of masked balls, monstrous feasts, and people going wild in the streets. Since then, they’ve added multiple parades, decorating the floats of said parades, tossing beads, and the heavenly consumption of King Cake — a colorful ring-shaped doughy cake similar to coffee cake. And the color scheme wasn’t just a random selection of hues selected by the drunken bead tossers. According to IBTimes, in 1892, Rex, the King of Carnaval (another name for Mardi Gras) chose purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith.
Let the good times roll in the Miami Valley with these events:
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) is a Christian holiday that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival, it is celebrated in several nations across the globe — predominantly those with large Roman Catholic populations — on the day before the religious season of lent.
For most, Fat Tuesday conjures images of beads, beer, and the Big Easy. Historians believe the first American Mardi Gras occurred on March 3, 1699 when French explorers Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville landed in what is now Louisiana. The relatively small festivities were held just south of the present day Mardi Gras capital, New Orleans. In the ensuing decades, New Orleans and other French settlements took to marking the holiday with masked balls, lavish dinners, and wild street parties.
In Dayton, we celebrate the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season with small feasts at local eateries. Click on the links below to get specific details.
Tuesday February 09, 2016
Tuesday February 09, 2016 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
|Fat Tuesday Celebration
Mudlick Tap House
Tuesday February 09, 2016 4:00 – 10:00 PM
|Abita Mardi Gras Party
South Park Tavern
Tuesday February 09, 2016 5:00 PM
|Mardi Gras Celebration
Tuesday February 09, 2016 5:00 – 9:00 PM
|Mardi Gras Dinner
The Hawthorn Grill
Tuesday February 09, 2016 5:00 – 09:00 PM
|Mardi Gras Specials
Tuesday February 09, 2016 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Chappys Tap Room & Grille
Tuesday February 09, 2016 All Day Event
Another Mardi Gras tradition is the King Cake.
As a slight twist you can stop by the grand opening of Tasty Measures at the corner of 5th & Jefferson on Fat Tuesday and get a free King Muffin with purchase. If you find the baby you’ll win free meat pies for a year!
Ready for a magic trick? I’m guessing the first thought to pop into your head after reading that they offer Southern cuisine included some variation of the word “spicy;” whether that was preceded by “too,” “adequately,” “awesomely,” or “freakishly,” can be your little secret, but let me tell you one of mine—at J. Gumbo’s, it’s not about how much spice they can pack into a bite. “It’s more about the flavor,” clarified John. And there’s nothing like some good Southern flavor to celebrate Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, which just so happens to be tomorrow, the very day that J. Gumbo’s is offering a remarkable all-you-can-eat special!
Pairing well with their unique selection of food, J. Gumbo’s also has a very unique story. John Krabacher, manager and chef, was able to sit down with me last Friday to give me a history lesson, including that of himself and the company. John grew up along Brown Street, having his first Cheese Steak from Milano’s when it still occupied J. Gumbo’s present location. He even had his first beer at Timothy’s! He and his friends lived among these college parts and even developed a weekend routine, which included sneaking past the cops who always used to wait in Arby’s parking lot. After some growing up, John has become a chef, helped run Kanoe Cafe, and shared recipes through his blogs; John’s latest adventure is managing this newest baby of the J. Gumbo’s franchise. Whilst speaking to me about it, he said, “If you told me two years ago I’d be here, I’d tell you that you were nuts. I don’t like franchises.” So naturally I wanted to know why he decided to dive into this franchise. Usually a chain like this wants to stick to certain recipes, which, in John’s opinion, takes away from the creativity of the food. But John’s great ideas, knack for taste, and personal relationship with the founder has given him the ability to tweak recipes, and now he proudly claims his J. Gumbo’s houses the best food of the franchise. This was only possible with the help of his right-hand lady, Erin. “Erin’s really good at what she does,” which consists of a whole slew of things, including perfecting their bread pudding recipe; baking their corn bread, bread pudding, and apple cobbler from scratch; and the daily task of keeping John in line. They complement each other brilliantly, both fully understanding what is needed for their Store Number Thirty-Nine to succeed.
Store Number One was founded by a thoroughbred jockey, named Billy Fox. He was getting tired of the stable food, so he started cooking Cajun. After his career as a jockey, he retired to Louisiana, where he started Gumbo A Go-Go. Eventually, after some hard work, the company evolved to what we have today on Brown Street—J. Gumbo’s. Their gumbo has evolved along with them, which can now only be described as none other than delicious. Considered by John to be the restaurant’s must-have item, their gumbo has improved a lot over the years. If you’re interested in more of a sweet dish, J. Gumbo’s offers a vegetarian entrée, entitled Bumblebee Stew, which happens to be my absolute personal favorite. Pair that with their Jambalaya, and you’ve got my ultimate Southern combination. Want to dive into something with a little more zing? Their Voodoo Chicken, tomato-based and spicy, might just be what you’re craving. Billy Fox actually started the company on only two recipes: the previously mentioned Voodoo Chicken and what they call Drunken Chicken—made with black pepper and pepper corn seasoning, marinated for 24 hours in beer. College students, let me repeat that—BEER! And don’t worry, not Natty.
On that note, John was very excited to tell me they will be getting their liquor license very soon and plan to house an assortment of Louisiana brews, the perfect way to top off this Southern meal. If you’re still a bit hesitant to try something completely new, J. Gumbo’s offers free samples to first-timers. Try it out this Tuesday, the twenty-first of February! And once you realize you love it, you will be happy you chose to come to J. Gumbo’s on Fat Tuesday. ‘Why?’ you ask. Because this Mardi Gras, J. Gumbo’s is having ALL YOU CAN EAT for only $12! You get a stamped card once you pay, and you can come back for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you so choose. This is the ultimate gift for your taste buds, whether you’re just seeking flavor or hoping to get a little spicy on Mardi Gras!
And to keep us all coming back, J. Gumbo’s is dishing out the deals every week. Mondays are Kid’s night, where Looney Ballooney, a local balloon artist, makes balloon figurines for the families, giving dinner a whole new dimension of fun. Tuesdays, in general, college students can save 10% all day by showing their ID to the cashier. On Wednesdays, municipal workers get 10% off all day, and J. Gumbo’s is just waiting to hear of other specials in which we, as customers, would like to partake. Eating there will satisfy our taste buds; why not satisfy our wallets, too?
J. Gumbo’s casual, down-home Southern cuisine and atmosphere, complete with music of the South, is sure to win you and your taste buds over. I’ve always ventured to have my readers try something new. I haven’t steered you wrong before, and I’m not planning to now. Cajun and Creole food may be completely new to you, as it was for me, or it may be a trip down memory lane of your last trip down South. Either way, J. Gumbo’s is definitely worth a visit. Especially this Mardi Gras!
So grab your beads and meet down on Brown in front of the Crawdaddy sign. And have a happy, flavor-filled Mardi Gras!
1822 Brown Street