For the third year in a row the Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington pulled out all the stops to host an even bigger “Bayou Gras” celebration, this year adding a tented block party. Making sure the experience was authentic, native New Orleanian Chef Guas put together a tasty selection of food that made you think you were down in Charm City itself.
With the purchase of a “Chew Dat” ticket you got to select three items from Andouille and Shrimp Gumbo, Creamy Crawfish Pasta, the award-winning Muff-a-lotta, or Jam-U-laya – my favorites were the Gumbo which had a smoky goodness to it and the fantastic Muff-a-lotta which had plenty of flavorful olive tapenade. I then finished off the meal with – what else but a piece of “BB” King Cake – it is a bakery after all! Overall the dishes were very tasty and some packing a little Nawlin’s heat!
No worries on the heat when you could quench that thirst with the libations being served in the block party tent! Louisiana’s Abita Brewery offered their Amber and Bock brews, both of which paired perfectly with the food. If you were in the mood for something a little sweeter yet packing a good punch – so to speak, some Bourbon Street-style cocktails such as Hurricane Gina or Parade Punch were also available.
As a special surprise, the purchase of a Chew Dat ticket meant that you could enjoy complimentary freshly shucked Oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters also being served in the tent – which was nice since the Abita beer line got quite long.
Once I had my fill of food and brews it was time to get ready for the parade! I brought my own mask but the Bayou Bakery had lots of festive hats, costumes, and accessories to go BIG!
There were definitely some ‘veteran’ revelers that dove in and dressed the part and to join the caravan down Clarendon Boulevard behind the Bayou Bakery’s Boogie Float III.
So, put it on your list for 2014 to join the Bayou Gras at the Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery and maybe they will add a few more brew taps in the tent to keep things flowing.
In the meantime...
Laissez les bons temps rouler!