It's tough to celebrate Mardi Gras in Bethesda. We have no Mardi Gras parade whatsoever. We have only one Cajun restaurant, Louisiana Kitchen and Bayou Bar on Cordell Avenue. And most bars either have no special plans, or are declining to share them with the public.
Union Jack's and Giant Food to the rescue!
Union Jack's Bethesda on St. Elmo Avenue will actually be having a real Mardi Gras bash Tuesday night, February 12. Their chef is preparing a special Cajun menu, many a strand of beads will be given away, and so will a tropical vacation with hotel and airfare, by the end of the night. They'll also be pouring the official drink of New Orleans, the Hurricane.
Meanwhile, King Cakes have arrived at Giant. These cakes contain a plastic baby, representing Christ. The person who finds the baby in their piece of cake has to buy the King Cake next year.
Did you know that each year, 750,000 King Cakes are sold in New Orleans? And that another 50,000 are shipped by air overnight to customers all over the country. You won't have to go that far, but hurry, because Giant usually sells out of King Cakes every year.
Three notes on the photos of my King Cake below:
1. They are round, ring cakes. Mine is missing the 2 pieces I cut out Saturday and Sunday night. Sorry!
2. Giant packs the plastic "baby" separate in the box, rather than hiding it in the cake as tradition calls for. I think it's to avoid legal liability for someone choking on it. However, if adults are eating it and forewarned, the cake has cuts around the top that allow you to easily stuff the baby into a piece of the cake.
3. Giant did not include any beads with this batch of King Cakes. Boo! That's strange, as they always gave a generous handful of Mardi Gras beads in many colors in past years.
Enjoy a Mardi Gras out in Bethesda, at home in Bethesda, or both!
By the way, two places to look for Zapp's Potato Chips from New Orleans, are Potbelly on Elm Street, and CVS on Wisconsin Avenue across from 7-11 and Fairmont Plaza (they usually have one of my favorite flavors, Voodoo).