Mardi Gras is an essential eaters’ paradise in New Orleans—a day for throngs of revelers to celebrate their vices of food and drink before surrendering to the strict restraints of Lent. A collection of Long Island’s Creole and Cajun restaurants are representing the Big Easy up north with celebrations and menus busting at the seams with gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée and more.
Big Daddy’s Restaurant (1 Park Lane) has been a Massapequa mainstay since 1993. Specializing in the cuisine of New Orleans, Cajun, Creole and the South in general, Big Daddy’s is casual and colorful with a reputation for portions, flavors and drinks that all mirror the restaurant’s name—big.
The eatery’s Mardi Madness Week 2017 kicks off Feb. 22 and runs through Fat Tuesday on Feb. 28. The week-long party features live crawfish boils, oyster shooters, drink specials, live music and, of course, a menu full of time-tested dishes as well as experimental eats.
For a taste of Mardi Gras, try the Gumbo of the Day, with andouille sausage, tasso ham and smoked turkey or the Baton Rouge Broiled Oysters, with freshly shucked Blue Point oysters broiled with horseradish and Gruyere cheese.
For a bigger bite, eaters can’t go wrong with the supremely filling Pasta Jambalaya. This dish overflows with andouille sausage, smoked turkey, tasso ham, crawfish and rigatoni sautéed in Big Daddy’s spicy Alfredo sauce.
Keeping it Cajun, Billy Carter’s Crawfish offers crawfish tails sautéed in a medium-spiced peanut honey sauce served over rice, while the Rajun Cajun Lobster & Shrimp scores with an eight-ounce Brazilian lobster tail and Gulf shrimp sautéed in garlic, plum tomato and white wine herb butter. The shellfish is served over fiery habanero goat cheese grits.
Fat Tuesday can also be enjoyed between bread. Try the toasted Muffaletta Po’Boy—a traditional New Orleans sandwich with salami, mortadella, cappicola and provolone served hot with olive tapenade on a toasted French bread hero. Other Po’Boys include chicken, catfish, andouille, shrimp and oyster, all served “fully dressed” with vinegar slaw and chipotle sour cream salsa.
For a full complement of menus and more information on Big Daddy’s, visit www.bigdaddysny.com or call 516-799-8877.
Eaters looking beyond Massapequa for New Orleans grub can try Mara’s Homemade (236 W. Jericho Tpke., Syosset), The Bayou (2823 Jerusalem Ave., Bellmore), Biscuits & Barbeque (106 East 2nd St., Mineola) and Louisiana Joe’s (488 Merrick Rd. in Baldwin).