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Let the good times roll

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Local grocery stores can supply your party with all the must-eats on parade day

nol_jan08_medres_page_44_image_0001.jpgIf you live on a parade route in New Orleans, you are sure to have revelers in and out of your home throughout the Carnival season. Entertaining guests with a gourmet menu can be quick and easy. After all, your local grocery store is just a phone call away! Yes, your local grocery store can prepare all your party trays and gourmet food, and it will taste so good that your guests will ask, “Who’s your caterer?” Nothing is better than a one-stop shop to pick up all your Mardi Gras party essentials, and the grocery bags will come in handy for all the beads you’ll catch!

Southern Cuisine
nol_jan08_medres_page_44_image_0003.jpg Jezz’s Kitchen at Dorignac’s Food Center is the place to call if you want some down-home Southern cooking to serve guests. Jezz’s delicious cuisine will impress even your most discriminating guests. “All of the food that I prepare at Dorignac’s is made with quality ingredients. I really love seeing the look on someone’s face when they are enjoying a good meal,” says Jezz. Your guests can dine on his delicious jambalaya, Cajun pasta or seafood gumbo. Other great items to get from Dorignac’s to make your Mardi Gras party a hit are fried chicken, finger sandwiches, mini muffalettas, vegetable trays, potato salad and freshly baked dinner rolls.

Off the Grill
nol_jan08_medres_page_44_image_0004.jpg Let the Bayou Boys from Rouses please your hungry krewe with its tasty, home-style barbecue. Rouses’ Bayou Boys have been barbecuing on the bayou since they were kids, so they know what’s great on the grill. Rouses’ butcher makes homemade jalapeño, Italian, Cajun and fresh green onion sausage that is delicious. The Bayou Boys grill thick, juicy, tender, hand-cut steaks, baby back ribs slathered with sauce, pork chops, pork steaks, pork ribs and burgers—good old-fashioned burgers made with Rouses’ famous ground beef. Why bother taking out your grill and even missing some of the parade when you can call ahead and order delicious trays of barbecue to serve at your party or eat on the parade route? Rouses also has delicious dips: crabmeat Mornay, shrimp mold, zesty spinach-and-crab and spinach-and-artichoke.

Party Platters
nol_jan08_medres_page_44_image_0005.jpg Want to throw a Mardi Gras bash fit for a king? Then check out the incredible selection of party platters, cheeses, dips and gourmet nibbles available at Whole Foods. Select from tasty treats like Whole Foods’ smoked salmon platter, shrimp cocktail, petite baguette sandwiches, chicken satays, mini crab cakes, turkey kabobs and more. If you’re throwing an impromptu gathering, then simply march into Whole Foods and ask the associate in the cheese department to prepare a gourmet cheese board for you.

King Cakes
nol_jan08_medres_page_44_image_0006.jpg Everyone knows that the true king at every Mardi Gras party is the must-have dessert of the season: king cake! We just can’t get enough of this decadent bread slathered with sugary icing and sprinkled with purple, green and gold granules. Not only do king cakes please the sweet tooth, but they also spark heated debates as to whose version is the best. Whatever your preference, there is no shortage of these delectable sugary delights, as most local supermarkets and bakeries offer their own tasty versions. Some of the most popular ones around town are from Haydel’s Bakery, Randazzo’s Camilla City Bakery, Dorignac’s Food Center, Gambino’s and Manny Randazzo. For the second year in a row, the Whole Foods Market stores in most Southern states, including Louisiana, will donate one dollar for every king cake sold to the White Boot Brigade, a group of commercial fishing families that is working to rebuild the Louisiana shrimper community. Last year, the promotion collectively raised more than $15,000 for the White Boot Brigade and provided vital assistance for rebuilding and marketing efforts to expand the shrimpers’ businesses. Here’s hoping you find a pink plastic baby in your future!