The Big Easy sits nearly 850 miles from Indianapolis, putting a 14-hour drive between us and the bon temps of today’s Mardi Gras celebrations. Still, why not let the good times roullez at one of our own Cajun/Creole restaurants?
At Mudbugs Cajun Cafe (20 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-843-8380), Louisiana native Roy LeBlanc is serving fried alligator, incredible homemade potato chips, and Miss Anne’s Crawfish Casserole at his fourth annual Fat Tuesday celebration. Expect bucket specials on NOLA’s own Abita beers as well. Diners at Gumbo A Go-Go (1420 W. 86th St., 317-337-9420) can sip mock Hurricanes and dig into the house-favorite Chicken Ya-Ya, creamy shredded meat served over rice. New Orleans on the Avenue (543 Indiana Ave., 317-632-4099) hosts a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball complete with a NOLA line band and a traditional crawfish boil. Broad Ripple’s Ragin’ Cajun Kitchen (927 Westfield Ave., 317-251-1000) offers a selection of rices, wraps, and po’ boys, stuffed with anything from crab cake to pan-fried shrimp to a blackened-chicken/smoked Andouille/cheese combo called The Wombat, garnished with buttermilk coleslaw. Late-night breakfast is served from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Yats (5363 N. College Ave., 317-253-8817; 659 Massachusetts Ave., 317-686-6380; 8352 E. 96th St., Fishers, 317-585-1792; 1280 U.S. 31, Greenwood, 317-865-9971) always throws down for Fat Tuesday. Expect live music, beads, and family-style favorites like chili cheese etouffee with crawfish and Joe’s famous Jambalaya. And Papa Roux (8950 E. 10th St. 317-603-9861; City Market) brings in live music, a City Market parade, of sorts, and a rare favorite—a po’ boy featuring crawfish sausage from Vaucresson’s Sausage Company of New Orleans.