Dining With Denise Neil

Fat Tuesday-flavored food, fun all over Wichita

The Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco band will perform during the annual Fat Tuesday party at Heroes.
The Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco band will perform during the annual Fat Tuesday party at Heroes. Courtesy photo

New Orleans is 865 miles away from Wichita. But one day a year, Wichita bars, restaurants and venues try to bring a taste of The Big Easy to Kansas.

That day is Fat Tuesday, and this year, it’s on Feb. 28. A long list of Mardi Gras-style celebrations are scheduled around Wichita.

Among them:

The Mudbugs at Heroes: This will be the ninth year in a row that the local Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco band will headline the Fat Tuesday celebration at Heroes, 117 N. Mosley. The bar turns into a dance hall each year as the kitchen serves Cajun specials and the bar mixes hurricanes. It lasts from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and admission is free. All ages are welcome.

Third Annual Red Bean’s Memorial Fat Tuesday celebration: Bill Rowe, the former proprietor of Red Bean’s Bayou Grill, is putting on a Fat Tuesday party at his banquet venue, Villa Luna, at 8406 W. Central. It will feature a buffet of favorites from Red Bean’s, which closed in 2014 after 16 years in business. Among them: firecracker pasta, pork loin Thibideaux, jambalaya and fried pickles. The party, which lasts from 4 to 10 p.m., will also have oyster shots and adult beverages. Tickets are available at the door and are $25 for adults, $11 for ages 4-12 and free for ages 3 and under. No reservations will be accepted, but people can call 316-612-4694 for more information.

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Oyster dinner at St. James: The annual St. James Episcopal Church oyster dinner, which always happens on Fat Tuesday, offers all-you-can-eat oysters on the half-shell, fried oysters, oyster stew, dessert and beer and wine on tap. The dinner is at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $45 in advance at the church office, 3750 E. Douglas, or by calling 316-683-5686 or 316-259-7587. Money raised supports Episcopal Social Services.

Doo-Dah Diner’s Fat Tuesday Cajun Feast: The popular diner at 206 E. Kellogg is putting on its fourth annual all-you-can-eat Cajun buffet featuring jambalaya, shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice, blackened chicken, crawfish, fried catfish and King Cake. The feast will be served from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, when the diner is normally closed. Tickets are $40 in advance, available at the diner, or $45 at the door, and proceeds benefit Family Promise of Greater Wichita. This year’s event also will include a cash bar serving bloody Marys, hurricanes and beer. For more information, call 316-265-7011.

Fat Tuesday food truck rally at Ernie Biggs: Several Wichita food trucks will gather in the parking lot of the bar at 550 N. Rock Road, where they will serve food from 6 to 9 p.m. Among the participating trucks: Big Chill Ice Cream, Funky Monkey Munchies, The Big Apple and B.S. Sandwich Press. People will be allowed to take their food truck fare inside Ernie Biggs to enjoy with a Mardi Gras drink.

Fat Tuesday at Whiskey Dicks: The bar at 801 S. Seneca will celebrate Fat Tuesday starting at 11 a.m. and will offer half-price appetizers, $4 hurricanes and $9.99 Cajun platters with frog legs, jalapeno hush puppies and crawfish gumbo. Fat Tuesday happy hour will last from 3 to 6 p.m. with half-price drinks. For more information, call 316-201-6209.

Gianni Bacci’s Second Annual Crayfish Boil: The bar at 301 N. Washington will be boiling crayfish as well as shrimp, corn, onions, potatoes and sausage at this event, scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. New Orleans-style cocktails also will be served. It’s $25 a person. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com.

Mardi Gras at Mort’s: The bar at 923 E. First St. will celebrate Fat Tuesday with hurricanes, jambalaya, king cake and a Cajun-flavored performance by the Fly by Night Band. It’s from 8 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday.