Dining With Denise Neil

Red Beans Bayou Grill comes back one night a year, and it’s this week

The big Mardis Gras happens in New Orleans, of course.

But Wichita’s annual list of Fat Tuesday fun is worthy of several strands of tossed beads.

Many local restaurants, bars, churches and clubs are putting on their annual parties, which include oysters, crawfish, hurricanes and more. Here are some of your options for fun on Fat Tuesday, which happens Feb. 13.

The Mudbugs at Kansas Star Casino: For nine years, Wichita’s own Cajun and Zydeco Band – The Mudbugs – would perform a lively, accordion-laden set at Heroes in Old Town. But this year, they’re moving. The Fat Tuesday party for 2018 will happen at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane. It’ll start at 6 p.m. inside the casino’s Tin Lizard bar and will feature music from The Mudbugs from 7 to 10 p.m. plus a creole-style po’ boy special, drink specials and king cakes. Admission is free, and party attendees must be 21 or older.

Red Bean’s Bayou Grill Memorial Fat Tuesday celebration: Bill Rowe, the former proprietor of Red Bean’s Bayou Grill, is putting on his fourth annual 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 9 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.

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 soup, dessert and beer and wine on tap. The dinner is from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and tickets are $45 in advance at the church office, 3750 E. Douglas, or by calling 316-259-7587. Money raised supports Episcopal Social Services and Wichita Children’s Home.

Doo-Dah Diner’s Fat Tuesday Cajun Feast: The popular diner at 206 E. Kellogg is putting on its fifth 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, and the diner won’t open for its regular breakfast and lunch service that day. Owners have dropped the price this year to $30 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12 and free for children 5 and under. No tickets are needed. Just call 316-265-7011 to make reservations. Proceeds benefit Oxford House.

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.

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 starts at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and the band will perform from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Harvest Kitchen and Bar, inside the Hyatt, 400 W. Waterman: The restaurant inside the hotel will be offering Mardis Gras specials on Tuesday, including gumbo, crawfish etouffee with Cajun black rice, and seafood jambalaya. The special menu will be served at both lunch and dinner. (Note: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong date for the specials.)

Crawfish boil at Jerseys Grill and Bar, 3213 N. Toben: This restaurant is putting on its second-annual crawfish boil starting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. It’s $10 a plate.

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