Dining With Denise Neil

An updated list of Fat Tuesday food specials, Mardis Gras parties in Wichita

Fat Tuesday celebration with the Mudbugs

The Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco Band performs at Heroes Sports Bar for a Fat Tuesday celebration.
Up Next
The Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco Band performs at Heroes Sports Bar for a Fat Tuesday celebration.

Fat Tuesday is always a big day in Wichita.

It’s a day when revelers give themselves permission to party on a school night. And it’s a day when landlocked Wichitans get to partake of special occasion treats like oysters on the half shell and boiled crawfish.

And let’s not forget all that accordion and washboard-heavy Zydeco music.

That day is today, and a larger-than-normal list of Fat Tuesday events are happening this year in Wichita. Here’s what you have to choose from, including several additions since we first published this list last week.

Fat Tuesday parties

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

red beans
Red Bean’s Bayou Grill’s menu will be revived for Fat Tuesday in Wichita. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

NEW Emerson Biggins Old Town, 808 E. Douglas: This bar is throwing an all-day crawfish boil that costs $11 a person. It’ll also be offering half-price burgers.

Chicken N Pickle shrimp boil: 1240 N. Greenwich: This new restaurant and entertainment venue will transform its game room into a New Orleans scene and will offer a shrimp boil and music plus Hurricanes for sale. Tickets are $25 in advance at eventbrite.com and $30 at the door.

Doo-Dah Diner’s Fat Tuesday Cajun Feast: The popular diner, which is currently operating only at its new location at 1530 S. Webb Road, will have its sixth annual Fat Tuesday all-you-can-eat feast there from 5 to 8 p.m. (The restaurant is closed during the day.) It’s $30 a person and will feature things like shrimp etouffee, crawfish boil, oysters, blackened chicken, jalapeno cornbread and King Cake. Proceeds benefit Coming Together for a Cure. Make reservations by calling 316-558-3636.

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 7:30 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.

The Mudbugs at Kansas Star Casino: Wichita’s own Cajun and Zydeco Band – The Mudbugs – will perform a lively, accordion-laden set 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 7 to 10 p.m. $5 drink specials and a free slice of King Cake. Admission is free, and party attendees must be 21 or older.

River City Brewing Company’s Fat Tuesday Beer & Crawfish, 150 N. Mosley: This restaurant is importing crawfish fresh from Louisiana for its Fat Tuesday crawfish boil, which will include andouille sausage, smoked sausage, potatoes, corn, onions and mushrooms. The party also will include fresh homemade beignets and a special beer inspired by the flavor of Louisiana Hurricanes, and Cajun pizza and a Hurricane beer cocktail also will be available. Tickets to the event are $25.

Fat Tuesday at Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood: The brewery has invited Skinny Slim & the Fat Tuesday Brass Band to perform, and food truck The Flying Stove will be serving special Mardi Gras menu. King Cake also will be served. Food is served from 5 to 8 p.m., and music starts at 8 p.m.

51375787_2340523312895836_5933257488450191360_o (1).jpg
Whiskey Dicks is among the Wichita restaurants and bars offering Fat Tuesday fun. Courtesy photo

Fat Tuesday food and drink specials

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, $3 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.

NEW Fat Tuesday at PourHouse ICT: The brewery and restaurant at 711 E. Douglas is serving jambalaya and shrimp po’ boys

NEW Two Olives Fat Tuesday menu: The restaurant at 2949 N. Rock Road is serving a special dinner menu that features crepes and King Cakes.

NEW Mardis Gras party at Walt’s East, 7732 E. Central: This bar and grill is throwing a party that features $8 Hurricanes, and people can keep the glass.

Fat Tuesday 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 Consiglio and Company and Fly By Night. It starts at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, and the bands will perform from 5 p.m. to midnight.

NEW Milkfloat, 535 W. Douglas: Serving a lunch of red beans and rice, sausage and shrimp gumbo, and a slow roasted pork po-boy with cajun slaw. Also offering mini King Cakes, Mardis Gras cheesecake and more.

Sweet Allie B’s/Limestone Beer Co’s Cajun specials , 707 N. Waco: The restaurant is celebrating Fat Tuesday by serving gumbo, crawfish etouffee and King Cake.

NEW Old Mill Tasty Shop Fat Tuesday specials: This classic restaurant at 604 E. Douglas is serving muffalettas and gumbo on Tuesday.

NEW The Kitchen, 725 E. Douglas: This restaurant at 725 E. Douglas is serving gumbo.

Fat Tuesday at Harvest Kitchen/Bar, 400 West Waterman: The restaurant inside of the Hyatt downtown is serving a New Orleans-inspired menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday that features entrees like gumbo, etouffee and a crawfish boil. For reservations, call 316-613-6300.

This timelapse video by John Fitzhugh shows how South Mississippi bakers make a king cake. (Feb. 9, 2016)

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.