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Join Bayou Smokehouse for Authentic Mardi Gras, a Taste of New Orleans on Fat Tuesday

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

Or, in other words, “let the good times roll!”

Celebrate Mardi Gras in true Louisiana fashion on Fat girl Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the High Country’s favorite Cajun hot spot, the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill in Banner Elk.

Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

Restaurant Owners David, Winston and Lee Ammann will bring a little bit of the Big Easy up here to Carolina for a celebration you don’t want to miss!

True to their New Orleans roots, they’re celebrating on Fat Tuesday, since Ash Wednesday follows and brings the beginning of Lent.

The Bayou’s casual, comfortable atmosphere and authentic Texas-Louisiana recipes will whisk you away to the Crescent City, and you won’t even have to leave the table.

The Bayou will be decked out with decorations of purple, green and gold beads and doubloons, and the Ammanns hope you’ll join them in wearing festive Mardis Gras attire and costumes.

Naturally, the featured drink of the day will be the N’Awlins Hurricane, along with beers from both Abita and Dixie.

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras at the Bayou without traditional Deep South dishes like gumbo, étouffée, creole, red beans and rice and so much more.

Over dinner and into the night, party along with live music starting at 7 p.m. from the Dave Calvert Collective. No cover charge!

Check out the Bayou online for more information.

Mardis Gras decorations at Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.
Mardis Gras decorations at Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.

Here’s a little Mardi Gras history lesson from Winston:

Did you know? Much of what is associated with Mardi Gras today came about because a Russian Grand Duke was visiting New Orleans way back in 1872?  It was by sheer chance that Alexis Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia, landed in New Orleans just before Mardi Gras that year.  He was in single-minded pursuit of his latest lady love, actress Lydia Thompson.

To celebrate his visit, a group of 40 businessmen funded a daytime parade and called it “Rex,” Latin for “king.” The first arrival of Rex (both the parade and the organization’s masked “King Rex”) was a surprise to most citizens of the Big Easy. They learned of it on Lundi Gras (the day before Mardi Gras) through an announcement in the local newspapers ordering that normal business be shut down and the city handed over to “Rex, King of Carnival.” In the duke’s honor, the newly formed Rex organization adopted the Romanov family colors of purple, green and gold (which represent justice, faith and power respectively). They commissioned a band to play the Duke’s favorite love song, “If Ever I Cease to Love,” from the play “Bluebeard.”

After Alexis left, the colors stuck for Mardi Gras, the gala day parade continued and a masked ball was added the next year in 1873. The song became the Mardi Gras anthem of Rex, the organization and parade which became King of Carnival and Monarch of Merriment with the motto “Pro bono publico,” “For the common good.”  Amazingly, Rex’s first arrival via riverboat, at the foot of Canal Street, is still repeated every Lundi Gras. The mayor turns the city and its keys over to “King Rex” in a public ceremony. And that’s how Mardi Gras became a legal holiday in New Orleans.


The Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.
The Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.
The Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.
The Bayou Smokehouse. Photo by Ken Ketchie.