For many of us, the calendar dictates and drives much of our dining.
It’s true of real holidays, Hallmark holidays, birthdays, family celebrations, historical dates, religious and cultural celebrations and popular events.
Locally, the Lenten season can change families’ eating habits for more than a month.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26 and is observed for 40 days (Sundays are excluded), symbolizing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. .
Because of this our community has been blessed with a full calendar of Friday fish fries with plenty scheduled from now through April.
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The last day for Catholics and others who observe Lent to indulge before Ash Wednesday is Fat Tuesday.
Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is meant to be a blow-out of rich foods and exciting drink before the rules and fasting of Lent begins. If you are in New Orleans throw in some beads, masks and all of the exciting drinks.
Several local restaurants are looking to help those on a mission to blow out Fat Tuesday locally this year.
Mudlick co-owner Jennifer Dean has been doing a themed menu for several years now. She expects 250 people to show up to sample and enjoy this year.
“I think people enjoy it because Creole is America’s most distinctive and celebrated cuisine,” said Dean. “It’s a day of revelry that includes parades — in several southern cities with French roots — parties, and gastronomic indulgence before the Christian fasting season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
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In addition to serving a special Hurricane made with Plantation Pineapple Rum, Zaya Gran Reserva Green Chartreuse, housemade Grenadine, passion fruit syrup and fresh lime as well as a Sazerac, the restaurant will be serving gumbo, bourbon marinated steak, muffuletta, jambalaya, oyster po’boy, vegan red beans and rice, king cake and beignets.
Here’s a look at what else is being served up:
5-11 p.m., Feb. 25: Mudlick Tap House
135 E. Second St., Dayton
Anywhere else, it’s just another Tuesday but at the Tap House it’s going to be a party worthy of Mardi Gras. New Orleans-inspired cocktails will be served up alongside New Orleans dishes like gumbo and fried oysters. Look for the baby in the famous King Cake and get a prize.
6 p.m. Feb. 25: Sky Asian Cuisine
4090 Wilmington Pike, Kettering
Sky is planning a special dinner to celebrate Mardi Gras. Cost is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 937-949-9883. The restaurant has not released the menu yet, but knowing how good the food is day to day this is going to be quite the feast.
5-10 p.m. Feb. 25: Watermark
20 S. First St., Miamisburg
Watermark has announced it will be offering a special New Orleans menu, drink specials, and live music. Reservations are required. Call (937) 802-0891 or visit eatdrinkwatermark.com.
6-9 p.m., Feb. 25: BC’s Bottle Lodge Liberty
7121 Liberty Centre Drive, West Chester Twp.
This craft beer and wine taproom will be hosting a good old fashioned crawfish boil, which means you should arrive ready for a feast. Special beers will be featured. Visit www.bcsbottlelodge.com to learn more.
7 a.m. to 2 p.m., through Tuesday, Feb. 25: The Blue Berry Cafe
72 Bellbrook Plz, Bellbrook
Locals love the Blue Berry Cafe in Bellbrook - and it’s easy to see why. In honor of Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, the sweets-obsessed eatery is serving up a delicious Mardi-Gras inspired menu that includes the Blue Crab & Asparagus Quiche with Hollandaise Sauce, Shannon’s Banana Bread Pudding French Toast Topped with Bananas and the Sweet & Salty Cinnamon Walnuts and a SoCo Maple Creme Angaise.
Visit their Facebook page to learn more.
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