5 great ways to celebrate Mardi Gras in Sacramento

Mardi Gras 2014
Image courtesy of The Porch

Tuesday night isn’t generally the time to hit the streets and get wild—unless we’re talking about Fat Tuesday, the loose, licentious occasion better known as Mardi Gras. If you’re in a partying mood, here are five places to let the good times roll tonight in Sacramento.

The Porch
Spicy, savory, Cajun-inflected dishes are year-round staples of this midtown hotspot, which ramps up for Mardi Gras with special offerings like chicken and andouille gumbo, the muffaletta sandwich (stacked with Zoe’s Meats' ham, spicy salami, provolone, tomato, onion and lettuce on brioche), Porch Hurricanes and the “Kentucky Rooster” cocktail blending bourbon, orange juice and cranberry. 1815 K St. 444-2423. theporchrestaurantandbar.com

“Second Line” March
Make an early work exit—or hey, maybe invite the whole office—to Mulvaney’s B&L at 4 p.m., for snacks and to embark with Peter Petty, Dana Moret and the Elements Brass Band on a New Orleans-style “Second Line” parade through midtown. The krewe will stop at LowBrau for more food, drink specials and music before meandering down to the march’s terminus at the Torch Club for jambalaya, more live music and other Mardi Gras madness late into the night. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. at Mulvaney’s B&L. 1215 19th St. 441-6022. torchclub.net

Firestone Public House
Winding down a five-day Fat Tuesday party, the bar and restaurant known for one of Sacramento's most prodigious draft beer lists will offer specials on Louisiana Hurricanes—Mardi Gras’ quintessential cocktail—and a soft shell crab po’boy sandwich with spicy aioli, tomato, butter leaf lettuce and a pickle piled on a hoagie. 1132 16th St. 446-0888. firestonepublichouse.com

Mardi Gras at The Shack
The Big Easy comes to collides with Sacramento Beer Week at this East Sacramento institution, blending authentic Cajun and creole food, beer from New Orleans’ own Abita brewery, and live jazz from the Crescent Cats. Costumes are encouraged. 5-9 p.m. The Shack. 5201 Folsom Blvd. 457-5997. eastsacshack.com

Don’t forget the king cake! In keeping with the colorful spectrum of beads, masks and other Mardi Gras traditions, stock up for your own Fat Tuesday party with this classic treat by way of the venerable Ettore’s Bakery. The cake—named after the three kings of biblical legend and commemorating the day before the start of Lent—is baked in apple and cherry flavors and also features almond filling, cream cheese and king cake’s customary green, gold and purple icing and sprinkles. And, of course, look for the traditional baby trinket that accompanies every cake. $23.50. 2376 Fair Oaks Blvd. 482-0708. ettores.com