Local restaurant turns up for Fat Tuesday festivities

Kaylee McCollum

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Bead-adorned customers packed Bourbon n’ Toulouse in from wall to wall, anxiously waiting to order their favorite Cajun dishes. Tuesday was Bourbon n’ Toulouse’s Mardi Gras celebration, where customers partook in the restaurant’s Fat Tuesday specials.  

Bourbon n’ Toulouse began their Mardi Gras celebration the first year it opened, 11 years ago, and have continued hosting the event ever since.

Elliott Richards of Bourbon n’ Toulouse spoke about the annual celebration.

“We always call it the biggest party of the year. I think Bourbon n’ Toulouse has done a good job of carving out a space in Lexington,” Richards said.  “We have a lot of regulars and some regulars who aren’t able to come in as much as they used to come in now. This is the one time of year when they’re like ‘Aw man, I have to get down there.’”

The freezing temperatures were not even enough to deter customers from coming out for the festivities.

Customers poured in to order their favorite Bourbon n’ Toulouse classics such as chicken étouffée, jambalaya, and gumbo. The line to the cash register stretched all the way from the front of the restaurant to the back door. Not surprisingly, it takes a large amount of food and preparation to prepare for the Fat Tuesday crowds.

“In order to serve everyone take our busiest day, like a Friday, and multiply that by four,” Richards said. “We order 300 loaves of bread.”

In honor of the occasion, Bourbon n’ Toulouse also offered some special dishes in addition to their normal menu. One of these was the alligator étouffée, served only four times a year.

But the star of the night was the crawfish boil, which is only available once a year exclusively for the Mardi Gras celebration.Customers could purchase the crawfish along with boiled corn and potatoes for ten dollars a pound.

Richards spoke about the anticipation leading up to the Mardi Gras events.

“This is Christmas for us,” Richards sad. “We’re kinda like Santa and the elves trying to get everything ready while everybody else is partying. Although, the elves party too.”

Because of its close proximity to campus, UK students also ventured out to the restaurant’s location on Euclid Avenue to take part in the Fat Tuesday events.

UK’s French club members were just a few of those who gathered to join in the festivities. Tynessa Watts, a member of the club, praised Bourbon n’ Toulouse.

“I like the food” Watts said.  “It seems really authentic and it tastes really authentic.”