Beignets to start the day, jambalaya to end it -- and a steady supply of po'boys, gumbo and French Quarter fare throughout the afternoon. Some lucky football fans will be reveling in zydeco music and Cajun cuisine -- and $50,000 tickets on the 50-yard line -- over Super Bowl weekend.
The rest of us may be stuck watching the big game on the flat screen, but there's no reason we can't enjoy a taste of New Orleans -- not when Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen and the Poor House Bistro are in our own backyard.
Here's a sampling of places to get your Cajun on:
Nola Restaurant & Bar: This colorful French Quarter-esque bistro in downtown Palo Alto boasts a huge menu of Cajun and Creole specialties, including gator sausage, oysters, etouffee and grits, plus all the signature cocktails. Hurricanes, anyone? Open daily, with a big Mardi Gras party slated for Feb. 12. Details: 535 Ramona St., www.nolas.com.
Poor House Bistro: This casual New Orleans joint, housed in a renovated 1905 home a block from San Jose's HP Pavilion, boasts po'boys, crawfish pasta, bread pudding and live music nightly. The eatery is hosting a blues jam and Super Bowl party from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Details: 91 S. Autumn St., www.poorhousebistro.com.
Kingfish: Named for a legendary Louisiana governor and filled with Southern folk art, this downtown San Mateo restaurant offers oysters, gumbo, jambalaya and beignets -- plus a menu adorned with Huey Long quotations. The building is one of San Mateo's historic beauties. Details: 201 S. B St., www.kingfish.net.
The Elite Cafe: Housed in an Art Deco building that dates back to 1928, this iconic San Francisco restaurant evokes the French Quarter with such Cajun specialties as shrimp and crawfish etouffee, hominy-crusted catfish and jambalaya. Its Mardi Gras party, on Feb. 12, is a benefit for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Details: 2049 Fillmore St., www.theelitecafe.com.
Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen: With its colorful memorabilia and exposed brick walls, this neighborhood restaurant gives Berkeley a heady taste of the Big Easy, with shrimp Creole, jambalaya, voodoo shrimp, fried chicken and mashed sweet potatoes. Wash it down with an icy Abita beer or house-made lemonade served in Mason jars. Details: 2261 Shattuck Ave., http://angelineskitchen.com.
Pican: You won't find Mardi Gras beads at the swanky Southern restaurant owned by New Orleans native Michael LeBlanc. Instead: an entire portfolio of high-end bourbon, plus sazeracs, mint juleps, etouffee, catfish and other Southern specialties in Oakland's Uptown. Details: 2295 Broadway, www.picanrestaurant.com.