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
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 crawfishwww.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.