New-Orleans in my Own Back-Yard? It is possible if you visit Café Mardi Gras in the Village.


Let me start this off with a confession.

I love to read about vampires and werewolves. I’ve read all of the Anne Rice Novels, the Sherrilyn Kennyon books as well as Charlaine Harris. Both fictitious universes take place in and around New-Orleans. I absolutely must visit New-Orleans, it is a DREAM of mine. The swamps, the quarter, the people, the music, the rich historical heritage of voodoo, the humidity, the heat, it all seems wonderful.

Some words sound particularly pleasing to my ears: crawfish, beignets, po’boys, chicory coffee, etc.

I was able to visit New-Orleans from Montreal. I was able to live my dream with my taste buds thanks to Café Mardi-Gras. My taste buds flew there while my feet were firmly rooted in Montreal’s Village at the Corner of Papineau and Sainte-Catherine at a charming restaurant called Café Mardi Gras.

Café Mardi Gras, a little slice of New-Orleans directly in Montreal

Café Mardi Gras, a little slice of New-Orleans directly in Montreal

Café Mardi Gras is located at 1684 Ste-Catherine East, Montreal, Qc, H2L 2J4. They have a website: http://www.cafemardigras.ca

The Café Mardi Gras flag

The Café Mardi Gras flag

The first thing I want to say is how cheerful everyone was. The chef was dancing and singing. He was working in a virtual inferno and enjoying every minute. I do not remember his name but I remember his smile and his steps. The owner, René, was also extremely friendly and hospitable.

A nice Open kitchen, friendly staff and NOLA beads everywhere make this a magical place to visit

A nice Open kitchen, friendly staff and NOLA beads everywhere make this a magical place to visit. See the happy chef laboring away. 

The level of courtesy and friendliness guarantees I will come back for seconds and thirds. This will most likely become a classic restaurant for the producer and I.

We chose to sit inside because we had been in the sun all day but Café Mardi-Gras has a lovely terrace.

The view from the terrace

The view from the terrace

Now let’s talk ambiance. There was music (cheerful music, not too loud.) The menu was written with chalk on black boards. There are Mardi-Gras beads on the ceiling and in the centerpiece of the table as well.

Mardi Gras Mask and Beads as a Center Piece

Mardi Gras Mask and Beads as a Center Piece

It’s a casual atmosphere typical of “Let the Bon Temps roule” The fact that the restaurant is in the Village also adds to the atmosphere. It’s laid-back, open-minded, fragrant, inviting.

For starters, we ordered fried okra. It was light and delicate tasting.

Fried Okra, A delight

Fried Okra, A delight

We shared the Taster’s platter. At 20$, it’s a steal. You get a portion of Crawfish Étouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole. The crawfish étouffée was my favorite, the jambalaya was the Producer’s favorite.  I would have liked to have a bit more crawfish in the crawfish étouffée. The flavors were bold yet aromatic and harmonious. It was perfect. I loved every mouthful.

The Taster's Platter

The Taster’s Platter

For drinks, I had a white beer “Dominus Vobiscum” and the Producer had a strong beer “O’Born Evil”. My white beer tasted of bananas (I prefer a more citrusy tasting white beer) while the Producer’s beer was quite good.

O'born Evil, Strong and manly beer

O’born Evil, Strong and manly beer

Dominus Vobiscum, Banana Tasting White Beer, Bleh!

Dominus Vobiscum, Banana Tasting White Beer, Bleh!

For desert, we had beignets. WOW! Delicious. We had gone on a long bike ride during the day so the desert was an indulgence we could afford. I also had the chicory coffee which I ordered iced, I would have preferred it warm but that’s because I don’t like iced coffee that much.

Beignets and Chicory Coffee, hmm good!

Beignets and Chicory Coffee, hmm good!

When we come back to Café Mardi-Gras, we know what we want to order: crawfish étouffée for me and jambalaya for the Producer. We will order two “O’Born Evil” beers to go with that. Desert will be beignets and the coffee.

Thank you René for a wonderful evening at Café Mardi-Gras.

Thank you René for a great night in New-Orleans without my passport.

Thank you René for a great night in New-Orleans from the comfort of my own city: Montreal. I will see you again soon! It’s a PROMISE! 

Advertisements