If you have friends in New Orleans right now you're probably feeling a little bit jealous of the fun they're having, because that city obviously owns Mardi Gras. But nonetheless, it is also Fat Tuesday here, the last day for Catholics to get in a little fun and indulgence before Lent, and here's where you can find a good time today, despite being very far from the Big Easy.
A free concert kicks off in Fillmore Center Plaza at 5 p.m. featuring Pat "Lady Guitar" Wilder & Band, followed by a New Orleans-style jazz processional by the St. Gabriel Brass Band and SumbaFunk! That's all followed by a masquerade ball for which there are tickets at the West Bay Conference Center.
As the West Coast home for NoLa's Preservation Jazz Band, the Chapel has made a habit of ringing in Mardi Gras with a bang since it opened a few years back. This year will feature Brass Band Mission starting at 7 p.m., and a Mardi Gras-themed menu in the Vestry starting at 5 p.m. with boudin balls, gumbo, and Gulf shrimp po' boys, and Sazeracs and Hurricanes at the bar. Also, drummer Zigaboo Modeliste (founding drummer of the Meters) will be performing, as well as DJ Harry Duncan (of KCSM).
777 Valencia Street
Biscuits & Blues
The nine-piece North Beach Brass Band takes over Biscuits & Blues on Mason Street tonight with an early (sit-down) show at 7:30 and a late show at 9:30, all first-come, first-served.
401 Mason Street
It's the first Fat Tuesday for this new Cajun-inspired SF spot, and tonight could be a good, if crowded, night to check it out, at least at the bar (reservations look gone for tables). But some boudin balls and Sazeracs at the bar (pictured here) should get you into the spirit if you can make it in.
2293 Mission Street between 18th and 19th Streets
It's NoLa-style every day at Hayes Valley's Boxing Room, and there's limited seating tonight given that they're doing their annual Mardi Gras party with Sazerac Jell-O shots, King Cake, and all. You may be able to squeeze in at the bar if you get there early though!
Downtown's Town Hall restaurant does a big, annual Mardi Gras bash, complete with buffet, Samba dancers, face painters, and more, but the catch is it costs $85 per person and tends to be quite popular. But if you're down that way at work and can figure out how to expense it, laissez les bon temps rouler!
342 Howard Street
Bayou Creole Kitchen & Rotisserie
This small, eat-in or takeout spot on 17th Street just made its public debut last week (see the menu here) and may not be quite prepared to throw a big Fat Tuesday party just yet. Still, if you're in the Mission and looking to bring home some Creole delights to put you in a Mardi Gras mood, this is your best bet.
3412 17th Street at Valencia