Let the Good Times Roll

Good food to get you in the mood for Mardi Gras

Let the Good Times Roll
Photo by John Anderson

Shoal Creek Saloon

909 N. Lamar, 474-0805
Daily, 11am-10pm; bar open till 12mid
www.shoalcreeksaloon.com

After the departure of longtime chef Bud George last fall, the kitchen of this popular Louisiana-style hangout is now in the capable hands of Reynaldo Rodriguez, who's been working here since he was a youngster, creating menu favorites such as the Reynaldo Burger (smothered in grilled jalapeños and onions) and the Rodriguez Family Nachos. Rest assured, the food has not skipped a beat, and fans of the no-fuss menu still flock here on Wednesdays for the huge Cajun pork chop and Thursday's "reel" fish special. Friday afternoons are usually packed for the lunchtime all-you-can-eat catfish buffet, and if you're looking for a real bargain, try the chicken-fried steak plate: hand-breaded and served with real mashed potatoes and bacon-laced green beans for just $7.49 all day every Sunday and Monday. Right now there are oysters on the menu, either fried or on the half-shell, for $10.99 a dozen.

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras means crawfish season, and Shoal Creek does not disappoint. The folks at Shoal Creek are happy to cater a private crawfish boil for you and up to 100 of your closest friends as long as you give them plenty of advance notice, and on Mardi Gras Day, they'll be boiling all day. If crawfish are not your favorite, no worries – they'll be dishing out other tasty treats (including cochon de lait, jambalaya, and fried turkey) while they last, with Hurri­canes on special from the bar for $6.

The patio on the banks of Shoal Creek is a people magnet, regardless of the weather, and it's especially attractive for happy hour on weekdays, 3-7pm, featuring a variety of specials. While you're there, check out the new signature cocktails created by general manager and bartender extraordinaire Aimee Elbrecht.

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