Mardi Gras Mambo

The parades have started and the beads are flying as New Orleans tries to recapture its partying spirit just six months after Katrina. To help get your own Mardi Gras revelry in full swing, the Going Out Gurus put together a great list of ways to celebrate, my personal favorite being the po'boy at Johnny's Half Shell (it's damn good).

In addition, Acadiana is featuring Mardi Gras specials through Tuesday, and on the 28th, beads and masks will be on hand to help you channel the bon temps. Also, look out for the silver bean in your calas, the deep fried rice fritters Acadiana will be serving for dessert on Mardi Gras. Six lucky bean-finding souls will be crowned kings and queens at lunch and dinner.

And on Fat Tuesday at Chef Geoff's (both locations), lunch and dinner specials will include seafood gumbo, jambalaya and oyster po’boys.

Of course you could always stay in and play host with these recipes for classic New Orleans cocktails. And it's not too late to order a king cake or whip one up yourself.

If you want to do more than raise a toast, check out the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity chapter's Web site, which has information on building projects including the proposed Musicians Village, where more than 80 homes will be built for displaced musicians.