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New Orleans to celebrate 'Super Gras'

Mardi Gras, Super Bowl both about to hit the Big Easy
BY TRACEY TEO Published: January 20, 2013

Barry Kern, Mardi Gras World president and CEO, calls it, “the most technologically advanced float in history.”

The extravagant float makes its debut Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Krewe of Endymion's parade.

An appetite for fun

Part of the fun of a New Orleans visit is savoring the city's unique cuisine. Breakfast at Brennan's, an iconic French Quarter restaurant, is a long-standing New Orleans tradition, but to properly enjoy it, you have to forget all your preconceived ideas about the first meal of the day. First of all, lose the notion that cocktail hour starts at 6. Why start the morning with a glass of ordinary juice when you could order a Mr. Funk? This refreshing mixture of cranberry juice, Champagne and peach schnapps is named for Brennan's late cellar master.

If you think wine is only for dinner, your waiter will gently persuade you to think again. In fact, the only thing that flows more freely at breakfast than wine is the hollandaise sauce.

At Brennan's, one doesn't order anything “over easy” and think seafood instead of bacon. Start with turtle soup, and then peruse the menu's lengthy list of one-of-a-kind egg entrees. A local favorite is eggs Sardou, poached eggs served atop a bed of creamed spinach and, of course, drizzled with a rich, creamy hollandaise sauce.

Bananas Foster, the famous dessert created at Brennan's in 1951, is the grand finale to a breakfast unlike any other. Cooked tableside in grand style, the bananas are doused in banana liqueur and expertly flamed in rum — quite a production.

All that jazz

If you want to experience the music scene like a local, skip the freak show on Bourbon Street and head a few blocks to Frenchmen Street on the outskirts of the French Quarter. Begin your musical odyssey at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, an intimate, classy venue where patrons enjoy the show from a mezzanine that overlooks the stage. Unlike some clubs, the music is not just background noise to a social scene, so you won't have to compete with bar chatter to hear the artists. Regular acts include Ellis Marsalis and Charmaine Neville, daughter of saxophonist Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers.

After the show, get your groove on at the Spotted Cat, a club where bands play a variety of musical genres.

Still not partied out? The Blue Nile features top notch local and national funk, blues, and soul acts.

The 18th century English writer Samuel Johnson made famous the quote, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Perhaps the same could be said of New Orleans.

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