Everyone is getting ready for the Superbowl (Go Panthers!), but another, more lively tradition is getting ready to hit the Gaslamp district in just one week. On Saturday, February 6, downtown San Diego will light up with a parade and 5 stages of performers to delight tourists and residents with the spirit of Mardi Gras. Starting at 5 PM next Saturday, the Gaslamp will be alive with an array of food, decorations, and entertainment, with over ten blocks of real estate dedicated to living it up before Lent.
There will be an insane number of acts at each of the five stages, including huge names like Bone Thugs and Harmony, Mix Master Mike (of the Beastie Boys) and DJ Jam. There will be local DJs spinning, along with a stage dedicated solely to Electronic.
On offer this year are some yummy food and beverage packages for Mardi Gras attendees. When attendees select a food & beverage package at check out, it not only includes their ticket to Mardi Gras, but also a pre-purchased $30 food & beverage voucher to one of the fabulous restaurants or bars! How great is that?
Participating Venues (more added daily)
– Blue Point Coastal Cuisine – 565 5th Ave.
– Blush Ice Bar | East + West Kitchen – 555 Market St.
– Florent Restaurant – 672 5th Ave.
– Henry’s Pub – 618 5th Ave.
– Maryjane’s – 207 5th Ave.
– Los Panchos de Charly – 431 E St.
– Sadaf – 828 5th Ave.
– The Field Irish Pub – 544 5th Ave.
– The Melting Pot – 901 5th Ave.
I had the pleasure of trying one of the participating restaurants last evening, and let me tell you, if you choose Henry's Pub as your dining option with your ticket (or this weekend just for a meal and watching NHL!), you are in for some of the best pub grubbity grub of your life. The menu is a classic pub offering of burgers, pizza, wings, and best of all, fish & chips!
I have a rule about visiting a pub: if you are looking for fancy, extravagant food, you are probably in the wrong place. However, if you want simple, delicious food that's great for chowing while drinking a few good beers, there's nowhere better.
Henry's is located at the end of the Mardi Gras parade route, a perfect place to have a nice, filling dinner, drink one of their signature cocktails or many beers on tap, relax and get ready to dance your keister off during the stage performances!
Now, I'm pretty serious about fish n' chips. I'm half Irish, and from Appalachia, where we love to fry things and fry them well. It's also one thing that I've never been able to replicate at home, being in need of a deep fryer and a lot of oil. So I order them whenever they're on offer at a pub. However, I've been disappointed numerous times. As simple as it sounds to batter and fry up a couple of fish filets, so many things seem to go wrong. Flavorless batter, rubber-y fish, greasy texture, or worst of all...undercooked and slightly raw.
The fish n' chips at Henry's were none of those things, and in fact, were some of the best that I've had. Lightly covered in a beer batter and fried to golden, the fish filets were a nice flavor and the texture was perfect. The fish inside was flaky, with big chunks of white flesh. The fries were fresh; none of that frozen business barely related to a potato. These fries were made from julienned potatoes, cut into narrow wedges with skin left on, fried up, and seasoned with salt and lemon pepper. Delicious and addictive.
Steve's burger was nice and thick, a classic great pub burger. Served with more of those amazing fries, it was everything that you could want in a burger. The meat had a great flavor, and Henry's offers any number of luscious toppings, such as bacon and avocado to make it incredible.
We paired the delicious food with two of Henry's signature cocktails - the Apple Old-Fashioned and Skull Candy. Of course, I ordered the old-fashioned. It's my all-time favorite drink, and for me, everything that you could want in an adult beverage. Even if you don't enjoy the more hard-nosed cocktails, the apple old-fashioned was actually sweet and enjoyable. It contained house-made apple-infused bourbon, lemon, bitters, and maple syrup. Yum! Skull Candy was a very sweet, addictive drink with Crystal Head vodka, st. Germaine, fresh orange juice, 7up and cranberry juice.
To finish off, we had to try Sailing on Chocolate, a dessert of rich brownie, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and sopapillas! Definitely a dessert to share, as it is huge, but so worth every calorie.
The skinny on tickets!
Tickets can be purchased here. The selections are as follows for the dinner packages.
General Admission Food & Beverage Package –$60 ticket option is good for one Mardi Gras General Admission Ticket AND a $30 Food and/or Beverage credit at your chosen venue!
VIP Food & Beverage Package –$90 ticket option is good for one Mardi Gras VIP Ticket AND a $30 Food and/or Beverage credit at your chosen venue!