Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Night We Accidently Went to Mardi Gras

So last night Ange and I were hanging out with my sister and her husband Clint and we decided we'd all get dinner together. Leslie and Clint were upstairs getting ready and Ange and I were sitting downstairs trying to brainstorm some place to go and eat. Leslie is a notoriously picky eater so when it comes to eating out our choices are limited (we usually either eat at Applebee's, Chili's or Cracker Barrel). So Ange I were trying to decide where we wanted to eat. We were trying to brainstorm places Leslie would find acceptable and that we would not feel blah about eating. We had decided Olive Garden, Red Lobster (which would be a long shot with Leslie--she could find a hamburger or something but she wouldn't want to smell fish) and were trying to think of another place when Leslie popped her head down the stairs and said "I was thinking about trying that place we saw that one day when we were driving around Mooresville looking for a place to recycle."

Over Christmas Leslie, Hilary, Scotty & I spent about an hour in the car looking for a place closer to Leslie to recycle than the Kroger by my dad's house. Well we never found a place (sad Indiana, really?) but as we were driving through the next town over from my sister's town of Camby we drove down the main street in Mooresville and saw some quaint looking shops and a restaurant. Of course until Leslie mentioned this I had not given it a second thought. I generally don't spend much time in Mooresville and would not think to go out of my way to dine there. But since we were already in Camby I said why not.

Now I only vaguely remembered the restaurant that Leslie was referring to, and really all I remembered was that she maybe said something about "huh, a restaurant in downtown Mooresville" and that was about it. But unlike (typical) Leslie, Ange and I are always game for new places so we set off for a new adventure. At this point I have to say I was already impressed that Leslie was willing to venture out to an unknown restaurant without knowing anything about it. That's kind of out of character for her so that was exciting enough.

So we drove over to Mooresville which takes usually about 8 minutes, but since it's been raining like the second coming of Moses the road we were going to go down was flooded so we had to take a longer way around. Now Mooresville is a hole in the wall town. They have about 3 roads that constitute their downtown. I was thinking the restaurant was on the main road going West-East. Leslie thought she remembered seeing it on the main road going North-South. Since we had to take an alternate route to get there we were already on the North-South road so we drove down it and found no restaurants of our memory. So we had to turn around and stalk the West-East road. We slowed down at a place that was brightly lit and had a larger name sign that said Zydeco's. Leslie and I both agreed this was probably the place we saw when we were cruising around though we both remembered it a little differently. 

Leslie was looking at it and said "The sign says it's Cajun/Creole..." and I immediately thought "Uh oh. No way are we going here" because of aforementioned picky eating habits. We had to cruise down the street to turn around to find a place to park and Leslie started inquiring about what the heck Cajun/Creole even meant. Ange and I were trying to explain it to her in terms she would understand. And I don't mean that in a condescending way, but if you've never tried to explain "cultural" food to someone who usually eats chicken nuggets and hot dogs, it's challenging. No way can you just say "Oh you know, etouffee, gumbo, etc." She'd have no idea. So in our bumbling attempts to explain it she says "Is it kind of like food you'd get in the Bahamas? Like maybe I could find something like jerk chicken?" And Ange and I simultaneously said "No" and "Yes" at the same time. I looked at Ange and said "You and I would not make that comparison but trust me, in Leslie's food world, they are very similar." Ange agreed after I brought up that perspective. So Leslie thought she could find something to eat and said "Let's go!" Again, I was slightly shocked at this new adventurous food eating person who looked a lot like my sister. Shocked, but excited.

We parked and went in. We saw they had live music when we drove by but still nothing had occurred to us that we would be walking into a PACKED restaurant. We walked in and it was like one of those scenes where the music grinds to a halt and everyone in the bar stares at you. That didn't really happen, but it kind of felt like it. Like everyone was staring at us and like "Who the hell are you guys?" Some lady comes up to with us with a list and asks what name our reservation is under. After we explain we don't have a reservation she looks at us puzzling and tells us to follow her farther back away from the live music. Everyone is dressed strangely and having a very good time but still nothing really alerts us to anything special. When we get back to the back of the restaurant the lady explains that they really don't have any tables open since people have booked Mardi Gras weekend for a year in advance, but last night she had several tables not show up and she didn't want to risk that again so she was going to run around and see what she could do for us. Only then do we realize we'd naively walked into a New Orleans bar (they only one for probably 25 miles) on the weekend before Fat Tuesday. Whoops. Call us unaware. 

So we ended up getting a table in the bar upstairs (which we didn't even know existed until the lady brought us up two wobbly dark sets of stairs) where there was another live musician playing and more people dressed up in crazy Mardi Gras get up. It was like stepping into bizarro world. We just kept saying "Is this really happening?" The food was awesome, the music was really good, and for as packed as they were the hospitality and service was pretty stellar. I would definitely visit again in the future and would highly recommend it to anyone in the area. You might just want to check and see if there is some big event going on beforehand. In case you unknowingly walk into a Mardi Gras celebration. Trust me, it happens.

His face is mostly red from the bbq, not the beer.

1 comment:

Leslie Reed said...

Fun night!

fyi I had to note your fallacies on my blog! So :P