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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gumbo Throwdown Highlight of Miss Pearl's Five-Day Mardi Gras Fest

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge The patio at Miss Pearl's. - SHIRLEY M./YELP
Right after Sunday's game ended, our friend, a New Orleans native, slumped up against a wall, eyes closed, smiling tightly. "Is he gonna cry?" whispered someone at the party. The crawfish were really good ― salty, peppery, and sweet ― but not quite delicious enough to warrant a muddy Mississippi of tears. Our friend opened his eyes. "Do you realize that no one in New Orleans is going to work this week?" he said, laughing. "We just won the Super Bowl. Mardi Gras is next weekend. The party won't end. I'm flying there tomorrow, and I can't wait."

Not everyone can catch a plane for Mardi Gras. For those of us resigned to keeping it Bay, not bayou, a local celebration should stand in well enough. On Friday, Miss Pearl's Jam House in Oakland kicks off a five-day festival culminating in a Fat Tuesday throwdown featuring live zydeco rave-ups, chef Peter Jackson's New Orleans-steeped grub, and drink specials. Of vital interest: On Saturday afternoon, the restaurant will host a gumbo cook-off boasting some major East Bay talent, including Picán's Dean Dupuis and Eddie Blyden of Henry's in Berkeley.

Event details:

Mardi Gras at Miss Pearl's Jam House

Dates: Fri., Feb. 12-Tues., Feb. 16 (see schedule for daily happenings)

Location: Miss Pearl's Jam House, One Broadway (at Jack London Square), Oakland, (510)

Cost: Free admission; $5 Hurricanes and $4 Jell-O shots on Fat Tuesday

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