Let the good times roll, Jersey! Or to be more authentic, "Laissez le bon temps rouler!"

Fat Tuesday is underway and there are some great spots for wrapping up Mardi Gras with a Jersey flourish. I've also tracked down a few recipes to pull off a spontaneous home celebration, for adults and kiddies to enjoy.

Asbury Park Festhalle & Biergarten

The VooDudes are playing Tuesday night at the Asbury Park beer hall, which is also serving up hurricanes and other New Orleans cocktail specials.


Hat City Kitchen, Orange

This restaurant and live music venue in Essex County has been prepping for Mardi Gras all-year. It's offering a night of zydeco & cajun music, plus food and drink that will make you feel like you're in the Big Easy.


Old Bay Restaurant, New Brunswick

Jersey is embracing Fat Tuesday with Mardi Gras events today (photo from wpd91/ThinkStock)

This New Brunswick landmark knows how to do New Orleans. Festivities begin this afternoon, with live music and dancing, a buffet of Cajun flavors and drink specials.


Ollie Gators Pub, Berlin

This Camden County spot offers New Orleans flavor year-round, so it's no surprise Mardi Gras is its biggest party. Tuesday's offerings include a buffet, drink specials and lots of beads.


Resorts Hotel & Casino

The Atlantic City Casino is celebrating Mardi Gras all-day, with drink and food specials and strolling musicians.


Mardi Gras at home: smoothies

King Cake is an essential element of Mardi Gras in New Orleans — but they take a while to make! A healthier way to copy the flavors of the treat is this King Cake smoothie. It calls for banana, spinach, Greek yogurt, almond milk and a dash of maple syrup, plus cinnamon and vanilla and almond extracts.  For adults, you *can* add rum and amaretto.

Or, you could stick to fruit and mimic Mardi Gras colors, using layers of pineapple, blueberries with raspberries and kiwi with leafy greens.


Mardi Gras At Home: Mini King cakes

If you really want to try for the traditional Mardi Gras treat, this is a much easier way to do it — using store-bought cinnamon roll dough and lots of sugar crystals. If you're missing the cream cheese filling in a more traditional King Cake, you could mix some in with icing for the "minis".

Erin Vogt is a lifelong Jersey Girl, whose first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

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