By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You don’t need to go to New Orleans for a taste of Mardi Gras.  One “Fat Tuesday” celebration in center city Philadelphia was making the mouths of local celebrants water.

They flew in 300 pounds of crawdaddies from Louisiana for the celebration at Chris’ Jazz Café, in the 1400 block of Sansom Street.  Head chef Mark Brown (below left) cooks them up in a special brew.

“We start off with five gallons of beer, cajun seasoning, cracked black pepper…”

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(Chef Mark Brown and general manager Rob Cutler at Chris' Jazz Café. Credit: John McDevitt)


There’s a $30, all-you-can-eat crawfish special, traditional favorites such as gumbo, and Philly-inspired dishes like the crawdad cheesesteak.

There are drink specials, too, like the famous New Orleans “hurricane.”

And what’s a party without cake?

“We’re going to give out complementary ‘king cake,’ ” says general manager Rob Cutler.  “There is a small plastic baby baked inside.  Whoever finds the baby is dubbed king of Mardi Gras!  Last year it was one of our regulars.”

And there are free beads for all.