It’s time for the 3rd annual Downtown Cajun Cook-Off this Saturday, March 18, at Cathedral Square. If you ever attend one of these you won’t miss another. More than 20 teams will be cooking up a storm and competing for bragging rights while you, the ticket holder, get to reap the benefits — tasting their creations, listening to live music and enjoying a cold beverage.

The fun begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at www.cacmobile.org for $13 (advance) or $15 (day of the event). Grab an advance pair at Bugmaster locations, Mellow Mushroom (Midtown and Old Shell locations), and Moe’s Original Bar B Que downtown.

Proceeds will benefit the Child Advocacy Center. It’s a wonderful event and a great way to start your Saturday before you hit the next event (see below).

Callaghan’s starts the party Friday
What would St. Paddy’s Day be without a little bit of Callaghan’s in your life? Of course Callaghan’s is famous for its burgers but may be more famous for its annual street party!

This year the fun begins Friday night with live music from Peek and the Modern Eldorados. The gloves come off Saturday afternoon with live music all day. You may have to fight your way through the streets to get to the front door. Hey, it’ll be worth it. Make sure you get in the picture. Check out other St. Paddy’s events in this week’s music feature.

Bun-D opens downtown
I’ve had friends try these restaurants overseas, but Mobile is the first city in the Southeast U.S. to have its own Bun-D. Located at 1 S. Royal St. in the old Compass Bank Building, this sure-to-be hotspot is famous for its smoothies, salads, pitas and breakfast items.

Keep an eye on this one.

Thanks, Sip and Chew
If you’re looking to hear the local food news live, raw and unfiltered, look no further than “Sip and Chew with Mike and Stu” on WNSP 106.5 FM Sunday mornings at 8 a.m.

This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to be a guest on this show, as our pal Stu was enjoying some much-needed R&R on a camping trip. Nothing on air is more thrilling than live call-ins, and at some point our conversation turned to local oysters.

There seemed to be some concern as to why they are more expensive and harder to come by than other oysters. The short answer to this two-parter is a) they are in big demand because they are spectacular and b) people outside of our area are paying more for them than we would.

Just a few hours later, I ran into Bob and Hunter Omainsky of Wintzell’s Oyster House who confirmed my point. It seems the Mardi Gras season put a damper on them getting premium local oysters but the highly coveted jewels of our coastline will be back on the menu shortly. I’ll shout it from the rooftops as soon as I know we can have these daily.

I’m proud so many are coming here in search of oysters, but don’t make me catch a ride out of state to get them. Save some for us!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Happy Birthday, Catmac!

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