We sat around our radios. We combed Facebook. We called and texted our friends. What could the big announcement be? Why are they announcing it while I am still at work? Unless you have been living under a media rock, Mobile will soon have its inaugural Downtown Cajun cook-off presented by Cunningham Bounds.

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, tasso maq choux, boudin balls and crab bisque are just some of the many Cajun offerings you will be sampling Saturday, March 21. The event will be held at Cathedral Square from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will feature 22 teams from downtown’s local restaurants cranking out the good stuff while event goers sample the creations and enjoy live music from the Bud Light Zydeco stage.

Tickets are only $10 in advance, $15 day of event and will benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Mobile. Pick yours up at the Child Advocacy Center at 1351 Springhill Ave., Mellow Mushroom at the Loop, Mellow Mushroom at University and Old Shell, or the West Mobile and Daphne locations of Bugmaster.

Live music, cold drinks and plenty of roux-containing dishes sounds like a recipe for fun. At the very least it is a great way to start a morning. If you don’t see me there call the jails and hospitals. Visit www.cacmobile.org for an in depth look.

Frios comes to Mobile in time for Mardi Gras
I first tried Gadsden-based Frios Gourmet Pops at the Windmill Market in Fairhope. It was love at first bite. I fancy myself a snow cone man, but these frozen treats could make me change my mind. The variety of flavors is very original and they have found their home on that side of the bay with an actual storefront and a walkup window from Equality Street. They can also be found at Lulu’s Homeport Marina.

I’ve written about them before, and how they use the freshest ingredients possible from local farms. The pop flavor availabilities depend on the season. Fresh peach and blueberry pomegranate are only available in the summer months. Cranberry orange and caramel apple only appear in the fall. Gingersnap, blood orange, and grapefruit jalapeno are a few to look forward to in the winter. But some are readily available all year round, like cereal and milk. I may be wrong but I think they get their Fruit Loops from a Fruit Loop farm in Irvington.

By popular demand Frios has made its way across the bay and has opened shop not with a bang, but a whimper in Dauphin Street’s Urban Emporium. The December soft opening has been well received and an official grand opening is slated for Thursday, Jan. 22. The Mobile outfit will also feature a freezer cart for events about town. Just in time for Mardi Gras and Senior Bowl you could be seeing these at your next barn party, corporate events, weddings, funerals, who knows!

Contact the Urban Emporium at 251-441-8044 or Kari Benson at 251-581-1909 for availability. Be sure to check out www.friospops.com for more information.

Date set for final wine dinner at Italian Fisherman
Last issue we told you the sad news of the Italian Fisherman scheduling to close the doors for public dining after the Feb. 14 dinner service. Chef John Weichman’s story also features heavily in this week’s cover story. His final wine dinner is set for Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. For this “Swan Song” event, think of a menu loaded with seafood, beef, truffles, and caviar for starters.

The four course meal will be accompanied by four wines from the Terr D’Oro winery, part of the Trinchero Family Estates wine portfolio. Price is $60 per person, prepaid. I am certain Chef John will go all out on this one.

Also, New Orleans famed pianist Ronnie Cole is honoring the restaurant with one more performance, slated for Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Call 251-478-2881 for reservations.

Won’t be long until West Mobile has Moe’s Original BBQ
Progress is coming along and things are looking close. Facebook buzz suggests we are creeping up on an opening date for the new Moe’s BBQ near the intersection of Airport and University boulevards. Fans of the popular sauce and sides are sure to use this one as a getaway from the downtown area once the Mardi Gras mayhem sets in.

moes

Located near Diamond’s Gentlemen’s Club and Mosley’s Meat Market, the worry is whether or not Moe’s can have better luck in this locale than did Big Al’s Barbecue and Little Dick Russell’s. I don’t think they will have a problem with the loyal fans they already have. We will let you know of an exact opening date as soon as we hear something.
Get ready for that first parade and recycle those beads!