It seems 2016 has barely started but already it’s flying by. Mardi Gras is coming up Tuesday, although the parades and other celebrations start well before the actual day — on Jan. 6, or Twelfth Night, the 12th day of Christmas.
“Mardi Gras” translates to “fat Tuesday.” There are a couple of theories regarding the origin of the term, one being that since Lent starts the following day, in the era before refrigeration, cooks would use up all of their butter and other fats that day. The other theory is that the fact that the austerity of Lent was impending led people to celebrate by eating to excess on Tuesday, which probably is more likely.
At any rate, I asked readers last week to let me know of local businesses that would be offering King Cake, a New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition, or paczki, a Polish-American one, on the purple-green-and-gold day. And as usual, they came through.
Kristine Segura, Ann Brown and Caron Borgeson all said Freed’s Bakery, 9815 S. Eastern Ave., would be carrying it. A visit to the company’s website revealed that the cakes will be available in two sizes and three flavors (almond, cinnamon-sugar and sweet cheese) from Thursday through Tuesday, although Freed’s is taking orders now. And you can get it with a plastic baby, without one or with the baby packed separately. Tradition has it that the person who gets the plastic baby, which represents the Christ child, in their piece of cake has to buy the next one. Call Freed’s at 702-456-7762.
Borgeson also said the buffet at The Orleans, 4500 Las Vegas Blvd. South, serves King Cake on Mardi Gras. It’ll be available at lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
As for paczki: They’re basically rich doughnuts similar to the Hawaiian malasada, although maybe a little bigger. John Graham emailed that the Polish Deli, 5900 W. Charleston Blvd., home of “the best selection of Polish items in town, including many fresh-made deli-case items,” would be making them. A check revealed that four flavors will be available Thursday and Tuesday. Call 702-259-2008.
Openings and closings
Brown reported the closing of Sedona Restaurant & Lounge, 4580 W. Flamingo Road. I’m told it’s going to be a Sierra Gold, which will open sometime this summer.
The popular downtown lunch spot La Piazza, 1000 S. Main St., has announced that it will close Monday, and that management is looking for a new location.
And some of you may have noticed work going on at 5780 W. Flamingo Road. Ground was broken last week for a new location for Nora’s Italian Cuisine, currently at 6020 W. Flamingo Road. What looks, in the rendering, like a big, gorgeous building is expected to be completed in August.
Andrea Dolan is looking for a local source for skate wing.
Kathy Stambaugh is looking for an artificial sweetener similar to Sweet 10 or Sweet ‘n Low, and Blackburn butter-pecan syrup, or another brand.
Judy Shiffman is looking for Vernors Diet Ginger Ale, which she used to get at Vons, Albertsons and Smith’s.
Jim Guynup is looking for Jell-O or Royal brand custard mix for pies, and Product 19 cereal.
And Bette Stahl is looking for a local source for pineapple preserves, preferably in the area around the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Submit information to Heidi Knapp Rinella, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070. You also can send faxes to 702-383-4676 or email her at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. If emailing, please put “Taste of the Town” in the subject line. Find more of her stories at www.reviewjournal.com, and follow @HKRinella on Twitter.