New Mardi Gras Pop-up at Craftsman Row Brings a Taste of New Orleans to Philly

-Brenda Hillegas

Starting today, you can enjoy a taste of NOLA at Craftsman Row Saloon! Now through Fat Tuesday (March 1st), experience the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans without even heading to Bourbon Street! Craftsman Row owners George and Vasiliki Tsiouris will transport guests to The Big Easy as the entire bar is made over in gold, green and purple decorations! Look for beads, feathers, masks and more everywhere!

First up- a round of drinks! My first trip to New Orlean’s included a beeline right to Pat O’Brien’s for a classic New Orleans rum drink, The Hurricane! Of course, you can get that here too and it comes with a mask! Kait got the smudge kit margarita!

There are some big Louisiana tastes on the appetizer menu too. We tried the King Cake Fries which are fun and festive, and the Dirty Rice which was incredible!

Craftsman Row is also known for some unique sandwiches like the French Toast Burger or the Mozzarella Stick Grilled Cheese. It’s hard to choose because they’re all so comforting! For the NOLA menu, you can get a Big Easy Burger topped with Old Bay fries and bourbon salted fried shrimp! Or the South Philly Muffuletta which is a popular sandwich in New Orleans. We opted instead for the Salmon BLT and the Hot Honey Chicken Mac (with sriracha honey and mac & cheese). Delicious!

By then, we definitely needed another drink. The Mardi Gras themed cocktails at Craftsman Row are awesome! It was tough to decide on these, but for our second (and final!) round, we went with the Who Dat Martini (vodka, blackberry, elderflower and lemon) and the Cereal Milk Punch (with bourbon and actual cereal). There are seven cocktails on this limited menu, but no matter what you end up with, you’ll feel like you were whisked away to the French Quarter!

Did we get a milkshake to wrap up the evening in New Orleans? You bet we did! Craftsman Row has epic milkshakes and created one specifically for this occasion! The King of Bourbon Street includes a slice of real king cake on top- of course- and in the shake you’ll find white chocolate, cinnamon, powdered donut, caramel drizzle, beads and festive sprinkles. We also tried the Brotherly Love which highlights some of Pennsylvania’s favorite treats- Hershey’s chocolate, an Amish soft pretzel, Peanut Chews and Tasty Cakes!

And yes…there are plenty of beads to take home! You earned them.

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