Americans might associate Mardi Gras with Bourbon Street, beads and vomit. However, New Orleans ain’t the only place to party on Fat Tuesday. Joining this week’s mass celebrations in Rio de Janeiro or the Mediterranean-nestled Nice, France, would be great, but you’re stuck in Snowville. Still, party internacional with these local bar specials.
5001 34th Av. S., Mpls. • 612-724-3009 • www. alventorestaurant.com
In lieu of flying to Italy for Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday in Italian, bro) swing through this Nokomis pasta den sans passport for a four-course prix fixe. Every Tuesday night Al Vento offers this date-night deal for just $20 per person. It beats begging for extra peanuts while some brat kicks the back of your seat for 12 hours.
237 E. 6th St., St. Paul • 651-221-0750 • www.thebulldoglowertown.com
Apparently the Belgians go big for Mardi Gras, too. In the smallish town of Binche, the centuries-old bash culminates with costumed dudes parading through the streets hurling oranges at onlookers. Rather than risk getting pelted with fruit, sip dollar-off Belgian brews at the Bulldog from 7 p.m. to close every Tuesday.
603 Washington Av. N., Mpls. • 612-259-7288 • www.smack-shack.com
If Nawlins has your Mardi Gras heart, grab a taste of the Big Easy in the North Loop. Smack Shack features a $7 Hurricane — a Bourbon Street staple — along with $2 taps, $4 rails, $5 select wines and $1-$6 eats during its 3-6 p.m. weekday happy hour (9 p.m. to close Sun.-Thu.). Enjoy this fruity rum bomb on Fat Tuesday without the puke puddles and nudity (we hope).