Southern soul in Bayview
While Lou's Pier 47 can surely serve up a Hurricane faster than the Atlantic Ocean in August, Mardi Gras is a holiday best entrusted to the pros. For a truly Fat Tuesday, hit the Monte Carlo.Housed in a one-time carriage house retrofitted with purple leather booths and mirrored walls, The MC's a bouncin', Cajun-Creole restaurant/bar/community social club run by Gary and Theresa DeRouen -- Theresa being from New Iberia, Louisiana, a town whose bayou authenticity's only questioned by people from Old Iberia. The menu (available at lunch, or in hot app form 'til 12:30am) boasts Southern-soul classics like blackened catfish, gumbo, and pork-gravy-stuffed porkchops -- a piggy Russian-doll when gravy-stuffed-porkchops-stuffed-you waddles out to sleep in your car. Drink-wise, the house specialties are bloody marys and hurricanes, and the DJ's spin everything from Stevie Wonder, to some guy's cousin's never-released 1984 prototype of "Gwon, Back That Ass Up", to obscure Zydeco(TM) (consult your physician: Zydeco may be habit-forming; side effects include festive dancing and priapism).All day today, The Monte's got a $15 all-you-can-eat bon-temps buffet, including fried chicken and red beans & rice, plus beads and masks -- your wearing of which'll leave guests to ask, "Who was that masked pro who took down fifteen bowls of beans? Lou?"