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Wochit

Whereas we’re greater than 1,000 miles away from subsequent week’s main Mardi Gras celebrations, we are able to get a style of the Carnival cookery proper right here in Central Jersey. 

With menus chock filled with Cajun delights, an genuine Mardi Gras meal might be had for a few doubloons — and perhaps a handful of beads.    

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Nauti Cajun Crab, Metuchen

Brainchild of husband and spouse Ryan and Jenny Mai, the Nauti Cajun Crab opened in October and rapidly has developed a following looking forward to freshly ready seafood and sauces.

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READ: Nauti Cajun Crab brings ‘Viet-Cajun’ flavors to Metuchen

The eatery combines the essence of New Orleans Cajun with Vietnamese fare, creating what Ryan Mai phrases “Viet-Cajun.” They specialize in seafood boil buckets and their very own “secret recipe” Nauti Cajun seasoning.

There are specific a la carte dishes, comparable to garlic noodles and stir fried shrimp, that Mai stresses complement the boils and stand on their very own with equal aplomb. Mai additionally recommends the Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos, with crispy wings — spicy soy garlic, honey buffalo, bare or garlic butter — for starters. As an a la carte entree, the Seafood Fried Rice has “all the things in there,” he mentioned — lobster, shrimp, king crab, Dungeness, snow crab meats, mussels, eggs and blended greens.

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Go: 7 New St., Metuchen; 848-229-2956; nauticajuncrab.com

The Cajun Crab Louisiana Seafood Restuarant, North Plainfield

The Cajun Crab Louisiana Seafood Restaurant delivers up a menu able to please these in search of a Mardi Gras meal. 

This genuine Louisiana restaurant has been serving up contemporary seafood to rave opinions since its opening in late 2018. Whereas the eatery affords a big selection of genuine Louisiana seafood entrees, comparable to fried flounder, clams and Cajun fries, the majority of the menu is ready up as a seafood boil — your contemporary catch is boiled, then tossed with considered one of their signature seasonings earlier than being served. Add in your favourite seafood choices, comparable to crawfish, lobster tails, snow crab legs and clams. 

Go: 789 Route 22, North Plainfield; 908-822-8888, cajuncrabonline.com

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Seafood Boil, North Brunswick and Dunellen

Not for individuals who aren’t afraid to be one with their meals, the slogan of those Louisiana Cajun-style seafood eating places is, “Are you able to get your arms soiled?” Very similar to a Mardi Gras parade down St. Charles Avenue, that is an interactive occasion. Plastic gloves and bibs can be found — you will have them as you dive into the lobster, crab, crawfish, mussel or shrimp boil or mixture of the choices.

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Decide your taste of signature seasonings — Cajun, garlic, lemon pepper or the ever-popular Increase, which is a combo of all three — and your spicy issue — gentle, medium, spicy or “burn your head.” Then, get able to let your flambeaux flag fly! The boils, whether or not steamed or boiled, include corn and potatoes in a plastic bag inside a bucket.

Go: 787 Shoppes Boulevard, North Brunswick; 732-658-6648 and 201 North Avenue, Dunellen; 732-424-7988, seafoodboil.net

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Delta’s, New Brunswick

With Southern delicacies and cocktails at the beginning, Delta’s provides you a style of The Huge Straightforward with its beneficiant dose of Cajun spice. A Southern and soul meals feast within the coronary heart of Central Jersey, Delta’s affords dishes comparable to like gumbo and Cajun calamari. There’s undoubtedly Mardi Gras magic within the air at Delta’s with their conventional and not-so-traditional Southern delicacies, inventive cocktails and stay music in a heat and welcoming environment. 

Go: 19 Dennis Road; 732-249-1551, deltasrestaurant.com

Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar, Union

The primary Hook & Reel Restaurant was opened in Lanham, Maryland, in 2013. Now, 22 Hook & Reels — with greater than 50 on the way in which — share the unique eatery’s spin on seafood with a Southern aptitude.

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Hook & Reel affords contemporary seafood, doused in a mixture of contemporary garlic, lemon pepper, herbs, spices and chili powder. Diners can select from a choice of meat, seafood, greens for a seafood boil or determine upon a combo, basket, sliders or rolls. The menu additionally options Po’ Boy sandwiches and Cajun fries.

Go: 965 Jefferson Ave.; 908-258-8828, https://hookreel.com/. Linden coming quickly.

e-mail: cmakin@gannettnj.com

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Cheryl Makin is a options reporter for MyCentralJersey.com. To get limitless entry to her award-winning work, please subscribe or activate your digital account today

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