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Table Talk

Table Talk: February 16–22

This week: Mardi Gras celebrations and the pasta that's breaking the internet

By Megan Dollar

Feb 16 2021 at 8 a.m.

A piece of King's Cake
Photo courtesy ShutterstockKing's Cake is an icon of Mardi Gras

Where to Get a King's Cake

One of the most important dishes of Mardi Gras is the King’s Cake. In the U.S. a King’s Cake is made from a cinnamon roll-like dough and topped with sticky icing and typically covered in purple, green and gold sprinkles. Find the plastic baby inside and you’ll have a prosperous year ahead of you. King’s Cakes can be found at a few places in Springfield including Hy-Vee Bakery, Supreme Kringle Bakery and Bourbon and Beale

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Mardi Gras Specials

Bourbon and Beale is one of few Cajun restaurants in 417-land, so it should probably be at the top of your Mardi Gras list. They’re offering specials in-store and for pick-up that range from Hurricane (the cocktail) buckets to crawfish boil spreads and King Cake directly from a world famous bakery in New Orleans (Gambino’s Bakery). They’ll also have specials running on their regular, creole and cajun flavored menu.

Lindberg’s Tavern isn’t a cajun restaurant, but they do make good food. For the past week, they’ve been whipping up creole specials like chicken sausage gumbo, cajun bloody marys and lots of andouille sausage. Head over to the spot on Commercial Street for your Fat Tuesday delights.

Van Gogh’s Eeterie is another Commercial Street spot serving Mardi Gras specials. There, you can fill up on New Orleans inspired cocktails like the Mardi Gras Kiss (pineapple juice, amaretto, rum and simple syrup) and the Voodoo Zombie (white and dark rum, orange juice and cherry syrup) or with a sweet or savory Mardi Gras-inspired dutch pancake. 

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Mardi Gras → Lent → Fish Fridays

Many folks opt to abstain from eating warm-blooded animal products on Fridays during the Lenten holidays. Cold-blooded animals, however, are more than welcome, which is why Fish Fridays have become so popular during the holiday season. Here are six places you can grab a fishy treat in 417-land this Lent season. That’s one for every week of Lent!

Springfield Brewing Company, Springfield
Fish and chips, house-brewed beer battered cod served with house-made slaw and hand-cut fries 
Fried catfish, cornmeal battered and fried, served with smoked cheddar hushpuppies

Farmers Gastropub, Springfield
Fish and chips, battered Icelandic cod served with fries and garden or mushy peas
Pan seared cod, served with champ mashed potatoes, cabbage and bacon
Dukkah Salmon Salad, Egyptian-spiced salmon served over greens with marinated red onion, feta, kalamata olives and a lemon vinaigrette

Dublin’s Pass, Springfield

Guinness fish and chips, served with pub fries, fresh coleslaw and malt vinegar
Panko-fried shrimp, served with fries house-made cocktail sauce

Downing Street Pour House, Springfield and Hollister
Fish and chips, pacific cod served with fires, tartar sauce and mushy peas

Blackstone Gastropub, Joplin
Fried cod sandwich, beer-battered cod served on a toasted hoagie with brussels sprout slaw and remoulade
Fish and chips, beer-battered cod served with house-cut fries and brussels sprout slaw
Seared salmon, served with house-made potato gnocchi, pesto cream and charred onion bruschetta

Civil Kitchen, Springfield
Panko fish sandwich, panko-breaded white fish garnished with pepperoncini and lemon tartar sauce and field greens tossed in an orange vinaigrette
Fresh Atlantic salmon, pan seared salmon served with fresh fruit pico, parmesan broccoli and roasted potatoes

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The Pasta That's Breaking the Internet

Have you heard about baked feta pasta? Sometime in late January or early February, baked feta pasta was introduced on TikTok and it’s been a viral sensation ever since. The recipe is simple: cherry tomatoes, a block of feta cheese, a glug of olive oil and a few seasonings of your choice (basil and red pepper flakes seem to be the most common). Personally, I have yet to try the feta version itself, but I have tried a rendition of the dish that opts for the creamier goat cheese and, let me tell you, it’s delicious. All you have to do is grab a casserole or Pyrex baking dish, toss in some cherry tomatoes, a block of feta or goat cheese, some olive oil and spices, and bake it all at 350 or so for about half an hour. Once the cheese is melty and the tomatoes are blistered, mash it all up to combine and toss in the pasta of your choice. Voila! I used this recipe, which I found on Instagram because I do not currently possess the skills to be an efficient TikTok user. Whichever recipe or rendition you choose, this dish is a delicious, easy to make, cold weather winner. 

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