It’s Fat Tuesday, y’all! Which means it’s traditionally the last day of eating meat and fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lent season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday, as Bay Area Bites explains in detail here, marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day countdown to Easter that was a time of great austerity at the table.

And while all the big celebrations in San Francisco are happening tonight in the Fillmore, you can also stay in the Tenderloin and simply celebrate with some good old creole classics at Brenda’s French Soul Food. Today she’ll be serving her usual breakfast/lunch menu, including favorites such as hangtown fry, chicken, sausage and okra gumbo, caftish poboys or her famous crawfish beignets.

As you know, Brenda’s is in the process of expanding after taking over the space next door where a laundromat had been, so since last Friday she’s now also serving dinner from 5 to 10pm. Her plan is to be closed Sunday–Tuesday evenings, but of course she’s making an exception tonight. The brand new dinner menu includes several oyster dishes, crawfish croquettes, molasses grilled pork chops, and of course fried chicken. Additionally, today’s Mardi Gras offerings are bananas foster french toast (breakfast/lunch only), jambalaya with smothered green beans and for dessert tonight chocolate chip banana bread pudding with bourbon walnut sauce. Yum.

Additionally, you can also go get some of the Fat Tuesday specials at Morty’s Deli on Golden Gate, namely $3 gumbos or $5 Catfish Po’ Boys, as well as $3 Back in Black drafts from 21st Amendment from noon to 5pm (although they’re open until 8pm).

Oh, and let’s not forget that this year’s Mardi Gras coincides with International Women’s Day, which is also celebrating its 100th anniversary. So ladies, make sure you really enjoy Mardi Gras today, and if you go to Brenda’s wish her a Happy Women’s Day. And yeah, also have a little pride when it comes to the whole bead collection flash this year.) Although I’m realizing the only thing anyone probably noticed in these last three sentences was “Mardi Gras” and that “it” is missing a “t”. You’re all degenerates, you know…

Photo of Brenda’s beignets by Moka!, from The Tender’s Flickr pool