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Mardi Gras Café and Market
3185 Midway Drive, Loma Portal
619-223-5501

If you know what it means to miss New Orleans, this deli serves Louisiana cooking and sells the ingredients. The shelves are piled high with Camellia brand red beans, Café Du Monde beignet mix, several brands of crawfish boil, King Cake mix, and even Savoie's bottled ready-made roux, the browned-flour-and-oil mixture that's indispensable in this cuisine and requires long, intensive care to make from scratch. The freezer case is filled with shelled crawfish tails, Cajun andouille, tasso, and alligator chaurice -- and best of all, the rare and seriously addictive, Avery Island-style Cajun boudin blanc: a fat, white, delicate-but-spicy rice sausage that you hardly ever see anywhere north of Lafayette or west of Opelousas.

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