Today is Ash Wednesday which means you may have missed Mardi Gras at Showboat casino in Atlantic City. If you did, make sure you're there next year. You’ll have all the fun of New Orleans minus the air travel bill.
The fun started the minute we walked in the door with friendly, courteous employees greeting us with "Happy Mardi Gras" or "Happy Fat Tuesday" and offering us Mardi Gras beads while telling us about the King Cake Eating Contest to come, as well as the great Mardi Gras food at the French Quarter Buffet.
The French Quarter Buffet was exactly as promised. It has great atmosphere, decorated like Old New Orleans, excellent service and the food was Mardi Gras delicious. There was so much. You couldn’t eat it all, but we sampled Cajun delights like Shrimp Étouffée, Gumbo and Po Boy Sandwiches. Everything was wonderful.
Soon, though, it was time for the big event of Mardi Gras at Showboat, the King Cake Eating Contest held in the famed Party Pit at the House of Blues. Thirteen of the world’s best eaters made the trip to Atlantic City to see if they could knock current champ Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti out of his long-held championship.
The festivities were opened by one of the contestants, Eric “Badlands” Booker from Queens. “Badlands” got everyone in the mood with a spirited rap beat.
The mood in the room was definitely party, some folks in full Mardi Gras regalia of green, purple and gold. A good time was on the way!
And then it was time to introduce the contestants. There were 13 professional eaters and two “amateurs,” one local man and a young lady whose name was pulled from the drum of applicants.
For the next eight minutes, the contestants shoveled, stuffed and forced the sweet, sugary king cakes down their throats. But in the end, it was Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti who prevailed. “Deep Dish” ate 12 king cake, breaking his own last year’s record. That’s 5.25 pounds of sugary, sweet iced cake worth 7800 calories if you’re counting.
Pat was in surprisingly good spirits after his win, saying he felt pretty good. Covered in red from his drink dribbling down his chin and hands, he hoisted the trophy high in the air once again. Sadly, he had to leave right away to catch a plane back to Chicago to be at work first thing Wednesday morning.
The three top contestants in the 2013 King Cake Eating Contest, who split $4,000 in prize money, are:
- 1st place Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti
- 2nd place Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas
- 3rd place Bob "Notorious B.O.B." Shoudt
It was over all too soon, but it was a great way to spend Mardi Gras.
If you love the culture of New Orleans, you can always find it at Showboat. Great music, delicious food and lots and lots of friendly people who provide first rate service will transport you to New Orleans any time you’d like. It's worth the drive and definitely cheaper than airfare.