A Mardi Gras-Ready Grocery Store

February 23, 2020

A Mardi Gras-Ready Grocery Store


It’s so much fun to go to different parts of the country—and revel in the regional differences. Our Gumbo Cove hideaway in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi is only 6 hours away from the Northwest Houston area where we live, but it seems like a whole new world in some ways.

We were in Bay St. Louis earlier this month, and the run-up to Mardi Gras was evident everywhere. Folks were lining the main street on a gloomy and very wet day to watch a parade that we were sure would be rained out. That’s how much we city slickers know about parades and Krewes and the people of Bay St. Louis and Waveland! The show did go on, and the Shoofly Magazine has the photos from Lionel Haynes, Jr. to prove it; a few of his shots are below.

Unlike these intrepid party people, we weren’t prepared for a parade in the rain, but we will be next time now that we know how this stuff works! Our mission that rainy day was to get grits at the grocery store to go with the shrimp we had picked up at Kimball’s Seafood the day before. The shrimp and grits was to be our reward for a day full of little fix-it chores that had piled up. I’ll share the recipe another time, once I’ve written it down. The Grill-Meister says I’ve perfected it, so I need to remember what I did!

Blue sign that says "live crabs and shrimp"
Kimball’s had the shrimp, now we needed the grits

So, with the grits in mind, we took the detour around the folks who were gathering for the parade and made our way to the grocery store, which is in neighboring Waveland. Claiborne Hill Supermarket had everything we needed, plus a coastal-Mississippi-right-before-Mardi-Gras culinary cultural tour. Check it out:

I had such a good time taking it all in, and nice conversations with folks who wondered why I was taking pictures of the goods. One lady really got it, saying: “I know, I just moved down from Montana and it’s sure not like this there!”

It’s not that we don’t have some of these items in Houston, or that we don’t do Mardi Gras or have seafood boils, it’s just that there isn’t such a joyful focus on them. That’s why I’m sharing these photos with you. Happy Mardi Gras, and be safe!

Oh, and if you’re in the mood for a seafood boil but have never done it, we’ve gotcha covered! There’s a recipe right here in Glover Gardens.

11 thoughts on “A Mardi Gras-Ready Grocery Store”

  • This post a) made me hungry and b) reminded me that I need to place an order with Cajun Grocer. We don’t get very many flavors of Zapps Potato Chips out here on the West Coast. We’re lucky if we can find Voodoo.

  • I love how y’all are Lovin’ it!
    Very reminiscent of my 1st first into a place that felt like a foreign country…..with DRIVE THRU DAIQUIRIS…..and the most vibrant culture, music, food I’d encountered since living south of the border.
    Claiborne also has some other crazy, wondrous items. We bought chicken feed, frog legs, crab traps and organic local mirlitons or satsumas there. Handmade soaps, candles and honey made by the owner’s extended family. They have their own farms, chickens with fresh eggs, hives…..very cool.
    That location sat destroyed after Katrina for 8 or so years…..never flooded before. About 12-18 ft of water there. Y’all probably saw far more. We had at least 29-34ft at our home.
    We were all thrilled when Claiborne, a local family, opened.
    Happy MG & Fat Tuesday!

    • Wow, what a great response. I’ve learned so much just from your one paragraph. I had no idea that there were family farms, although I definitely got the family-owned business vibe. Do you cook frog legs?

      I was freaked out about drive through daiquiris the first time I saw them, too. Say what???

      Thanks for the color and context you add to these posts. You rock! Guest blogger?

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