Since that Vikings game was soaked in blowout juice, I thought, “what better time to jump from bar to bar to bar for a Saints247 column?” The answer, I told myself, was “there is never a better time.” So I punched the mirror (self high five) and cruised down Magazine Street. Here’s what happened.
Stop #1: The Bulldog
The crowd was a tad tardy but they made up for it by not being that loud and obnoxious. The same can’t be said for the staff here who insisted on playing the chorus of “Who Let the Dogs Out” every time the Saints scored. I’m all for traditions but I’m not all for the Baha Men.
The patio was pretty full and looked like a lot of fun but I have an intense fear of Game Glare which is a term I just made up for when you’re watching sports outside and have to keep shuffling around because the damn sun won’t chill out. The food choices here are surprisingly diverse, and of course the Bulldog has an extensive collection of beer on draft.
Here’s a tip, loyal reader: sign up for the draftfreak.com email newsletter then show your phone to the bartender and you’ll get two for one beers. I signed up in the bathroom then immediately cashed it in.
Stop #2: Rendezvous
A couple of years ago this place was probably kind of depressing to watch the game. Today though, there are TV’s all over the place, free food on the pool table and about 30 more people in the building than is probably legal. We didn’t stay here for too long but if you don’t mind crowds and you want to see every game at once then this (or Tracey’s) is the Garden District Magazine St. place for you.
Another tip, loyal reader: Don’t lean against the electronic “juke box” next to the door for too long because you’ll somehow replace the game audio with Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” and then everyone will get all pissed off. Okay, I admit, it was me.
Stop #3: The Balcony Bar
The Balcony Bar is somewhere in between Bulldog and Rendezvous both geographically and on the rankings. It has a kitchen upstairs, but less televisions. It’s not crowded but it’s not that crowded. Lots of open space here but a tad too smokey. $3 Crown Royal but not free Crown Royal.
We weren’t allowed to go to the second floor because there was a private party hogging all the food. The bartender insisted that we wait around for three o’clock though because then we could get food. It was 12:30.
Your third tip, loyal reader: Don’t let a bartender talk you into sticking around two and a half hours when you are surrounded by other restaurants within fifty feet.
Stop #4: Parasol’s
We didn’t think we were going to stick around here for long because, truth be told, we were in full “smoosh as many places together as we can” mode and it was on the way to Stop #5. That thought was backed up by everyone staring at us when we walked in saying things like “drink up” and “let me know when you want to order” and “yall ready to order yet?” and “you guys look thirsty.” My guess is it was the owner, kitchen manager, bar manager and accountant all hanging out together. Nevertheless, we felt bombarded and left after one series of downs.
Tip #4, my loyal reader friend: Get here early and make friends so you don’t get the stare down.
Stop #5: Garden District Pub
By the time we got here, Chase Daniel was working on his handoffs so it was a little dead. This spot was the narrowest of the bunch and had the least appealing television situation. I counted four regular screens, none of which you’d call a big screen. But they did have something called Taco Soup that was free and (apparently) delicious. I don’t think this is a bad place to watch the game, but if you come here you might want to not bring your entourage.