Sports Illustrated football guru and frequent-butt-of-jokes Peter King was in New Orleans last week for the Saints' Monday Night Football game. He gave a brief recap of his trip in this week's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, his sprawling online coverage of the NFL as well as whatever the hell else he feels like writing about. Because who wouldn't want to read a sports writer's travel notes?
Ostensibly in town to cover the game and talk to former Saints player Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease earlier this year, King instead devoted significant space to musing on the city itself. He was especially smitten with Cochon, which he described somewhat dimly as being a "fixture known for its interesting fare," along with nearby breweries Tin Roof and Lazy Magnolia. The man likes his beer.
But there's more than that. Here's what King had to say, in full:
Ever notice going to New Orleans is like going to a foreign country?
I mean, in a very good way.
Had the good fortune last Monday of going to New Orleans and spending some time with Steve Gleason, the former Saint now suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. We ate lunch at a place called Cochon, a New Orleans fixture for its interesting fare. I noticed that all four beers on tap were local, including the Tin Roof Brewery's Voodoo Bengal brew; nine of the 18 beers in bottles were locals, including Lazy Magnolia Pecan Ale. On the table that afternoon: fried rabbit livers, fried alligator and creamy grits. We passed on the shaved hog head with beets.
The bars and restaurants in the French Quarter are more Americanized, but it's still one of the most walkable American cities, alive from late morning to early morning. Never fails that when I go to the city I feel as though I'm in a European city as much as an American one. The narrow streets, the city dwellings, the strong local accents.
Walking the 10 blocks to the Superdome, beer was sold on the sidewalk and enjoyed by those walking to the game.
I don't remember the last bad day I had in New Orleans. I don't think there's ever been one.