My very first visit to “Sin City” of the South, AKA, New Orleans for NBA All Star 2014 weekend was full of firsts. In a city where its perfectly normal to roam the streets with a beer bottle or hand grenade (the cocktail not the weapon), it’s no surprise I sinned. Things started, like most of my travel adventures, in the backseat of a cab. If we’d been playing a drinking game, where I chugged a shot every-time my driver told me he was working hard to feed his five children, I would have been hammered before we exited the airport!
Now, my last few cab adventures in Chicago and Detroit, have been more worthy of storytelling, so I was grateful for a relatively uneventful trip to the Intercontinental New Orleans on St. Charles street. After a short version of musical rooms, I dropped off my luggage and headed out to explore the city. Actually, my exploration turned into a walk to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in search of media credentials. Three miles logged on my brand new Asics, and I’d accomplished nothing, because I needed to be at the convention center.
New Orleans NBA All Star 2014 Weekend
Be careful about asking “locals” for information, a very friendly person told me the convention center is next to the Superdome, it’s not.
So, a smart person would have stopped and had some lunch, but I couldn’t talk myself into Jimmy John’s or Jamba Juice, when New Orleans is supposed to have food so good you want to slap yo’ mama. Returning to my first New Orleans NBA All Star 2014 mission, I found the convention center, scored my NBA Jam Session media credentials, and picked up a lunch suggestion from a local (Peche Seafood Grill).
Walking into Peche Seafood Grill, I felt like I was in Charleston, SC. Exposed beams, concrete floor, and custom wood benches gives the place a relaxed southern ambiance perfect for enjoying fresh seafood. The royal red shrimp, grilled in garlic butter from Peche were large and delicious, but the hushpuppies were AH-mazing! I never use butter, NEVER, but the herbed butter together with the combination of corn meal, herbs and green onions equal heaven in your mouth.
After a meal like that I headed back to the room and napped of course, to stockpile some energy before our Crown Royal whisky tasting that evening with Robert Sickler.
So here’s my confession: I never made it to Bourbon Street, three full days in NOLA, and my feet never graced the storied sidewalks of Bourbon Street. Next, I didn’t order a Hurricane or a Hand Grenade during my visit, and last, not once did I walk anywhere while enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Oh and eating shrimp and hushpuppies as yummy as the ones at Peche, definitely counts as sinful!
See, the thing is, the wonderful folks with Diageo and Crown Royal, kept us so busy from Friday evening until Monday morning, partying like VIPs, that I didn’t need to experience Bourbon Street. Stay tuned to read more about the fun I had with the Crown Royal Center Court crew, #ReignOn.