Are you ready for some football?
I know I am. As much as I enjoy the abundance of festivals in the spring and lazy days by the pool in the summer, weekends in New Orleans are just not the same without the Saints playing on Sundays. With pre-season already underway — the first home pre-season game takes place in the dome tonight, against the Jacksonville Jaguars — the countdown is on until Sunday, Sept. 9, when the Saints play the season opener against the Washington Redskins in the Dome.
For fellow diehards without season tickets, I recently discovered the ultimate game-day viewing experience. Manning’s, at 519 Fulton St. in the Warehouse District, is a restaurant/sports bar featuring local cuisine that spans the spectrum of comfort foods and tailgating classics. For a complete list of offerings, check out the menu here.
While the food is tasty and the atmosphere inviting, what sets Manning’s apart is the “End Zone,” an area featuring a 13-by-7.5-foot screen, stadium seating and even a sports anchor desk (perfect for photo ops). In addition to the End Zone experience, other features, including the 30 flat-screen TVs located throughout the restaurant, memorabilia from the famous Manning family, and French Quarter-style courtyard, cement this establishment’s status as a go-to place for New Orleans sports fans.
I met some friends at Manning’s recently to check out the happy hour and, of course, test out the stadium seating in front of the mega screen. The seats are made of plush leather and recline fully, providing an enjoyable viewing experience. We also took advantage of the happy hour special (two-for-one drinks and $5 appetizers).
While enjoying the first of my two-for-one glasses of Chardonnay, I sampled the Cochon de Lait “Poutine,” the Turnip Greens and Tasso Dip (both on special), and the Sweet Potato Skins. All items were flavorful and featured a sophisticated twist on typical sports bar/tailgating food. I particularly liked the Sweet Potato Skins, even though they were not on the happy hour special (I’m a sucker for anything with sweet potatoes).
I split three appetizers with a friend and enjoyed two glasses of wine for approximately $20 (well under the $30 limit for this column).
A joint venture between former Saints quarterback Archie Manning and Harrah’s Casino, it is obvious that this restaurant/sports bar understands the winning combination of a variety of experiences for the under-30 crowd – from after-work happy hours to watching the big game.
Megan Peck writes about entertainment options for the under-30 crowd for NolaVie.