NOLA, baby! (Thinkstock)
Ah, Thursday night — the only truly social night of the week. It’s the night when babysitters are booked, friends convene, and drinks are imbibed. There are no family obligations to fulfill, no amateurish weekend crowds to elbow through — and the possibilities are endless. The night starts after work and ends whenever you want. In any city. All over the world.
This week, we present the perfect Thursday night in New Orleans, La.
Brees is a spokesperson for Old Spice Re-fresh Body Spray — we think that would be the perfect Thursday-night-out scent. (Photo: PCN/Corbis)
Drew Brees lives, eats, and plays for New Orleans. When the Saints quarterback takes a break from the field, he’s enjoying the city’s streets and beats. Here’s how the Super Bowl champ does a night out in NOLA.
Jackson Square (Photo: Allen Brewer/Flickr)
5 p.m.: Brees suggests starting the nightat Jackson Square – in the heart of the French Quarter. The square is named after Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson, and a statue of (you guessed it!) Jackson is at the center. Brees likes to make his way to the foot of Saint Louis Cathedral. And there are other cool things to check out, too – like the plein air artist community. Nothing like history and art to kick off the night in this eclectic city.
Duck appetizer at Ye Old College Inn (Photo: Ye Olde College Inn)
6 p.m.: Head to Ye Old College Inn for some grub. Brees usually goes with his wife or a few of his Saints offensive linemen buddies. “It’s authentic New Orleans food on the healthier side,” says Brees. His favorite is the duck appetizer. “It’s not on the menu, but they always have it.” The redfish or black trout (with crab meat on top) are Brees’s go-to dishes, but if you’re splurging, he highly suggests the Chicken Fried Steak Po-Boy. “It’s the one place — and my favorite place — to get it. It’s the greatest thing in the world.”
Bustling Royal Street (Photo: Kent Kanouse/Flickr)
7:30 p.m.: Because New Orleans is more than just food, drinks, and jazz, a walk down Royal Street is a must. “It’s all antique shops and art shops. It gives you the vibe of the French Quarter.” Brees says it’s great for window shopping, but you’ll also want to go back for some retail therapy on the weekend. “Definitely go back there during the daytime,” recommends Brees. “You’re able to appreciate the architecture.”
Jazz at the Preservation Hall (Photo: Rickz/Flickr)
8 p.m.: After dining and strolling, it’s time to sing and dance off some calories at Preservation Hall. “Trombone Shorty is one of our local musicians who’s known around the country and the world. He’s one of our favorites,” says Brees. “If he’s playing, we want to go see him.” There are typically three performances — and it’s always a cool mix, since there’s no formal audition process to play at the venue. Instead, traditional Jazz musicians are invited to “rehearsal sessions” at the gallery to jam.
Cafe Au Lait and Beignets being served at Cafe Du Monde (Photo: Viewminder/Flickr)
10:30 p.m.: Before heading home, make your last stop of the night the original Café Du Monde for some of its famous beignets. It’s been in business since 1862 and is now, conveniently, open 24 hours a day. “That place is legendary,” says Brees, who estimates that he could down a dozen of its powdered sugar sweets with his wife. “That’s a good late night snack.”
Check out more Thursday night itineraries around the world!