Where Y'Eat: How the Saints Schedule Sets the Table for New Orleans Food

Oct 5, 2018

We all know that the way a Saints game ends can affect the tone of New Orleans life. Turns out the start of the game can have an impact too, and we’re seeing play out on the plate.

Just look at the Saints schedule. Between night games, late-afternoon starts and the bye week, the Black & Gold won’t kick off at noon again until Nov. 11.

Of course, to me the immediate take away from this is that we’ll have more time to eat. To a somewhat broader view, we get more time to make a day out of gameday.

You’ll see the impact in restaurants for sure. Sunday is ordinarily the big day for brunch, though the usual noon kick off plants a conflict right at prime time for poached eggs and pain perdu. For the next month-plus, however, that conflict is removed. Brunch spots should brace for the bump.

The biggest impact from all of this though may well be for Who Dats who cook and Who Dats who host. Saints gamedays are like holidays in many circles. 

The noon start can force the equivalent of a two-minute drill. You can prepare all you want in advance, but you still must execute while the clock is ticking. With these later afternoon and evening starts, maybe it’s time to haul out the cast iron, set up the smoker, break out the boiling rig or get a sack of oysters and limber up your shucking grip. It’s time to take some extra time.

As the gods of football, and our Saints in particular, insist on reminding us, there is no guarantee that a game’s outcome will make us happy. But the framework for coming together and reconnecting, the restorative moments of leisure and socializing when our friends and family are on the same page, this is how football ensures time well spent. New Orleans would not be New Orleans if food were not a central part of that.

And no matter what, when the Saints are on the field it’s a good idea to have food on hand. After all, if you’re going to make it through the season, you’ll need to bite into more than your nails.