Thursday, February 10, 2011

Da Fair Grounds

Dear Male Readers,

Please brace yourself for this shocking revelation: Football season is... gulp... over.

We have entered this dreaded spring and summer doldrums when no longer is there an excuse to lay around the couch all day Saturday listening to Lou Holtz's incessant blatherings on how Notre Dame is finally going to turn it around this season. No more Sunday fun days consisting of hours upon hours of listening to "Stand Up and Get Crunk" and following Rene's Saints gameday emotional highs and lows on Twitter. The only pig skin that you will be seeing for the foreseeable future is on the table at Cochon.

So what's a guy to do with all of this free time?  Wouldn't it be great if there was a special place where one can spend an entire afternoon drinking beer, analyzing data like Beyer speed figures and the effect of equine bowel movements on velocity, and engaging in 90 second episodes of pari-mutuel wagering.

Welcome to the Fair Grounds, one of the most underutilized forms of entertainment in New Orleans. On a typical day, the racetrack is home to more characters than Sesame Street and Bourbon Street combined. Well-heeled women in fancy hats, "experts" pouring over their daily racing forms, and the local riff-raff betting every 10 cent superfecta possible except for the one that actually hits. No betting strategy is frowned upon, whether it be the young girl who picks her horses by name or the long shot specialist who whole-heartedly believes that the #4 horse in the 6th is due for a good run, even though that gelding is one race away from the glue factory.

But the hottest tip at the Fair Grounds is found at the concession stand, where the corned beef po-boy has been a consistent winner for a number of years. The thick-sliced corned beef is tender and has the perfect amount of fattiness. The slices are piled high on french bread which just begs to be slathered with at least 4 packets of Gulden's spicy brown mustard. And at the $7.50 price tag, you will have enough change to order the bread pudding for dessert, making for a daily double that always pays out big.


Meghan said...

I always have fun at the fair grounds but I'm pretty sure the corned beef po-boy is the only good thing on the menu. Everything else I've had is pretty terrible. Salad? Awful. Appetizer pizza? Edible but with some of the driest pieces of chicken I've ever seen. I wish they could step up their game.

Becky said...

Don't forget the oysters.

Tdubya said...

This was definitely written by a New Orleanian who's been around the track!

Danny said...

Great comments. The Fair Grounds is listening and with the success of Taceaux Loceaux and the new food trucks at Starlight Racing nights, the food continues to improve.