Let’s be clear: Saints games are not for the faint of heart. Figuratively, and certainly not literally. It is so much better then, to have some company to share your edge-of-the-seat angst.
For this reason, I maintain that Vitascope Hall at the Hyatt is the next-best place to see a Saints game besides the dome or your own large home party. My daughter remains unconvinced of this, but I get ahead of the story. ML had two cakes for delivery yesterday. One was for a child’s birthday party (pictured- link below, if you will permit a Mom bragging rights) and the other a bridal shower. I assisted in these deliveries, so we decided to see the Saints game somewhere together.
She is less a fan of Vitascope than I, so we went to Copper Vine Wine Pub, stopping in first at NOPSI’s outdoor patio. Utterly deserted, as was Copper Vine. And the streets. Very quiet. Even the Who Dat Nation.
We went upstairs at Copper Vine, where they were still reeling from the pre-game patrons. One table in the corner was occupied, every other one needed bussing. They soon sat us and we ordered a smoked chicken club and a duck gumbo, two things we have enjoyed here in the past. Vintage Rock Club next door was indeed rocking, and the audio from their feed was a few minutes earlier, so it was like a premonition of things to come. And the blare from the Who Dat Nation across the street was a minute before that one. So I could go out to the balcony and revisit good plays in multiple or have fair warning what was coming if it was bad.
The sandwich came and it was fine but had less of all the ingredients that I remembered from before. The housemade chips that came with it were crunchy, golden brown, and perfect except for an unusual taste that was perky. Like maybe they were dropped into malt vinegar before frying? Definitely unusual. Not actually bad, just unexpected. I also thought I remembered when they first opened that they were doing fresh-cut fries. These clearly weren’t. That's an interesting phenomenon I'll have to ask a chef one day. If you are going through the trouble to make housemade chips, why are the fries not fresh-cut? The gumbo was completely different. I asked the waiter if there had been a chef change. He was new so I asked the manager, who told me only the sous was different.
When the waiter came back to refill our tea he told me they had comped the bill. I was embarrassed to ask to see him again. My questions were merely questions rather than complaints. And we ate the sandwich. Besides, our waiter was very attentive. I needed a bill to tip him.
Meanwhile, the other table had definitely partaken of the bottomless mimosa offer here, and one of the guys at the sole other table had condensed his vocabulary to only one four-letter word beginning with “F”. It was generic and applied across the board as the seesaw of a game alternated between great heights and depths, often within minutes. Good times brought him to our table for high fives, bad ones brought out the word so loud we jumped.
One of the reasons we chose Copper Vine was the outside balcony, where I often went to check on happenings in the Who Dat Nation. Very Quiet. The only excitement was some drunk women on the balcony at Vintage Rock.
Copper Vine is more of a wine place. A Saints game needs beer. Lots of it. And people. I go back to my firm belief that if you’re not at a big home party or at the game itself, the best place to watch a Saints game remains Vitascope Hall. Or Barcadia, which we discovered had a street party. But only as we got to our car.
Copper Vine Wine Pub
1001 Poydras New Orleans