An All-Star Weekend Guide To New Orleans From Pelicans Players Themselves

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New Orleans is famous for a lot of things, including the following four B’s: Bourbon Street, booze, beignets, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. But this year we’ll have to add a fifth: basketball, as the 2017 All-Star Weekend comes to the crescent city.

But if all you know about NOLA is the sports teams who play there and Mardi Gras seems like a fun time (this could enter another “b” word on the list, but more on that later), you could probably use some help should you decide to make the trip to New Orleans for All-Star festivities Feb. 17-19.

So we enlisted the help of Pelicans guard Tim Frazier and his teammate, Baton Rouge native Langston Galloway, for the inside scoop on everything New Orleans ahead of All-Star Weekend. Not discussed (but still pretty dope), is the halftime performance by John Legend and player intro music from The Roots.

We talked to the Pelicans duo at the NBA Store in Manhattan as part of the launch of the NBA’s All-Star apparel. Unfortunately, Legend’s better half Chrissy Teigen was not there to promote the launch. Maybe next time?

Peter Bukowski: You’re from Baton Rouge. You’ve been to New Orleans. To able to have a homecoming of sorts, what has that meant to you?

Galloway: It means a lot, just to have my family there. And my wife is from Baton Rouge as well, so it’s great to have all my family right there in front of me and see me every single night.

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Is there added pressure? Because some guys don’t like to play in front of the hometown crowd. They put too much pressure on themselves to play.

Galloway: No, no, no. There’s no added pressure. I’ve been getting more and more comfortable as games have gone by and I’m just enjoying the process of being back home and just loving the fans down there.

How much did you know about the culture of the city before you got to New Orleans?

Frazier: Growing up in Houston, I knew a little bit, but I didn’t know the magnitude of it. Mardi Gras, king cakes … hand grenades and Bourbon Street. I just always thought it was the myth of Bourbon Street: it’s there, it’s cool, it’s a bunch of people going crazy but it’s literally like that every day. I was thinking it was like that maybe just on weekends, but it’s like every day: Monday, Tuesday, there’s always people there.

If anybody comes down for All-Star you have to go there at least once or twice.

So after a game, the family is around, they want to have dinner. Where do you take them?

Galloway: We normally go to Domenica. It’s an Italian spot that stays open pretty late. So we’re always like hey that’s the last resort because that’s the only spot that really stays open.

Frazier: That’s hard. That’s hard to pick. See, my family is from Houston so they drive up, they’ve been here a bunch of times. Let’s say I’m from New York and it’s my first time in New Orleans, you have to get the experience of Bourbon Street … just peep the scene, the history, the culture New Orleans has. The history New Orleans has is amazing, the building, the music that’s going on, it’s going to be a blast. People are going to be playing saxophones, and it really brings out the culture of the city.

Will you wait in line at a place like Acme or Willie Mae’s?

Galloway: Oh yeah, if I have to. I mean those places are real southern places and you always get some good oysters (at Acme).

Frazier: After a game, probably not, but otherwise definitely. I’ve done that before. Any time you get a chance to — sometimes you have a craving and you have to think of the lines at Chick-Fil-A or Chipotle. If you have a craving for it, yeah I’ll wait.

Ok, so you just have to grab something, maybe it’s after the game, maybe before. Where’s your go-to spot?

Galloway: Probably Domenica. I go to Domenica for a lot of different things, whether I need some food during the day, or it’s late at night and I’m by myself, or I feel like I want to order something to go: Domenica.

Frazier: Ruth’s Chris. There’s a Ruth’s Chris right there and they kinda stay open late, so I go there.

What’s your order?

Frazier: Medium steak, filet, Oscar style with the crab on top.

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A lot of tourists are going to come for the All-Star game who have never been to New Orleans before. Where are they going to want to go where you would say “Don’t do that, it’s a waste of time/money?”

Frazier: I couldn’t even tell you because literally every restaurant is going to have everything you want: seafood, creole food, crawfish, shrimp.

Galloway: It’s tough to say because every place in New Orleans is good. You really can’t go wrong anywhere. I wouldn’t say anywhere. No place is like “Oh it’s gonna be bad.”

Even the tourist spots?

Galloway: Even the tourist spots, you gotta go. Check it out because I mean you’re going to the French Quarter. You’re going to Bourbon Street. You can’t go wrong.

Get a hand grenade …

Galloway: Hey, enjoy yourself (laughs).

You played in New York and now you play in New Orleans. Which city takes the food crown?

Galloway: I’d go with home. The food is light years away. But you can’t go wrong with New York. You’ve got the pizza there. It’s amazing. And they’ve got so many Italian spots.

And we know you love Italian.

Galloway: I love Italian food. They’ve got some great spots up here.

What about champagning and campaigning? Which city?

Galloway: I think New Orleans. It’s a big party city. I gotta go New Orleans again. It’s a great spot when you’ve got family to just enjoy yourself. And you see a lot of bridal showers and bachelor parties. Everybody has a great time.

What about New Orleans vs. Houston?

Frazier: Oh Houston by far. I think it’s bigger. New Orleans is a big city, but a lot of stuff is everything right on top of each other.

Which city is better for adult entertainment? Because they’re both famous for it.

Frazier: Woooh, they both are.

You can plead the Fifth.

Frazier: I plead the Fifth. I’m gonna say it’s a tie.

People come down for the All-Star weekend. What do you want them to take away from that experience in New Orleans?

Galloway: The main is just to be able to enjoy yourself with New Orleans culture. It’s always going to be a welcoming atmosphere. And just look forward to a new beginning of having fun, enjoying your friends and family and new culture. You’ll see a lot of artists down there, musicians, and there’s just a different flavor to everything.

Peter Bukowski is a reporter and sportscaster living in New York. He hates your favorite team and makes dumb jokes on Twitter.