We asked a local what to do in New Orleans and he immediately said, “If you like music, go to the Rock ‘n Bowl. It’s the most happening place on a Thursday night.” So we left the French Quarter and headed to S. Carrollton Avenue, where we spotted the bowling alley and a parking lot packed with cars.
You know this isn’t your typical bowling alley the minute you step inside. For one thing, we had to stand in line and pay a cover charge. We could already hear the raucous sounds of zydeco rattling through the place.
For those unfamiliar with zydeco, think jazz meets polka band, meets Louisiana Cajun. The music is zippy and toe-tapping, yet oddly hard to dance to. That didn’t stop the locals, though. The Rock ‘n Bowl obviously draws a regular crowd and the dance floor was packed with people of all ages dancing in pairs to the jiggy accordian-washboard-bass guitar-drum band.
We weaved our way through the dancers to get to the equally crowded full-service bar. Naturally, we ordered hurricanes since we were in New Orleans, and then put our names on the waiting list for a bowling lane.
Anthony Bourdain was taken here during one of the No Reservations episodes. He was a little hesitant about going to a bowling alley for a night out in N’awlins, too. But like me, Anthony soon discovered that this is the place for local flavor.
Music, drinking, Fried Bread Pudding Po’boys and bowling? Let’s put it this way: if you can’t entertain yourselves here, there’s no hope for you. This is a place to come and have fun. If you’re not feeling festive, stay home.
What do you think? Would you let this place bowl you over?