A short list of some of the biggest football bashes in the County.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
It''s been over two decades since the Oakland Raiders have stormed a Superbowl, and this Sunday, the odds are in their favor as they face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stepping out from under the shadow of the Niners, and playing against their old coach, Jon Gruden, the team known for its scruffy underdog reputation is poised to bring Oakland some respect.
But we''re not really talking sports here. And though the thrill of a "hometown" team win would be fun, it''s the excuse to hang out with friends that''s definitely appealing this Sunday. We''re all about the parties.
Local pubs and restaurants have gone all out to infuse their establishments with mad-dog fan ambience. Following is a list of some of the best Superbowl parties in town. Arrive well before the 3pm kickoff for good seats.
Come to the Superbowl Bash at the "Baja Dome," where nine televisions (including two giant screens) and an big BBQ (we''re talking a pig roast and tri-tip) create up a serious indoor/outdoor party environment. Raffle tickets ($5) offer the chance to win autographed jerseys from Jerry Rice and Rich Gannon-with all proceeds going to a local charity. And no problem if you''ve had one too many-Baja Cantina is offering complimentary cab rides home from 5-8pm (within a 10 mile radius).
7166 Carmel Valley Rd., Valley Hills Center, Carmel Valley. 625-2252.
$2 Draft Bud and Bud Lite, and $7 pitchers of the same will keep wallets fat-leaving some green to spring for the half-priced appetizers-like a huge plate of garlic fries for $1.95, or chicken tenders for $2.95. Throw the free popcorn at the Buccaneers while watching the nine televisions while shooting pool and watching for giveaways like T-shirts and specials on shots.
685 Cannery Row, Steinbeck Plaza, Monterey. 375-7000.
This local pub promises "the biggest and bestest Superbowl party in town." Backing up that claim is an awesome raffle. Everyone who walks in the door gets a free raffle ticket, and then an additional ticket with each drink purchased. At each quarter, raffle prizes will be given out-for such treats as a free appetizer every week for an entire year. There will also be a "betting" pool-everyone gets a number and wins prizes like T-shirts and hats. During the fourth quarter, some lucky patron will win dinner for two every week for a whole year.
444 Alvarado St., Monterey. 656-9543.
Half-priced appetizers and $2.50 Bud and Bud Lite will keep sports fans (read: Raiders fans) warm and toasty whether they choose to watch the game inside or party on the outside patio by the firepit.
653 Cannery Row, Monterey. 373-1353.
Characters'' Sports Bar and Grill
Football-shaped Mardi Gras beads will be strung around the necks of lucky patrons who come looking for football-shaped pizzas, and possibly the odd foot-long hotdog or two. Remember to hang onto those beads after you''ve hoisted a few, for future promotions and deals. Twelve TVs and super turkey chili nachos invite that full-on football experience.
350 Calle Principal, Monterey. 649-4234.
Chipper''s Bar and Grill
This full-time sports bar begins with a great, affordable tailgaters'' dream menu. In addition, starting at 1pm, Superbowl Sunday will mean free hotdogs and $2 hummers (that''s watermelon Jolly Rancher-type shots, okay). A dozen buffalo wings will only set you back $3, and a multitude of televisions will fill the room with football.
2110 North Fremont, Monterey. 641-0793.
Knuckle''s Historical Sports Bar
A special tailgate buffet with prices between $3-$5 offers burgers, grilled chicken, nachos, and wings, while 16oz domestic drafts will only run you $2, and imports $3. Huge 9ft by 12 ft. TVs show every drop of sweat running down Middleton''s nose, and expanded seating into the ballroom will seat up to 500.
Monterey Hyatt Regency, One Old Golfcourse Rd., Monterey. 647-2039.
Pair up your brick-fired pizza or fresh pasta with half-priced appetizers like calamari, artichokes, crabcakes, quesadillas, and skins, like in front of the big screen TV. $2 all domestic and tap beers.
2149 N. Fremont St., Monterey. 655-3355.
This may be the only joints in town to take reservations this Sunday, so it''s possible to lock in that table-with-a-view (of the TV) now. (Warning: locals have already started to stake their plots). The Duck is running Happy Hour all day and bringing in multiple televisions. Well drinks are a nicely priced $2.50, draft beers are $2 and $3, and goodies like calamari, nachos, and buffalo wings are all half-priced.
479 Alvarado St., Monterey. 655-3031.
With the largest freestanding TV in town, OT is inviting their loyal regulars and newcomers to attend a potluck BBQ on the back patio. "We''re like one big family," says owner Ray Askew. "Everyone chips in and cooks here."
214 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 643-9169.
Penny Farthing Tavern
Come to watch the game and shoot pool and darts in the new sports lounge. And for $12.95 you get some fat eats: half a BBQ chicken, babyback ribs, chili, beans with cheese, garlic bread, and a pint of your favorite beer.
9 E. San Luis, Salinas. 424-5652.
A dozen TVs, serious pizza, and an outdoor patio that features seats with TV-views: these are the things that can make for a super Superbowl-watching experience. Peter B''s offers one thing more: its own microbrewed beer.
Doubletree Hotel, 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey. 649-4511.
Not only is there a huge party with happy hour pricing during the big game, viewed up-close-and-personal on a giant screen TV, but afterwards the Blue Tornadoes pump it up with a live music after-party. Party on.
700 Cannery Row, Monterey. 649-8050.
No specials on drinks today, because the food is free! The "cousin Sportsmen''s gang" invites everyone to an entirely no-cost BBQ in honor of Superbowl fever.
594 Broadway, Seaside. 394-2666.