As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, every once in a while here at “BEST OF THE BEST,” we take a look-see around town so as to catch up on some terrific places to take in a sporting event or two. With baseball behind us now, and football front and center, we thought we’d share with you a couple of our recent faves. Here we go again, folks, “BEST PLACES TO CATCH A GAME” – Round Three!
67-63 Woodhaven Blvd
Looking for something with a little bit of old-fashioned home-iness to it? ERN’S PLACE on Woodhaven Boulevard is just such a place, what with its oh-so-charming red and white checked tablecloths and its merry band of regulars. Not only that, but in addition to a number of Monday Night Football beer specials, make sure you get yourself an order of Chef Danny’s delectable wings (especially his Jack Wings). Tender and tasty, they are very much worth the trip, and you should also ask about a couple of their other flavor varieties as well. By the way, a tip of the cap as always to your personable and friendly hosts Ern and Felicia, and to the fact that all year round, the burgers here are just the way we like em, smokey and charred, and juicy and flavorful through and through.
60-02 Woodside Ave
The crowds at one of Woodside’s most well-known watering holes are what watching sports together is all about. At once feisty and friendly, SEAN OG’S has an incredibly loyal following that makes for a rather fun time overall, especially on weekend afternoons or Monday Night Football. But what makes the place really stand out is how long and spacious the bar is, the first thing you notice upon entering. And now that owner Jimmy O’Sullivan’s also got the WOODSIDE CAFÉ’S kitchen attached at the hip next door, you also get to avail yourself of some pretty darn tasty food in the meantime, like one of our absolute favorites, their Woodside Burger.
657 Fairview Ave
Hey, why settle for burgers and wings when you can dig into some Spaetzle and Potato Pancakes and Krainer & Kraut! Did you know, folks, that The Tap Room at GOTTSCHEER HALL hosts a free buffet every football Sunday at 4:00 pm? That’s right. And how ‘bout this, if you show up on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, your first beer is just a dollar so long as you’re ordering food. What can we say, there’s a coziness and an old world charm to GOTTSCHEER HALL that has definitely made it one of our favorite neighborhood bars. (And they’ve even got some terrific local musicians now and again, so make sure you check out www.GottscheerHall.com from time to time.)
265-11 Union Turnpike
Love, love, love the cozy lounge area just around the corner as you enter TAVERN 18, off of bustling Union Turnpike. Even if there were no game on, just to immerse yourself in those dark brown leather chairs for a moment… quite a relaxing way to unwind after a busy day. Anyway, there’s a high-definition television screen up above, and if you’re smart, while you’re sipping your draft beer, you’ll already have ordered some Lobster and Shrimp Spring Rolls – or even better, their Kobe Beef Sliders. TAVERN 18 boasts some top-of-the-list hearty fare, and if the game gets a tad “one-sided,” shall we say, we definitely urge you to slip into the dining room for a steak. (Closed Mondays by the way, sorry.)
RED STAR BAR
37 Greenpoint Avenue
RED STAR BAR is without question one of our new favorite sports bars. For one thing, the place is absolutely huge – two floors even – and still manages to get pretty packed on any given Sunday. With more than a dozen draft beers to go with their dozen or so Vizio flatscreens, what really makes RED STAR BAR’s reputation is the artistry with which Executive Chef John Manzo concocts his fabulous chicken wings. By the way, if we mention the figure of 1000 pounds of chicken a week, that might impress you, no? “Yeah, chickens all across the country are quaking in their cages when they think about RED STAR,” says General Manager Eric Hall with a wry grin. And given that Sundays are all about the pigskin anyway, make sure you complement same with Manzo’s fantastic Pulled Pork Sliders, served with B&B; pickles and cheddar cheese sauce, and easily the best we’ve ever had!
70-20 Austin Street
Since this seems to be pretty much the year of the New Orleans Saints at this point, what better place to cheer on Drew Brees and company than at MARDI GRAS, an authentic-looking little bistro right on Austin Street where you can definitely “laissez les bon temps roulez.” Beer specials abound here on football Sundays, and the food is both delicious and reasonably priced. Just as they do in The Big Easy, they’ve got a terrific Muffuletta here, but what we can’t help craving whenever we’re in the area is one of their exceptional Po Boys (Fried Catfish or Blackened Chicken especially). Hey, by the way, during the week MARDI GRAS also has a really cool French Quarter Lunch Menu you’ve got to check out – with entrees for as little as $5. Now, how can you beat that?
Got a favorite spot of your own you’d like to share with us? Give us a holler at [email protected], and we’ll make sure to publish you in an upcoming edition!