It's Super Bowl time -- a day when football players and their fans have much in common. They toss around pigskins; we eat pigskins. They play a game of inches; we loosen our belts by several inches. They get blitzed; we get blitzed. It's a true spectator sport, one to be enjoyed in the company of like-minded fanatics.
And so whether you're taking this year's Super Bowl fries drenched in Heinz or with a big helping of melted Wisconsin cheddar, here's our list (in no particular order) of Ten Great Places to Watch the Big Game.
10. Big Wangs: Sure the scene is fratty and the name sounds like something out of a Brett Favre text, but Big Wangs delivers with tons of TVs, $15 bud buckets, and those heart attack tater tots, drenched in Alfredo sauce and bacon - after all there may be no football next season, so might as well live it up while you can. 1562 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 469-244.
9. Pickwick Pub: If Aaron Rodgers has the game some are predicting, the shouts from the Woodland Hills' Pickwick Pub may reach all the way to Green Bay. Every Sunday Cheeseheads descend on the diminutive bar, which serves solid British pub fare, so for the Big Game, you'll need to arrive early to snag a view of one of the smattering of TVs. 21010 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills; (818) 340-9673.
8. Joxer Daly's: Much ink has been spilled touting Super Bowl XLV as a blue collar match-up, as it pits packers against steel workers in an old school battle of the workingman. For a bit of that flavor, head to Joxer Daly's, a friendly, old-fashioned barroom with plenty of TVs, cheap beer, and straightforward pub grub. 11168 Washington Blvd, Culver City; (310) 838-3745
7. GO Burger: The brand new GO Burger, which will be broadcasting the game on 7 flat screen TVs, is offering equal opportunity gluttony. Show your allegiances by ordering the Roethlisberger (a 7 ounce patty topped with pastrami, waffle fries, and coleslaw) or the Lambeau Leap (7 ounces loaded with mac n' cheese crisps, caramelized onions, and bacon.) To show we're all the same inside, fans of both persuasions should probably go for a side of fried pickles and a spiked milkshake. 6290 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 327-9355.
6. 3rd Stop: At 3rd Stop, you can take prop bets with doctors on break from nearby Cedars Sinai on which team will have the first injury timeout, all the while drinking craft beers at happy hour prices and munching on wood fired pizzas or selections from the Spanish influenced tapas menu. 8636 W. Third Street, West Hollywood; (310) 273-3605.
5. Basement Tavern: The Packers may play better indoors, but this is L.A., so why not enjoy the sunshine? For the big game, Basement Tavern at the Victorian will ascend from its usual subterranean digs, and take the party (and televisions) outside, where they'll also be serving free hot dogs, burgers, and sides. 2640 Main Street, Santa Monica; (310) 392-4956.
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4. Busby's West: With 50 plasma TVs and a menu big enough to satisfy BJ Raji, Busby's West has become the Westside home of Packers Nation. Though homesick Cheeseheads can opt for brats and cheese-laden appetizers, for those interested in a taste of Dallas, there are plenty of barbecue options and a bit of Tex-Mex for good measure. 3110 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica; (310) 828-4567
3. Gabe's Bar and Grill: On Super Bowl Sunday, Gabe's is the ultimate place to be for the serious Steelers fan. In addition to the requisite Roethlisberger Burger, for this year's big game, the homey dive is going potluck, grilling up Pittsburgh favorites behind the bar. Do we smell City Chicken? 2965 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles; (310) 473-1667
2. Biergarten: Hines Ward, who grew up on kalbi and kimchi, would love Biergarten's spicy tacos. Along with their regular menu of Korean/German/Japanese fusion pub grub, on Super Bowl Sunday, the K-Town favorite will be offering a $22.99 special, which comes with a liter stein of German suds, a Rockenwagner bacon cheese pretzel, and your choice of wurst, and owner Neil Kwon promises the game will be playing with "booming sound." 206 N. Western Ave, Los Angeles; (323) 466-4860.
1. Lucky Baldwins: Scare fans of the opposing team by menacingly ordering a pint of I Beat You, a hoppy Danish IPA that is just one of the quirky brews available at Pasadena's beercentric pub, Lucky Baldwins. If things are going well for your team, celebrate with a stein of Old Jubelation, and if you're on the losing side, order an Arrogant Bastard for the smug winners and hope for some (Russian River) Redemption in the second half. 17 South Raymond Ave, Pasadena; (626) 795-0652.