Category Archives: Barspotting

Plucked Away

My lips are still on fire.  I thought I would be the tough guy Saturday night and try the hottest wings that Pluckers had to offer.  They almost burned them right off.  Alot of other things burned me as well Saturday night.  But that’s alright. Pluckers not only provided the fire but they also helped me washed down my pain, both the physical and emotional kind.

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Barspotting: Pluckers

We are halfway through the season and it is time to get all franchised up in here.  That’s right, for the mid-season barspot, we’ll be heading to one of the local franchise Pluckers Wing Bar.  Outside of the tasty appetizer I had at the Draft Pick, there has been no major wing place I’ve been to this year.  So, I’ll be trolling South Lamar looking for the hottest wings they can muster.  It’s the Southwest, they damn well better be way hotter than Buffalo Wild Wings’ tame excuse for nuclear hot wings.  Plus, there’s some games!  Join us!
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Cuatros Makes It Count

It has been a long time since I’ve seen some rain.  I would’ve never thought that it would take this long living down here in Texas to see a downpour.  What’s even more incredible is that this here downpour came in the middle of a barspot that featured an outside patio for most of the bar!  That’s right, Cuatros was the place to be last Saturday and I had the opportunity to watch some football both inside and outside.  So, yes, I got a little wet but it was totally worth it for the great time that I had there.

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Barspotting: Cuatros

I buzzed by Cuatros last week while I was on the way to the Mellow Mushroom with my favorite lady.  I almost missed it, but the 16 stacked television screens forming a massive screen jumped right out at me.  I wanted to go north of downtown Austin and this place just makes the cut.  It’s Red River Rivalry weekend so we’ll hope to get a spot there when we show up for the Kansas State game.  There’s other games going on, though, so check out the spot and hopefully we’ll check you out there.  Ole!

When: Saturday, October 5, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM
Where: Cuatros, 1004 w. 24th  Austin, TX 78705  (512) 243-6361


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Games:

Notes:  The Red River Rivalry is the biggest thing going on down here in this part of the country.  I’m not so stoked for it.  It’s a good thing that there’s nothing else going on first thing Saturday morning.  It’s also good for me that the newly ranked Kansas State Wildcats follow that little ditty and host Missouri at 2:30.  Florida vs LSU might eat up some television screens but I’m hoping to get the Wildcats on the big daddy.  Later in the evening sees a couple of interesting bouts but I’ll be home by then and will only be able to get Ohio State and Nebraska.  No thank you, I’ll probably be napping by then.

Backspin Threw Me Off

I lucked out again with Kansas State not playing at the same time Texas was.  They were actually playing Baylor and on ABC.  The nationally televised match up and the fact that it was not going against Texas led me to think that a remote sports bar south of the city should have that game on.  So Saturday I found myself at the Backspin Texas Sports Bar & Grill.  I’m glad that I picked that place for the game.  Did the tiny nature and remote location lead to a great time?

 

Somehow I managed to get rockstar parking for the Backspin.  When I pulled in, I had a nice view of the patio and a side way look to the joint.  I heard online that it was a small place, but I was hoping it would be wider that what it turned out to be.  Walking inside I instantly felt cramped.  It was room for maybe 3 tables across and a ginormous sports bar.  Okay that’s fine.  Both outside and inside had some sweet looking HD televisions with a huge one in the main dining area.

As for the rest of the Backspin, it filled out as nicely as it could with its real estate.  I was surprised to see a Golden Tee game there and alleviated any worries I had about their effort.  Not only that, but they also had some BuzzTime Trivia, which gave me a chance to try out their app on my new Android based cellphone.  All that internet juice was handled promptly by their free wireless internet.  Connection issues were not a problem mainly because the place is so small.

The service there wasn’t so great.  I got a primo spot in front of the huge big screen for the Kansas State vs Baylor game, but had the chance to watch the end of the exciting Texas A&M vs Arkansas game.  It was about two minutes to go and they somehow accidentally changed the channel.  It was so harried that a patron got up and started jacking with the Direct TV remote.  Seriously, if you have a sports bar, you need to have workers who know how to operate the televisions.  Also, the audio was out of sync for the end of that A&M game.  That, the waitresses were pretty hot and they did a great job of making sure my beers were full.

For this week’s beer pairing, by the way, I had an unexpected mix of food and drink.  I was hoping to get their Reuben but I had to try their Tzatziki dip and fried pickles appetizer.  I’m happy I went that way.  To wash down the lot, I chose some New Castle.  Not only was it on special for $3 but the brown ale helped with the crispness of the fried pickles and the strange combination of yogurt and spices for the Tzatziki dip.  I’ve never had Tzatziki before but it is a nice cool down appetizer to noms on with pita bread.

Now on the to the games.  Non Big 12 wise I caught that big showdown of Wisconsin vs Nebraska as well as the Alabama vs Florida game going on at the same time.  First off, Alabama looks legit and first year Florida head coach Will Muschamp has a little bit more work to do, including keeping his starting quarterback healthy.  Big 10 wise, Nebraska got a great welcome to the conference with a whooping handed to them from the Badgers.  Nebraska isn’t a complete team but it didn’t help them that Wisconsin had the free agent quarterback wonder that is Russell Wilson.

Big 12 wise, I watched a whole heckuva lot of football.  While I was sweating away at the gym, I got watch Kansas go up early on Texas Tech.  Little did I know that the Red Raiders would come back to win on the road in Lawrence.  Both teams are in trouble against Kansas State, more on that later.  So I mentioned Texas A&M and Arkansas.  All I can say that it was awesome to see the Aggies choke again.  They have never won a game against the SEC and will hopefully be competitive against Vanderbilt when they take off next year.  Wow they have no heart.

The big game of the day for me was watching Kansas State host Baylor for their first big test of the year.  Robert Griffin III is the mega stud quarterback for Baylor and he continued putting up great numbers.  The combination between him and Kendall Wright torched the Wildcat defense all day long.  But Kansas State was resilient.  I don’t know how they keep close in these games, but they do.  Everyone will put it on Bill Snyder 2.0 and deservedly so.  Collin Klein kept consistent on the offensive side of the ball and linebacker Arthur Brown broke out and delivered the game saving interception.  These Wildcats are now ranked and they have real good shot of going to a bowl thanks to Texas Tech and Kansas.

So that was my day at the Backspin.  That place is super tiny but for where it is located, I can make some concessions.  It’s by no means perfect.  When you can’t figure out televisions on gameday, you go down big in my book.  The food was decent and I like the beer specials.  If I had an important game that I absolutely had to watch, I wouldn’t do it at the Backspin.  If I wanted to sneak away from the city and hide out in a decent sports bar, the Backspin is where I’ll head.

Barspotting: Laying up to the Backspin Sports Bar & Grill

Another week of barspotting and I’m going for the trifecta.  It’s been 2 great weeks of college football watching and I need one more joint to make me believe that Austin is serious about sports bars.  The last two weeks were easy because it was close to downtown.  Now it’s time to throw Austin for a loop and go for that ‘remote neighborhood family bar’ joint.  Well, I’ve found down south in the Backspin Sports Bar & Grill.  Saturday I’ll find out if the remote locations of Austin bring the game like the places closer to the heart of the city do.
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It’s a 1st Round Draft Pick

It’s another week of college football and I’m starting to get comfortable down here.  I had a quick detour to the Pecan Street Festival down on 6th street but after that it was all football nearby at the Draft Pick off Riverside Drive.  The week of football was a welcomed one after all of the drama that was going on for the Big 12.  There were tons of surprises but also tons of blowouts.  Let’s sit right back and take a look.

Walking into the Draft Pick, I kinda felt like I was in an office building and not a sports bar.  The architecture leading into the joint was somewhat modern and unassuming.  The inside look totally made up for the outside look. Granted, there were no patios but the inside was all football watching business.  Flat screens were all over the place, with one ginormous projection screen framing the square blocked bar.  This is a place I can hunker down and watch some games.

Speaking of games, I couldn’t find any.  Usually, a sports bar of ultimate greatness needs to have at least some Golden Tee or something, but the Draft Pick had nothing.  This may be a philosophical decision.  Their website proclaims that this bar was a project for serious football watchers only.  That means there is not time for games.  I can understand that, but please give me something to pass the time either at half or after the game.

Now that doesn’t mean the service was shabby.  In fact, it’s been about the best I’ve ever had.  The first question asked when I walked in was “What game are you watching today?”  I have never heard that anywhere else in my 4 years of KCCGD.  Color me impressed.  Now, the ladies themselves were pretty svelte, even though there were some questionable candidates.  Overall, however, it was pleasing to watch with the games.

I had the fortune of pounding a couple of drinks before the ole barspotting event so my taste buds were fully opened. The Draft Pick’s selection paired their famous All Star pizza with a little local fare from Independence Brewery called Austin Amber Ale.  First off, the pizza tasted almost exactly like the kind I’ve had back in KC from Godfather’s Pizza, except the toppings were way thicker.  That much food tossed down my gullet was massaged by the Amber Ale’s smooth flavor.  If you ever want a great beer with some great pizza, pick an Amber up and wash it all down for some creamy goodness.

Now on to the games. I got to watch just wee little bit of Georgia Tech vs North Carolina and Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh from the gym in the morning.  There’s nothing special going on there.  Notre Dame barely eked by Pittsburgh and the Fighting Irish continue to cough up the ball more than any other team in the FBS division.  Georgia Tech beat North Carolina, but they did not have a record setting performance like they did against Kansas.  I guess it’s not so much a referendum on the Jayhawks.

The bigger games of the day saw LSU heading to West Virginia, Alabama taking on Arkansas, and Clemson battling with Florida State.  I watched the LSU game at home and in between my naps, I realized that LSU may just be the real deal.  It was a close 1st half but they pulled away easily in the 2nd.   Nice night cap there.  Alabama continued to take care of business against Arkansas.  When LSU and Alabama fight, it will have national repercussions.  Finally, Clemson continues to wear the up and comer jacket by knocking off reeling Florida State.  Their head coach’s name is Dabo Sweeny.  That’s a cool name.

Big 12 wise I only really got to watch the exciting Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State game and my Kansas State Wildcats heading to Miami.  Both were on at the same time so I got to watch just a bit of the A&M and Okie State game.  From what I saw, Texas A&M had a major meltdown in the 2nd half and Oklahoma State pulled it out at College Station.  I guess their exit from the Big 12 may be a bumpy one.   Kansas State, on the other hand, surprised everyone including myself by showing up against Miami.  Not only did they show, but beat them!  Collin Klein and company pulled ahead big in the first half and then held off Miami, culminating in a 4 down goal line stand late.  Good job Wildcats!

And good job Draft Pick.  The square box design of the place didn’t leave much to be impressed architecturally, but because they slapped televisions all over, it can be forgiven.  The lack of any kind of games is worrisome but again, they went all out on the watching experience.  The food was tasty and they have a decent knowledge of craft beers.  I had issues logging on wirelessly but service staff gave me all the information I needed.  If you need to hunker down and just watch football, chose the Draft Pick.

Barspotting: Draft Pick

Last week was such a treat, let’s see if we can keep  it going.  It’s funny how the business side happens early in the week and the games get played later in the week.  Now that everything has calmed down over conference realignment, it’s high time I thought about the pros and made a Draft Pick.  They’re all business when it comes to football watching and I’ll be ready to do it.  There’s a good block of games going on at the same time and I fully intend on watching all of them at the same time.  Fortunately, they have a decent draft selection for me to sample from. Continue reading Barspotting: Draft Pick

Third Base Stole Home For Me

Saturday was a downtown taste of college football watching as well as the first time I needed to watch Kansas State at a bar outside of the Midwest.  Austin City Limits Music Festival was last weekend as well so it was the first time for me to attend Sunday.  My dogs are still barking from the rocking time.  My whole time dodging ACL traffic Saturday and watching some real college football was far from barked.  I was expecting a marginal time and Third Base exceeded my expectations by a country mile.  It was a grand slam time and then some.

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Barspotting: Thirdbase

Alrighty welp I’m back for another week of actual Barspotting.  Kansas City was nice and all but I’ve been to all the good bars up there and now I’m ready to hit (or find) the good bars down here in Austin.  This week I’m going to try to get to Third Base.  Hopefully, I can play my cards right and get there to brag about it all to you on Monday morning.  From the looks of things it’s a hot spot to be at so I know it’ll be crowded with others when I get there.  Come on and join me!

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The Heartland Had Heartpounding and Heartbreaking Action

So I’m running a little bit late today but as soon as I hit the front door last night, I got kicked in the face by the awesome weekend.  Yes, I flew back home to Kansas City for the weekend.  The main goal was to have great quality time with friends and family.  The secondary goal was to watch some fantastic college football.  Mission accomplished on both, especially for the three football games.

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HomeSpotting: Homeward Bound

Yeah, so soon right?  This weekend I’m forgoing my new home and heading up to Kansas City, the place I was born and raised.  Long story short:  I didn’t get a chance to visit the last time I was up there so I figured this weekend would be a good one to do so.  It’s after Labor Day so the tickets were cheaper plus I get to watch my 2nd favorite team Notre Dame play my homey Jolly’s favorite team Michigan.  There’s a BBQ to be had so nothing official, sorry Tanner’s.  But it will be a blast and I will do my best to recount it amongst the haze. Continue reading HomeSpotting: Homeward Bound

Doc’s Backyard Made Me Feel At Home

Oh wow let me see how I remember this.  It’s a new year of barspotting and the first notch on the Austin belt is Doc’s Backyard.  Most of the bars I will be to this season will be the first time that I’ve been there, except for Doc’s.  It’s close enough to my new place and has some decent reviews.  So how did it fare Saturday?  The atmosphere reflects back onto the experience. Continue reading Doc’s Backyard Made Me Feel At Home

Barspotting: Kicking Off A New Town of Barspotting at Doc’s Backyard

Alrighty, football is here and you know what that means: Barspotting!  For those of you not familiar with how Barspotting works, I basically tool around town and find places to watch college football then rate whether it’s worth it to check it out yourself.  This year will be different because I’m in a whole new town.  So I get to find a whole bunch of new bars review and also get the added benefit of finding my way around town.  The first ever Austin edition of Barspotting will feature Doc’s Backyard in Sunset Valley, well, because they are real close to me.  Not only that but they have a supposedly real tasty Chicken Fried Avacado.  Let’s check out Saturday’s lineup. Continue reading Barspotting: Kicking Off A New Town of Barspotting at Doc’s Backyard

Lew’s Helped Me Give Das Boot to Nebraska

Championship Saturday came and went and for the brief time I was there, it was worth it.  My day started out at Lew’s Grill and Bar and ended back up there.   In between was some craziness with a company holiday party complete with a lame cover band as well as a great finish to the Big 12 Championship Game.  All in all, the day was widespread and fantastic, even though college football barspotting was very short.

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