Welllllll, lookie here! It’s an actual Barspotting! I gave up the game many moons ago but luck feel into place this last week. Yup Kansas State played West Virginia on a Thursday and I was having other things going on. That meant some time out and some time to review a bar. Sad to say no Football Feedings this week but I think y’all will enjoy what I saw last Thursday. Continue reading Barspotting 2014 Week 13: Black Sheep Lodge
Well, lookie here! It’s a barspotting post! Yup, unannounced too. I was up in Dallas, Texas (North Dallas specifically) and had some time to kill before I went and saw the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary show. So what with it being college football Saturday, what better chance would there be to hit up a good local bar in Dallas? That’s exactly what I did when I went to the Redrock Bar and Grill. Was it good? Was it bad? I’m not really sure. It’s been a long time so let me crack my knuckles and take a crack at this on more time. Continue reading Barspotting 2013 Week 13: Redrock Bar and Grill
It was a dreary last week of Barspotting but we forged ahead. It was also a wet day for Kansas State, so it was quite alright that we were late to Little Woodrow’s in Southpark Meadows. It was Championship Weekend and the cards played out, with the bowl season right at our front door now. Every game had a championship feel except for Farmageddon because when Kansas State and Iowa State get together, it means so much more. So how did we survive the first real wet weekend here in Austin, Texas?
As I mentioned we got in a little late but that was also because we thought Little Woodrow’s opened up at 11:30 AM. We lapped the place to finish our coffee and headed in, with the place being open shortly after 11. The 6th Street version of Little Woodrow’s was a little short ceiling wise and felt somewhat cramped. The Southpark Meadows variety was tall and open. That helped facilitate a giant projection screen in the middle of the bar. But there was so much more there.
Walking up to the joint, I could tell right away that there was a huge open patio area. I think South Austin reigns supreme in bringing not only a sports bar feel but a backyard feel to spectating. Although it was raining, I could tell that they had plenty of bags, horseshoe, and washer courts built in, not unlike Doc’s Backyard. Inside, there of course was the big projection screen television, but also large flat screen hd televisions. The bar section was wid open and had plenty of seats, the table area looked comfortable. I’m a little worried that the screens were too high. That’s fine, they had a bunch of other things to keep my attention at bay.
Wireless internet reigned supreme for me while I checked up on scores as well as email. The games inside were decent. Little Woodrow’s has Golden Tee, Silverstrike Bowling, and some Buck Hunter. I missed out on the shuffleboard table at first sight but caught it on the way out. I also caught their themed Christmas, which saw beer bottle trees, wrapping paper decor, peppermints, and hanging clothes. Apparently, it was part of their redneck Christmas celebration. Oh, also at the bar, there was Mega Touch. I haven’t seen that around these parts.
So speaking of the bar, the service was decent. The lady that tended to our needs most of the day was mildly attractive and kept calling us sweetheart. I dug her sense of humor so it wasn’t too much of an issue. What I did have an issue was that she messed up our order. The bar was fairly empty because Texas hadn’t started so it should’ve been easy to take down the correct order. I also had some issues getting the Kansas State game on television because she was convinced it wasn’t on there. Even after inspecting the line up sheet, she reluctantly changed the channel to the game. I didn’t make her eat crow on that, but it was disappointing nonetheless.
It turns out screwing up the food order helped me out. I opted for the their chicken sandwich with swiss cheese and bacon. Now I ordered the Little Woodrow’s homemade potato chips but they brought out fries instead. The bartender fixed the order and I got both. Both the fries and home-made potato chips were very delicious. I think it was the oil they cooked it with. The sandwich itself was okay, but nothing worth the price they were charging. I washed the thing down with a fairly tasty Fullers ESP. It tastes like a heifeweisen but was just a little more fruity. That light blend worked well with the chicken and juicy bacon.
Now on to the games. It was championship weekend and it should’ve been renamed blowout weekend. Most of the conference championship games were blowout snooze fests (sorry Big 10, I just don’t care about you). Southern Miss pulled the upset over Houston in the Conference USA game. LSU took care of business against Georgia in the SEC game. Clemson got revenge on Virginia Tech in the ACC game. The games themselves were not that exciting, but it did have some hefty effect in terms of BCS allotment. Especially that Houston and Virginia Tech loss. It helped make a case for Oklahoma State.
Yes, Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma for the first time in forever for Bedlam. Now, it wasn’t a conference championship game but it ended up being that way for the Big 12. Whoever won that game would have the title or at least the greatest share of it. The ghost of Sooner past didn’t scare the Cowboys away this time. They came out the gates firing and didn’t let up one bit. Oklahoma looked sloppy, especially on offense. I swear the defense might have scored more points than the offense in that game. Congratulations on the Big 12 Conference Championship Oklahoma State.
Kansas State was the team I came to Little Woodrow’s to see and they finished out the regular season like they do with every game this year: by nearly giving me a god damned heart attack. It was close, thanks to Paul Rhoads and his rag tag bunch of Iowa State Cyclones. Farmageddon always had a history of close and exciting games and this one came through. Now Collin Klein will get the rub for the victory, but John Hubert’s stiff arm from hell toward the end of the game made him the top performer for me. That last touchdown run sealed it after Iowa State had multiple winning gambles on the drive to tie the game.
So that was the last barspot. To tell the truth, I am still disappointed that I couldn’t get a game of washers in. I drowned my sorrows quickly with some homemade potato chips and malt vinegar, however. Little Woodrow’s was a decent time, but not the best. It could’ve been the rain or the sub par service, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that if the sun is out and your favorite team is on, head out there to relax and enjoy the outdoor patio. It will most certainly be more relaxing than watching a Kansas State game or dealing with BCS math.
Oh man after a rough week, it was nice to get back to some simple pleasures. Beer, football, greasy food, and great looking service. Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill had it all and it was the perfect medicine. The games were bunched together nicely but the outcomes didn’t really matter with me so much. I was there just to get away from the week and enjoy some time away from the real world. Ah yes, barspotting has returned.
It’s been awhile since I had to get up for the early college football game. Last Saturday was the reprise and I’m thankful that the Lavaca Street Bar had a bloody mary bar to kick things off. There was alot of talk about Midwestern sensibilities in the last week and I was surprised at how the Lavaca catered to that. Speaking of the Midwest, it was Sunflower Showdown weekend and I had a front row seat, without actually being there. Did Lavaca Street Bar handle spectating well, or did I leave sucking on some cheese curds? Let’s find out.
Walking in, you wouldn’t suspect that Lavaca Street Bar was a big sports bar. It’s another in a long line of sports bar that look tiny up front but huge in the back. All around the bar, televisions lined the place. In the back room there is a huge projector screen television as well. The Direct TV made sure I was able to watch my team up on there. The wireless internet is free but they had some kind of weird sign up page that made things hard to login.
The best part of Lavaca Street Bar has to be the games. They have all the games that you need. They have Big Buck Safari, Golden Tee, a hard punch game, Pop-A-Shot, Skee Ball, and what I think could be a pool table. I see cue sticks but no table and I think it’s because of the bloody mary bar. At any rate, back to the Skee Ball. It’s a rare sight to see Skee Ball in any bar, let alone a sports bar. If you want to set yourself from the back, get a game like that in your bar.
The service was rather sparse. There was essentially two bartenders for the whole joint. The female one was rather cute and the guy, well, was a guy. We had to get up from the back a couple of times to order food and drinks. They did come out here and there though. The guy was nice enough to setup the whole back room for my games so I can’t dog them too much. He also turned the light on for me when I was getting my bloody mary because the place is real dark. Like go to sleep dark.
Now on to the beer pairing. Lavaca touted some Midwestern specials like cheese curds and brats. Guess what I got. The cheese curds were good but not northern Iowa good. I think the ones I make are better. I chose to have Wastach Brewery’s Pumpkin Seasonal Ale with the bratwurst. I wanted to do an Oktoberfest type ale but that was the closest thing they had on tap. I’m so glad I chose it. It has to be the best tasting pumpkin beer I’ve ever had. The brat itself was tasty but everything around it was average. The mustard, bun, sauerkraut, and even the basket was very low rent. But hey, that’s part of the appeal.
The Sunflower Showdown was the main event for the weekend for me. For some reason I was real scared about Kansas. Boy was I ever wrong. Kansas quarterback Jordan Webb has the 2nd highest passer rating in the Big 12. He did a good job, but the rest of the team was terrible. Meanwhile, on the other side, Kansas State’s Collin Klein put up all star numbers. He ran for 4 touchdowns and actually threw the ball pretty well. It helps when you are playing one of the worst defenses in FBS. Methinks Turner Gill’s job is in serious trouble right now.
The other games were a little more competitive. I got to watch was Missouri and Oklahoma State duke it out in Columbia. Seeing as Missouri no longer thinks they are Midwest material, it was nice that the Cowboys beat them down. Well, it wasn’t a beat down so to say, the Tigers kept it nice and close. I missed out on LSU vs Auburn because I was busy Halloween shopping. I also missed out on most of the action in the evening because I went and watched White Denim at Stubb’s. So the first big Hail Mary of the year that put Michigan State over Wisconsin was not to be had for me. Thanks to a lightning delay, however I watched the end of Texas Tech upsetting Oklahoma.
It has begun. The undefeated teams are starting to drop like flies. I still don’t know what to think about the weekend. I certainly didn’t expect Oklahoma being the team with losses going into this weekend’s game against Kansas State. Lavaca Street Bar had a super sweet setup, even though it was too dark and you had to try real hard to get service. The food is almost food truck level, which can be real tasty but lacking on the presentation side. I’d recommend this place to just about anyone if they want to duck in and see some great football. They have reserved areas for alumni groups like LSU and Wisconsin so be careful when you go.
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.
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.
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.
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
Alrighty, the second try to watch some football at my favorite local neighborhood hole in the wall, JJ’s Other Place. I’ve been there plenty at night and now I’ve been there during the day. I’ll stick with being there at night. I forgot a couple of important items as well as the fact there wasn’t that much to watch that day. It was a pretty good time nonetheless. There were some upset a brewing as well as some traditional nachos brewing in my stomach. Continue reading JJ’s Other Place Was Decent The Second Try Around
Another actual barspot and I’m keeping up on the known favorites with Lew’s Grill and Bar. I’ve been here a couple of times and have begun to become a regular here. They’ve upgraded the televisions and also the food. The day of football was long and fun, so I was glad I got the sweet spot for watching in the bar. Regarding the action on field, we saw some tight games and some surprising blowouts. It was a lazy day, but it sure was a weird one too.
Even thought the weekend at hand had more than just college football at play, we managed to make it out to a hot spot of sports for Des Moines, Iowa. Granted it was in the downtown district and amazingly enough we got the same type of people out there that we see in downtown Kansas City. Yeah, lots of Ed Hardy shirts. But even though the efforts of the douche bag army tried to stamp out our fun, we managed to kick it pretty well up there in God’s Country. Recovery mode on.
The second version of Farmageedon this year found itself happening last weekend and we were there to witness of the bloody glory. This year we decided to head back to one of the few Iowa based bars in the Kansas City, The Other Place. The first time we were there, we witnessed the rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State. This time, we watched Kansas State take on Iowa State at Arrowhead in Kansas City. Yes, Farmageddon. Not only was a great game, but The Other Place withstood the blast, leaving it a shaky place to patron.
Deep in the wheat fields of Kansas sits a town by the name of Wichita. We find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the city doing a remote barspot. Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill claims to be the best in the city so we stopped on in to check it out. We’ll find out just how dark dark can get. We’ll also find out how to do a pretty decent television configuration. Oh yea, we’ll also check out some great games all on at the same time.
It’s been almost a year since we’ve been to Johnny’s Tavern and it took the rest of the season for us to decide that it was the best Barspot for last year. So, as tradition calls, we found ourselves back at Johnny’s Tavern at the Power & Light District to enjoy the first full Saturday of college football. The bar hasn’t changed much but just enough for us to take notice. The food specials knocked us out but the games were kind of so so. Read on as we go over Johnny’s Tavern and recount the action on the field.