The match-up is set. The strongest warriors have battled their way to the top, and now only two remain. Will it be Mike Tomlin’s Steelers, led by “Big Ben” Roethlisberger and a seemingly unstoppable offense (not to mention a solid defense, headed up by Troy Polamalu), or is the fortune of the gods upon the Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings connection as they try to bring all the cheese back to Green Bay?
All we can do is wait to see what happens and hope that we don’t end up with sore feelings, and may the best team win. With the storied histories of both teams, I’m pretty sure the best will win either way.
Of course, while we wait, it might not hurt to start planning a course of action for making your Super Sunday a win-win conquest of gridiron glory. Whether you’re heading out with the guys (or gals) to surround yourself with big HD flat screens and copious amounts of fried chicken pieces tossed in the hottest sauces you can think of, or planning a get together of friends and family, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be awesome. That is why the IN has put together a few ideas that you can use to make sure your football party is full of more kicks than a Pro Bowl punter.
The Steelers are heading back to the big one yet again, and if Pittsburgh has a reputation for anything other than rough and tough football, it’s food. The Steel City is well known for boasting some of America’s finest and most unique eating establishments, with hungry people noshing on some of the biggest and best sandwiches you’ve ever seen.
One such monstrosity of a meal is known simply as “The Dagwood.” It consists of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, slaw and fries, all smashed between a bun. I haven’t found a place to get one of these in Pensacola yet, but if you don’t mind a little drive, head over to Fort Walton Beach and stop in at Slick Mick’s Deli & Grille.
This family sports restaurant, which has plenty of cherished Steelers memorabilia adorning the inside, is the only place I know where you can get your hands on a Dagwood, and I swear you’ll forget about the drive once you sink your teeth into one of these sandwiches.
“It’s a toss-up between the turkey and the pastrami,” says owner and Steelers fanatic Mike Galvin. “The only thing I can think of better than being back home eating one of these monsters is having one right here and watching my boys bring home another championship title. Go Steelers!”
Start off with some of Mick’s boneless buffalo wings and a cold draft beer or seven, and you have a vacation and a Super Bowl party all wrapped into one. (Just drink responsibly—only mooks drive drunk.)
There are big screens everywhere you look and the game of games will be on each and every one, so you won’t miss any of the action while you have yourself a Zen moment with the Dagwood. You can bet that there will be some killer specials too, so go mix it up with the Steeler Nation where black and gold rule.
▶ Slick Mick’s Deli & Grille
19 Eglin Parkway, NE, Fort Walton Beach
slickmicksfwb.com or 864-5577
Now, you may not have the time or patience to drive 45 minutes away just for the promise of sandwiches and televisions. I don’t blame you. There are several great spots to catch the excitement and a good meal right here in Pensacola.
New York Nick’s is a given. Will Call Sports Grille and The Ticket are obvious choices, but my pick for the place to make your temporary headquarters this year is Hooters. Yep, that’s right—Hooters.
I don’t normally frequent establishments like this, as I am married with two kids, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and when folks start giving away 42-inch flat screens, going to Hooters starts sounding like the right thing to do. Don’t get your hopes up just yet. Not everyone will get a television just for walking through the door, but you will be given the chance to win a gigantic HDTV, just for popping in for a spell.
“The annual TV Giveaway is one of our favorite events of the year,” explains Alexis Aleshire, public relations manager for Hooters. “Not only do our customers get to enjoy our signature Hooters hot wings during the playoff games, but some of them will win a new TV on Feb. 6. It adds more excitement to an already action-packed day. Whether or not your team wins, all of our customers have a chance to be winners on Feb. 6.”
Who couldn’t use a new 42-inch television in their living room? You may not have the cash to simply throw down on one, so why not go enjoy some seriously blood-pumping, um, wings and maybe walk away with one for free?
Hooters is well-respected among those who crave a place to post up and get as close to the action as possible, without actually being there. The food is fantastic, the drink specials are amazing and the service is legendary. There are two locations in the area, so technically, you have two chances to win.
▶ Hooters (Pensacola)
5052 Bayou Blvd. Pensacola
477-3400 or hooters.com
▶ Hooters (Pensacola Beach)
400 Quietwater Beach Road
934-9464 or hooters.com
Another place to go if you want football, good food and a full bar is Miller’s Ale House. Having already established themselves as one of Pensacola’s premier destinations for everything sports, and an even better selection of tasty menu items and drink specials, Miller’s offers the football package of epic proportions with their $50 Ticket offer.
This football fans’ dream come true is an all you can eat buffet, stocked full of many of the Ale House’s finest creations. Not only that, it also includes an open bar with all you can drink wells and drafts, all night.
“This is, by far, the best deal in town,” Ale House server Daniel S. assures us. “If you think about it, when you go out for something like the Super Bowl, you end up spending $50 easily, if not more. With this deal, you pay a flat rate and eat and drink as much as you want. It isn’t just chicken fingers and appetizers, either. We put out all kinds of good stuff for the fans to enjoy, from ribs and burgers, to seafood and more. Like I said, you won’t find a better deal anywhere around here for what you pay for.”
Not only does that sound like a fine time, but also a smart choice. After all, if you’re going to spend your money anyway, you might as well spend it wisely.
▶ Miller’s Ale House
5906 N. Davis Highway, Pensacola
505-2670 or millersalehouse.com
Paddy O’Leary’s Irish Pub out on the beach always has a big Super Bowl party, but with co-owner Gary Humphrey’s Steelers (are there any Packers fans out there?) in the big one, you can bet that this year’s celebration will be kicked up a notch.
“We’re going to have a hell of a party this year, especially since it’s a black and gold event,” says Seamas Hunt, the other half of the pub’s ownership “I bring in a big grill and we cook out and offer free food, as well as some special drink prices, including $2 domestic bottles, $2.50 Southern Comfort and Sailor Jerry rum, and of course the $5 Irish Car Bombs. We’ll have the place decked out in Steelers stuff. It will be a lot of fun.”
Wait, did he say free food? Yep, he did. That sounds like a nice way to spend the evening—good food and old fashioned Irish hospitality.
▶ Paddy O’Leary’s Irish Pub
49 Via DeLuna Drive, Pensacola Beach
916-9808 or paddyolearysirishpub.com
Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom also makes for a good stop on your tour of sporting places to find a great time and watch the game. As always, Hopjacks has its Sucker-Free Sunday event, which means that all draft beers are half-off. That’s crazy!
“Sucker-Free Sundays have really taken off here,” says owner Joe Abston. “People really like to come in and enjoy some of their favorite beers for bottom-dollar prices. Yuengling is only a little over a buck and Blue Moon is around two. This special is already really popular, but when football is involved, it only ups the excitement.”
▶ Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom
10 S. Palafox Place, Pensacola
497-6073 or hopjacks.com
There are some of you who may like to stay nestled within the confines of your home, surrounded by familiar faces and an assortment of dips that you refer to as your “first string.” I understand. There’s nothing wrong with staying home to watch the big game with the kids and your closest pals. However, if this is how you like to do it, know how to do it with style.
Many businesses, from grocery stores to electronics boutiques, treat Super Bowl Sunday like a holiday, slashing prices and offering up some sweet deals on everything you need to kick off your evening right. Be sure to check Target and Best Buy for great deals on new TVs, as nobody wants to hold the antenna while you fix the reception. These stores also offer a wide selection of devices formatted so that you can stay with every play, even if your wife makes you stand out in the freezing weather to grill burgers and dogs.
Speaking of grills, there’s nothing that goes better with football than meat and beer. Grocery stores will be putting up some choice deals on anything and everything that you can season up and slap on the fire. Publix and Winn-Dixie are both wonderful places to find buy-one-get-one deals on meat, chips, soda and all the fixin’s. Paper plates and plastic cups usually go on sale at this time too, so don’t worry about doing all the dishes when your guests finally hit the bricks. Just toss it and be done.
As for the beer, there’s no place like Richey’s East here in our semi-quiet little town. Everything you need to numb the agony of defeat, or toast to victory can be found at your local liquor superstore.
The two locations boast a wide selection of domestic and imported beers, as well as microbrews, IPAs and pretty much anything you can think of that’ll get your three sheets blowing in the wind.
“We stock it up heavy on the domestics on Super Sunday, but we also keep the largest selection of imports and independent brands in the area,” says Eddie, a clerk at Richey’s. “We don’t like to use the term ‘sale,’ because we always have the best prices in town anyway, but we do have several closeout specials and discounted products.
“Trust me, you can get everything you need here, without walking out broke when you’re done. Folks like to drink beer on Super Bowl Sunday, and we plan on keeping them good and supplied with whatever they need.”
▶ Richey’s East Discount Liquor
6895 N. Ninth Ave., #C, Pensacola
It doesn’t matter whether you are going out or staying home for the Super Bowl. What matters is that you are safe and you have fun. Enjoy it everybody. Cheers!
SUPER BOWL XLV: PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. (EST) Sunday, Feb. 6
WHERE: Wherever sports fans are gathered
COST: Is there a price on glory?