You've donned your Brady jersey and are counting the hours untilSunday's kickoff. Now the question is: Where to watch? Whether youwant the company of rowdy fans and plasma TVs or prefer a morerefined game-day experience, Boston's got no shortage of options.
The usual suspects
Want to make sure you catch all the action? Sports bars are theway to go.
On the corner of Lansdowne Street and Brookline Avenue, thebounteous high-definition screens of Game On! and Cask 'n Flagonglow like beacons to sports devotees. At Game On!, the party startsan hour before kickoff, with music and past-game highlights to getthe restless even more riled up. Those who want luxury amid thechaos can reserve a VIP Sky Box, which seats 10 to 25 and includesprivate service and an Ultimate Fan Food Platter with steak andturkey tips, sausage, pork kebabs, and french fries. Across the way,the Cask 'n Flagon will be giving away cash prizes during the gameand serving 25-cent wings and other food specials. Game On! (82Lansdowne St., Boston. 617-351-7001. gameonboston.com) Cask 'nFlagon (62 Brookline Ave., Boston. 617-536-4840. casknflagon.com)
Of all the sports bars near TD Banknorth Garden, you'd be hard-pressed to find one with more TV action than the Sports Grille.Roughly 150 screens ensure you'll catch each throw and tackle, nomatter which square inch of the bar you're packed into. If you'rehoping to find a seat (each booth comes equipped with its own flat-screen TV), you might want to show up early; the bar will no doubtfill up way before game time. 132 Canal St., Boston. 617-367-9302.
On the opposite end of town, Southie's Stadium Sports Bar & Grillmakes up for in spirit what it lacks in TVs (it has a mere 36),though the staff is bringing in another projection screen to jointhe two that are already there. Representatives from Budweiser willbe on hand giving away Patriots-related prizes, and the bar willoffer its usual pitcher specials. 232 Old Colony Ave., South Boston.617-269-5100. stadiumbars.com
Allston's sports mecca, the Sports Depot, will roll out acomplimentary halftime buffet of salad, nachos, wings, tacos, andchili. (The catch: a $10 cover charge, though that gets you a giftcard redeemable during your next visit to the pub.) The spaciousDepot, with its hanging hockey jerseys and artistic tributes to allof Boston's sports teams, seems a particularly convivial spot towatch the game - though whether that extends to Giants fans thisSunday is uncertain. 353 Cambridge St., Allston. 617-783-2300.sportsdepotboston.com
A foodie focus
If you want a dining experience that's just as good as watchingthe game, these spots fit
The elegant Eastern Standard is a stone's throw away from some ofthe city's busiest sports bars, yet game time finds the brasserie'sbar area packed with sports fans. The difference? The ones hereprefer to root for the home team with champagne. One regular askedto reserve 29 seats at the bar (closest to the Standard's two TVs)before the Pats' first playoff game against Jacksonville. (Barmanager Jackson Cannon had to decline, as seats are first-come,first-serve.) Whether you want a burger or beef Wellington, thekitchen has you covered. 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 617-532-9100. easternstandardboston.com
In Cambridge, UpStairs on the Square has planned an evening for'foodies who want to watch the game,' says co-owner Mary-CatherineDeibel. 'Fire Engine' chili, grilled cheese dogs, and homemadenachos and guacamole will be served along with fare from theUpStairs Monday Club menu. 'If you're totally centered on TV, thisisn't the place for you,' warns the football-loving Deibel (theplace has one TV). That said, anyone showing up in a football helmetgets a free plate of 'hot dates,' Marcona-almond-stuffed dateswrapped in bacon. 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge. 617-864-1933.upstairsonthesquare.com
The Beehive will mark its first Super Bowl with pigs-in-a-blanket at the bar; otherwise, it will capitalize on its decidedlyun-sports-bar-like atmosphere. 'There will be no fighting,' quipsgeneral manager Bertil Jean-Chronberg. A CD-release party for R&Bsinger Kelsey Quigley begins downstairs at 8, meaning that thoseopting not to watch the halftime show might have an alternative. 541Tremont St., 617-423-0069. beehiveboston.com
When just watching isn't enough
If you have a hard time staying focused for
an entire game - or need to work off some nervous energy - theseplaces might be
At the Jillian's Boston entertainment complex, the name of thegame is options. On the second floor, Jillian's Billiards recentlyadded a host of flat-screen TVs, ensuring that, according todirector of marketing Julie Salickram, 'if you wanted to come andnot watch the game, it might not be possible.' Likewise, numerousscreens at Lucky Strike Lanes on the third floor will bring the Bowlto those who bowl. The best bet for those wanting to stay sedentarymight be to head to the first floor, where the bar-restaurantTequila Rain will broadcast the action on three projection screensand nearly 30 TVs. Coors Light will be on hand with prize giveaways.145 Ipswich St., Boston. 617-437-0300. jilliansboston.com
In the Back Bay, meanwhile, Kings offers similar choices. With 30high-definition TVs and six projection screens distributedthroughout, you can watch the game while you bowl, eat, or shootpool. You can also reserve seating in the restaurant, lounge, orbilliards room in advance. 50 Dalton St., Boston. 617-266-2695.kingsbackbay.com
In the neighborhood
Looking for a quiet, no-frills place, someplace like ... home?Here are a few friendly neighborhood bars to consider.
If you're near Jamaica Plain, you might want to stop by the cozyJames's Gate, whose attractions include soul-filling grub (bangersand chips, shepherd's pie) and a fireplace. A large screen besidethe pub's lone TV will be pulled down before kickoff, says bartenderCarlye Atkinson. 5-11 McBride St., Jamaica Plain. 617-983-2000.jamessgate.com
If you're in Southie and daunted by the lines outside the Stadiumor Southie's other larger pubs, one option is to slip past the quietrow houses on I Street and into the tiny, nondescript QuencherTavern. You can match pigskin wits with the friendly clientele, anda free hot-and-cold buffet at halftime will ensure that everyonestays fueled throughout the game. 170 I St., South Boston. 617-269-9555.
Football fans near East Boston's Central Square might head to thefriendly Kelly's Square Pub, where nine TVs near the bar and in thedining room will be tuned to the game. As it does every year, thestaff will be laying out pizza, wings, and other treats as part ofthe complimentary halftime buffet. 84 Bennington St. No. 1, EastBoston. 617-567-4627. kelleyssquarepub.com
PLEASE SEE PDF FOR CHART DATA