Here’s a little news for the sports-ignorant: Your local football team is playing in the Super Bowl this weekend. If, like me, you’re a transplant from some shameful place (e.g., New England), you may just be interested in what you’ll eat during the game.
Before you groan at the thought of soggy nachos and gray burger patties, remember where you live. This is San Francisco, where even the sports bars serve interesting food. Bon appetit!
Tee-Off Bar & Grill
3129 Clement St. (at 33rd Avenue), S.F.; (415) 752-5439; price range $11-$22
Foodie punching bag Guy Fieri helped put this “five-star dive bar” on the map when he paid it a visit on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Even though I knew of Tee-Off’s kooky reputation, I was still a little startled to find myself eating stuffed Cornish game hen at a place with Astroturf on the floor and Journey on the speakers. For an appetizer, baked Brie, roasted garlic and goat cheese-dusted apples seemed downright opulent (or “perfect for a hangover,” as the dudely bartender quipped). Tee-Off is also an oyster-lovers’ Shangri-La, with a large, ocean-fresh selection always on tap.
7 Mile House
2800 Bayshore Blvd., Brisbane; (415) 467-2343; price range $3.95-$16.95
I have lots to say about 7 Mile House, a sports bar and grill just over the Brisbane border. For instance, its 160th birthday is this year, fans of 49ers opponents often party there after games, and it is probably haunted. Oh, also: It serves hearty Filipino food right alongside the customary wings, nachos and burgers. You can get tender pork adobo with a pyramid of jasmine rice; “sizzling” sisig made with pork cheeks, liver and a raw egg (sisig nachos are an off-menu specialty); and lumpia, those nibble-size Filipino-style egg rolls. I’ve heard good stuff about 7 Mile’s cioppino too, but haven’t verified that yet.
The Taco Shop @ Underdogs
1824 Irving St. (at 19th Avenue), S.F.; (415) 566-8700; price range $3.50-$9.50
San Franciscans sure do love things inside other things (Mission Chinese, Pal’s TakeAway, etc.), and the taco shop inside Underdog Sports Bar & Grill is no exception. I can get behind this white-guy Mexican food, like the legendary Baja fish tacos, each one the size of a little hoagie. I’m not wild about tacos “Nick’s Way” (soft and hard tortilla, Monterey Jack, pintos, pico and guacamole), but it might be worth it just to try the killer house-made guac. Also, make sure to order Taco Shop’s addictive elote con queso (corn with cheese) made with a zesty lime salsa and some cayenne kick.
Ted’s Sports Bar and Grill
312 Harriet St. (at Bryant Street), S.F.; (415) 861-2811; spicy Korean wings $8.95
This cozy, South Korean-owned bar used to serve a mix of Korean and American food until the owners 86ed the former for their Western clientele. However, Chowhound alerted me that the legendary Korean-style wings are still available! My verdict? Excellent wings with a nice char from the grill (no deep frying), seasoned with garlic, ginger and a hit of chili. I suggest you order them extra-spicy for a Super Bowl experience you’ll remember. Well, I suppose there’s that football game, too.