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Sports bar that goes beyond bar food?

I've been reading the Austin boards for a while and have learned a lot about the Austin restaurant scene. This football season I've encountered a problem that I think y'all can help me solve. Most Saturdays and some Sundays I find myself at a restaurant or sports bar watching football, but I always have a hard time finding something to eat. The problem is I don't eat much meat (no red meat, limited chicken, mostly seafood) and and I don't eat much fried food. I usually end up eating a frozen veggie burger or an iceberg salad with a few shavings of dry carrot and gloppy ranch dressing. Are there any sports bars (or restaurants with decent TVs) that go beyond burgers and wings and have a decent selection of vegetarian or seafood meals? The best I've found so far is Doc's on S. Congress with a good blackened tilapia salad and a mediocre grilled veggie sandwich. Thanks!

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  1. Man, I feel your pain. Not a lot of talk here on the Austin boards for people like you and I who like a few brewskis and a satisfying plate of food while watching the NFL Ticket. Sadly, the "satisfying plate of food" part of that is usually pretty disappointing.

    Legends Sports Bar, attached to the Holiday Inn at Mopac and 183, has a few things that aren't too bad: good club sandwich, cuban sandwich (entitled the "Mark Cuban"... clever), and a few average but overpriced fish entrees.

    Although I've never been there, the menu at Joe's Bar and Grill (next to Frank & Angies) looks like it's a little elevated above the typical fried this-and-that bar food. They purport to have a tuna steak served over a nicoise salad. Hmm.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jwynne2000

      It's been a while since I've been to Joe's, but the tuna steak served over the nicoise was really, really great the last time I tried it. I don't remember it having potatoes in it though, and I did miss them.

    2. Don't know if this helps too much, but I've found the grilled chicken sandwiches at Pluckers to be quite edible. They do one with the spinach dip that's especially good. They also have grilled chicken strips. Try them tossed in the ranch seasoning.

      Def'ly not a vegetarian-friendly place, though, esp since they got rid of the potatoes.

      1. BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse is about to open down south in Sunset Valley (behind Red Robins). It's a So. Cal chain. I went to a invite only lunch this week with a limited menu and it was decent. Chopped salad with chicken and honey mustard dressing. Other folks with me had personal sized pizzas (including a vegi option). Really high ceilings with TVs splashed around. I don't know whether I would throw it in the sports bar category, but would assume that they'll be showing sports when they're on (at lunch, we were stuck with MSNBC and ESPNNews). It was a pretty limited menu for our lunch, but they let us look over their standard menu and it runs the gamut from potsticker appetizers, burgers and pizzas to fish tacos and salmon entrees. Not sure that I'll make it back much, as I'm not much for the scene, but if you want a Bennigan size menu (that was much tastier, at least on our limited items), than you may want to check it out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ftf

          Houston's at Burnet and Anderson has a menu that should fit and two decent size TVs in the bar

          Definetly not a sports bar, but it might do in a pinch.

          Great fish sandwhich and Veggie plate is just an assortment, but some unusual offerings--brussel spouts, califlower (sp?) with curry.

          1. re: ftf

            I actually saw this place a few weeks ago when I was in that area. I was wondering what kind of restaurant it would be. Thanks for the post. I'll check it out, it looks like it may be what I've been searching for. Do you know if it's open for regular business yet?

            1. re: Royale

              if I remember correctly, I think it opens sometime next week.

          2. How about Shoal Creek Saloon? Lots of seafood options for sure.

            1. You might be able to find something to your liking at The Tavern...

              1 Reply
              1. re: jjs21582

                Agreed: the Tavern is a sports bar that serves decent burgers and has a full menu w/ some decent options (as far as a sports bar goes).

                Shoal Creek and the Dog & Duck are also strong options in this field.

                Billy's on Burnet isn't a bad choice, either.

              2. http://www.ringerssportslounge.com

                I haven't tried this place yet, but looks like a pretty decent menu for your needs and I know they have a ton of TVs

                1 Reply
                1. re: amykragan

                  Food at Ringers is OK; Pluckers is better. Beer specials and TVs at Ringers are very good, though.

                  Lamberts, of all places, advertises a Monday Night Football happy hour.

                  Third Base, run in part by the great guys of Hog Island Deli, has a bunch of salads on their menu. http://www.thirdbaseaustin.com/menu

                2. Fox and the Hound has a nice selection of salads from what I remember...

                  6 Replies
                    1. re: amykragan

                      Yes, Fox and Hound is long gone. Soon the site will have more condos.

                      1. re: amykragan

                        Yup - they've been shut since early summer.

                        My recommendation for central locations with full TV service are to second chuckles and go with Shoal Creek Saloon on Lamar (just make sure and check if there's a Saints' game) or go with Aussies on Barton Springs Road / Riverside. Both actually have non-frozen food at regular prices.

                        1. re: solo

                          It's kind of Dallas, but the bar at the Daily Grill is fun to me. They have a great Happy Hour (GOOD apps less than $2) and a couple of TVs. I think they do something special for Monday NIght Football but I'm not absolutely sure about that.


                          1. re: Rene

                            I didn't even know that Austin had a Daily Grill. I enjoyed the one in Washington DC while I was there a few summers ago. It's a little out of my usual area but I will definitely give it a try.

                            1. re: Royale

                              I will look forward to your thoughts. I've been really pleased with this place.

                    2. I was searching for this EXACT combination and came across your post! I am moving to Austin next month and will be living downtown and without a TV. I don't want to compromise my fantasy season by missing all the games.
                      When I visited in early November I came across Moonshine downtown. Excellent food (had the trout and a goat cheese salad) and service and they had just gotten a 42" plasma. I watched the Sunday night game with the small bar nearly full and made up of all women, no less. Yep, 7 women, all of us happily watching football.
                      Thanks for all the help...still searching for the perfect place with NFL ticket and good seafood (same diet as Royale)...I also like supporting local businesses. Think I'll drive by a couple of the suggested this weekend while visiting and if I find anything great, I'll be sure to post it!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: trainerleslie

                        I'm a big fan of Moonshine. I may have to try them out during bowl game season. I was at Third Base yesterday and I didn't order any food, but I did get a glimpse of their cobb salad and it looked pretty decent with romaine lettuce, not the dreaded iceberg.

                        Welcome to Austin, trainerleslie. This board will be a great resource for getting to know the best Austin restaurants and eateries.