Super Bowl XLIX (that's 49 for non-Romans) provides the kickoff to a great Make It Montco weekend. The county is packed with corner pubs and bars, where the food is plentiful, the barkeeps are attentive and there's always a seat open for one more fan.
For primo Super Bowl viewing, the following locations are about as good as being on the 50-yard line. Pick one, settle in and enjoy:
- The grilled Caesar salad at Appalachian Brewing Company, Collegeville, has a unique twist: Not only is the chicken seared, but the lettuce gets a quick, tasty char as well. The Scottish Jolly Ale should keep your whistle wet for proper rooting and hooting.
- Audubon Ale House is a classic neighborhood bar, casual and tavern-style. The fish and chips are recommended, as is the Reuben. For appetizers, the onion rings and mozzarella sticks are best bets.
- Chickie's & Pete's, Audubon, provides all the cheer and passion of the South Philadelphia location but closer to home. All that rooting (or booing) is going to require nourishment, and nothing satisfies like the famous Crabfries.
- Dave & Buster's, Plymouth Meeting, has great food, a bountiful bar and is packed with high-def screens, meaning that fans can break from the game, some play billiards or shuffleboard and not lose track of the score.
- Rock Bottom Brewery, King of Prussia, brews a local delicacy, Prussia's Pride, an ale that pairs with just about everything, including the lobster and shrimp enchiladas. You'll be cheering, regardless of what's going on in Arizona.
- At the Tilted Kilt, King of Prussia, follow the gridiron action while digging into a platter of Irish nachos. Never had them? You've missed out on fresh-cooked crispy potato chips covered with a signature Guinness Beer Cheese Sauce, seasoned ground beef and tomatoes.
- The "special teams" at Uno Chicago Grill, Oaks, will make sure your plate overflows with the deep-dish slices that reflect the best of the Windy City. Grab a stool at the bar, enjoy the view of one of the many widescreens and follow the play-by-play.
- Don't hole up in a dingy "man cave." Enjoy game day at the Valley Tavern at Valley Forge Casino Resort, where 16 different beers on tap and 20 televisions provide the perfect setting for gridiron-gazing.
Having people in for the game? Make sure your food scores big.
- Your best defense for meeting the challenge of a Super Bowl party is the takeout menu from PF Chang's. Best of all, the restaurant is offering a February 1 discount of 20 percent. Football fans can nestle in before kickoff and enjoy snacks, entrees and the signature dessert, the Great Wall of Chocolate!
- Phamous Phil's BBQ and Grille provides catering for parties of 15-20 guests, enabling you to serve the most mouthwatering meats and sauces with no muss or fuss. Entrée options include pulled pork, pulled chicken, beef brisket and smoked wings.
- Great home-cooked party food starts with great ingredients. The vendors at the Collegeville Farmer's Market, part of the Collegeville Economic Development Corporation, offer fresh meats, zesty cheeses and the best seasonal veggies, all the fixings for a great spread on game day. All Hands in the Cookie Jar, an allergen-free bakery, is making Super Bowl cookies, so you can support your favorite team sweetly.
Other neighborhood Super Bowl recommendations throughout the county include:
- All Star Café Sports Bar & Restaurant, Gilbertsville
- Connolly Pub & Grill, Hatboro
- Flanigan's Boathouse, Conshohocken
- Great American Pub, Narberth
- Halligan's Pub, Flourtown
- Hattrick's Sports Bar & Grill, Lansdale
- Jerzee's Sports Bar & Grill, Glenside
- Keswick Tavern, Glenside
- Legends Sports Bar and Grill, West Conshohocken
- The Lucky Well, Ambler
- MaGerk's, Fort Washington
- Molly MaGuire's Pub, Lansdale
- Pourhouse Sports Bar, Pottstown
- Steppy's Sports Bar & Grill, Norristown
- Trappe Tavern, Trappe
- Via Marconi Sports Bar & Pizza, Lansdale
- Vintage Bar and Grill, Abington
If you happen not to be a football fan, there are other things to do in Montgomery County this weekend, too - even a family-friendly event that spills over into Monday.
- The DCP Theater production of The Snow Ball opens this weekend, with director's opening wine receptions on January 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. The play tells the tale of a middle-aged man looking both backward at his adolescence and forward to his future.
- The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Schwenksville, is having a night hike and campfire on January 31. Search for the "Full Snow Moon," named by Native Americans for appearing during a period of heavy snowfalls. The hike concludes with stories and a marshmallow roast.
- Also opening on January 31 is the exhibit "Molas of the San Blas Islands" at Glencairn Museum, part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District. Come and see these colorful blouses from Panama, beautifully decorated with reverse appliqués. The art is extremely detailed and intricate, and the tools of the trade are deceptively simple: needle, scissors, thimble and upwards of 40 hours' hand labor. But the results are stunning.
- If you think that basketball's only court jesters from Harlem are the Globetrotters, think again. The Harlem Wizards, a comedic team of shooters and dribblers, takes the court of North Penn High School, Lansdale, on January 31 at 7 p.m. The athletic artistry of the Wizards will be evident as they elevate the star-status of the home team, featuring teachers, principals and local notables. Never in the history of sport will the losing team have so much fun.
- This weekend is your last chance to enjoy the outdoor ice skating at Elmwood Park Zoo. Hours on Saturday are ongoing from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Plan a second zoo visit Monday afternoon, February 2, for the Groundhog's Day animal encounter at Canopy Gardens Hall. Nora the Groundhog takes the stage at 1 p.m., predicting either an early spring or more tough winter cold. Read our blog coverage of last year's event.
Whatever your tastes, this weekend is a super chance to get away and Make It Montco; don't fumble the opportunity to explore all we have to offer. After one of these engaging events, take a pass on your cold, dark home and sail into the end zone of one of our signature hotels. We've got a number of packages that will earn you extra points with the family or your certain someone.
Open the door to your suite, open your arms at the foot of the cushy bed, and flop backward on the duvet: Touchdown!