Ahhh, sports bars. My first love. (Sorry, Jill!)
As a self described sports junkie, there’s just something about going to a sports-centric mecca, and talking trash/comparing notes/commiserating with other like minded fans. (Per mirriamwebster.com the origin of the word “fan” in this case, is probably “Short for fanatic, First Known Use: 1682″.)
Every fanatical sports fan has a place where they go to kick back, unwind and just enjoy the atmosphere. You know . . .nothing frilly or fancy, a place that’s really comfortable, like your favorite pair of jeans. Sports bars are like that to me, because when I find myself smack dab in a crowd of rabid sports fans, wagu beef and duck a l’orange aren’t going to be on my appetite’s radar screen. Even as a die-hard foodie, I’m even more a die-hard sports fan, so I’ll want what’s typically known as bar food; a menu chock-full with chicken wings, burgers and ice cold beer. After all, when the focus in on the game and trading trash-talk with other fans in the room, I don’t want my food distracting me from the real reason I go to a sports bar, and that’s CELEBRATING. Celebrating and camaraderie are the keystone of any successful sports bars. It’s all about the game and the vibe surrounding us! And Harry’s Sports Bar is a real man’s man cave!
But I digress. Walking into Harry’s, you just know you’ve discovered the real deal in sports bar-dom as you walk past a large outdoor bar before hitting the hostess stand, where you stride over not one, but two TV monitors on the floor! Flat screen televisions on the floor so you don’t miss a minute of the game?! I need these in my house!
Now comes the only hard decision you’ll have to make . . . where to sit? So many choices. . . hmmm, enjoying the Florida sunshine at the outside bar and dining area? Belly up to the inside bar? Or grab a table in the spacious, open dining room? There isn’t a bad seat at Harry’s!
This place is clearly a sports bar on steroids. The P.E.D.s are obviously in use here. (That would be Public Entertainment Displays – A.K.A. TVs). No scandal here. . .so move along . . . still plenty to see here! With over 5 dozen flat screens, you won’t miss a minute of action at Harry’s Sports Bar.
On our most recent visit to Harry’s Sports Bar, we ambled into what appeared to be the Colombian headquarters for the FIFA World Cup match between host country Brazil vs. Colombia. This is exactly what we were hoping for! This is going to be one FUN game!
After respectfully standing for the anthems of both nations, (who does that!?) we had our first ice-cold beers in front of us before the coin toss was completed. That, my friends, is just another reason why sports bars are near and dear to my heart.
While Harry’s delivers on the burgers and chicken wings we all expect, I will say the cuisine in “sports bar circa 2014” has evolved, while not straying from its working-man roots. I ordered the Mediterranean Flatbread, featuring tender chicken, caramelized onions (I seriously adore caramelized onions,) fresh spinach, and topped with roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and finished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. “Hello Stella? Please meet your soul-mate.”
Jill eyes another Mediterranean classic, the gyro. And what’s not to love about this classic Greek sandwich? Consisting of lamb and beef, with fresh tomato, onion, shredded lettuce, and a wonderful house-made tzatziki sauce, all nestled in a grilled pita. Paired with a handful of Harry’s crunchy house-made potato chips, this was one hearty meal. You won’t find us playing soccer after noshing down on a lunch this size!
Another noteworthy feature about Harry’s Sports Bar – feel free to bring the family. While one can still vent, cheer, brag, and taunt, the atmosphere is conducive to everyone joining in on the universal community that a sporting event creates. Seriously . . . check out the wonder and focus on the young boy’s face above. We had a great time just watching this little guy!
While there are few, if any, events that unite (or divide) people throughout the globe like FIFA World Cup soccer, Harry’s Sports Bar deserves your attention when your goal is to lavish all your attention on your favorite team . . . no matter what the sport.
And finally, a great foodie fact: Sports bars are the absolute best place to trot out your TUT, or Totally Useless Trivia. For example, here’s one of my favorites from Cheers’ Cliff Clavin – this quote on our lovely state of Florida:
“Norm, it’s a little known fact that the word Florida comes from the language of the Okie Canokie Indians and it means, literally, place where the old people come to sweat.” Priceless!