Can you smell that in the air? What? No, it’s not pumpkin spice! It’s FOOTBALL!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been anxiously waiting for months to watch guys in thick padding and helmets hurl themselves across a huge field at other guys in thick padding and helmets as they chase around a strangely shaped leather ball.
Yes, football season is finally here. I survived three nerve-wracking fantasy drafts, made all my picks for which teams would win this week, and cheered on the Buffalo Bills through a very exciting and awesome first win! (JK, the Bills actually did not win. I wrote that sentence last week when I was a typical ridiculously optimistic preseason Bills fan, just assuming that the game would go well. It didn't. It wasn't even particularly exciting. But I'm sure [I hope] there will be plenty [or at least 8] very exciting and awesome Bills wins this season.)
I could stay home and watch the games, but I generally prefer to go out. I love watching football at the various bars and taverns in Saranac Lake — we have such a fun and community-minded atmosphere here, and that certainly extends to football season. People love to talk football with everyone from their neighbors to first-time visitors.
Mimosa and bloody Mary bar
The best thing about starting off football Sunday at Grizle T’s is the self-serve bloody Mary bar there every week. And this year, they’ve added a self-serve mimosa bar, which just about sounds like heaven to me. Every Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., they set up a table full of various ingredients that let each customer make their own perfect bloody or mimosa. The bloody Mary area includes tomato juice, V8, Clamato, and multiple pre-made mixes, as well as a wide variety of hot sauces and garnishes.
And the mimosa bar has six kinds of juices, plus fresh fruit and fresh fruit purees, and an option to add various shots to your concoction:
If putting liquor and/or champagne into various juices isn’t your thing, Griz also has the most beer taps in the area, and they always fill them with a wide variety of different options for those who like that kind of thing. They have a few beers on special each Sunday, too.
But really, the biggest reason that draws me to Grizle T’s is because it is an official Bills Backers bar. I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan, and I like to watch Bills games with other Bills fans. And I can always be sure that at least a handful, and often a big crowd, of Bills fans will be there. It’s always good to have people to high-five when things go right! And to commisserate with when things go wrong, too, I suppose.
But you don't have to be a Bills fan to come join the fun. There are five or so TVs, and they're spread out around the bar, so they can play whatever game you want. There's always a few different groups of fans at the big screen that the bar pulls down just for football Sundays:
And the back area has several couches so you can pack in a lot of people if you want:
ALL THE GAMES
On those days when I absolutely HAVE to see ALL the games, like those weeks when I have several key fantasy match-ups or when I make a friendly wager on weekly picks, I head to Romano’s Saranac Lanes. They have tons of TVs, and they work hard at making sure each game is displayed somewhere in the bar.
There's always fun, football-minded folks to talk about the newest breakout quarterback, who got injured, and that insane fourth quarter comeback.
Plus, if your day turns south and your team loses and all your match-ups aren’t looking good, you can go bowl a round or two to cheer yourself up! Now that's fun.
When I spend all day watching football, it's important to fuel up. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to eat at Romano's, and I miss the Borracho Taco group order that usually happens in the middle of the 1 p.m. games at Grizle T's. The Blue Line Brewery is a great place to visit when that happens. The brewpub only has one or two TV screens, so you might want to call ahead to see which game is playing before heading there. But it's perfect game-day food with delicious pizza and other yummy eats that wouldn't be out of place at a sporting event.
Bitters and Bones is also a great place to grab some wings or try some of their more interesting foods, like their vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free fair. They have two TV screens and they always have a game or two on. And don't forget to take advantage of their special beer and whiskey shot pairing menu — perfect for celebrating a go-ahead touchdown!