SUPER BOWL EATS
Sure, fans of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are pumped for Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4, but most of us tune in for two other reasons: the commercials and the food.
Make that three things: The halftime show has always been essential viewing; this year Justin Timberlake is back for the first time since 2004, previewing his new futuresque "Filthy" album (sans Janet Jackson).
Where can I party in style without having to clean my house before and after a bunch of rowdy guests, you might ask?
Dozens of Portland bars and restaurants have your back, with plans for Super Bowl parties that look to satisfy every need and craving.
Tacos and margaritas? Check. Spicy wings and buckets of beer? Check. Tall-boys and scratch-made pizza (even vegan and gluten-free)? Check.
For best access, make sure to book a reservation or show up early.
Here are some cool places to catch the Super Bowl action this year:
• The Independent Sports Bar & Grill, 225 S.W. Broadway, will host a football fiesta, with 20 local beers on tap, $15 bottomless taco bar, special $5 Hornitos margarita and an ice luge. You may be so busy filling your tacos and checking your raffle tickets (with prizes like a snowboard, skateboard, cornhole set, LG Sound Bar and subwoofer, 42-inch TV, hats, T-shirts and more) that you may forget to watch the game on one of their 32-inch screens.
• The Station, 2703 N.E. Alberta St., will serve up pub favorites like burgers, wings, sandwiches and 14-inch scratch-made pizza. With seven screens (including two projectors), the Station is a neighborhood favorite for their game-day viewing parties. They've got to-go orders ready for you, too. Signature pizzas include sausage, pesto margherita and chicken garlic, as well as their fried chicken wings, garlic twists, taquitos and hand-held sandwiches.
• Blackbird Pizza, 1935 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. and 6214 N. Interstate Ave., pleases everyone with a menu of vegan and gluten-free pizza and a range of pasta, salads and sandwiches. Watch the game on two big-screen TVs, and take advantage of happy hour from 4-8 p.m. daily.
• At Irving Street Kitchen, 701 N.W. 13th Ave., chef Sarah Schafer will be adding her house made Sriracha wings with blue cheese dip to Irving Street Kitchen's Caviar and ChowNow menus on game day so you won't have to miss a second of the game. Delivery will be available starting at 5 p.m., and orders can be made online or through their app.
• Jackrabbit, 830 S.W. Sixth Ave., brings an extra dose of class to the big day, with private dining rooms ideal for small-group booking. Located in the Duniway Hotel, Chef Chris Diminno serves up gin-focused cocktails, a daily oyster selection, salads and burgers.
• Tanner Creek Tavern, 875 N.W. Everett St., is a relative newcomer to the Pearl but offers the perfect space for a day of indulgence. Named for the old tannery space it occupies — built by an early Portland settler in 1845 — there are two big-screen TVs in the bar with plenty of natural light from the glass doors. A few plates of deviled egg or duck wings will hit the spot, along with mussels and venison terrine by Chef Trevor Payne.
• Altabira City Tavern, 1021 N.E. Grand Ave., puts a grown-up twist on many comfort food classics like a Kobe beef corndog, grilled adobo pork ribs, spicy Asian chicken wings, curried coconut mussels and Carolina-style smoked pork sliders. Best known for their killer patio — with windbreaks, heaters, firepits and sweeping city views — the beer-centric restaurant has a party vibe with or without the Super Bowl on.
• The Waiting Room, 2327 N.W. Kearney St., makes it easy to host a no-fuss party with a menu of to-go "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" meals available by pre-order. A meal comes with deviled eggs, candied ham, buttermilk dressing, hushpuppies with creole tomato glaze, two whole fried chickens and additional sides such as bacon-braised collards, jalapeno mac and cheese, and loaded twice-baked potatoes. If that's still not enough, you also can order a Louisiana crawfish boil by the pound, "dry fry" chicken wings, Jamaican jerk-marinated pork wings and bacon-wrapped poppers.