Sunday, March 17, 2002

Eat, drink and cheer on your favorite team

By Polly Campbell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here's hoping your favorite college basketball team made it through the first round of the NCAA tournament. As the excitement mounts, you might want to go out and watch the games with fellow fans.

        Just be sure to go to the right sports bar. Though most say they accommodate fans of all loyalties, you wouldn't want to be cheering on the Wildcats in the middle of a Bearcats crowd. There's plenty of hearty food and snacks at all the following bar/restaurants.

        • A big Xavier University bar is Highlands Bar and Grill in the Quality Hotel in Norwood. Coach Thad Matta tapes his TV show there. There are 19 TVs to watch the action. Food and beverage manager Thomas Booth recommends the Reuben ($8), a huge sandwich served with french fries, jalapeno onion rings, cole slaw or fruit.

        Highlands is about to be renovated into a new restaurant called Brinkley's, but it'll continue to have a sports lounge. 4747 Montgomery Road, Norwood; 351-7400.

        • University of Cincinnati fans can find any number of places to watch their team. On the east side, there's Salem Gardens, with a big-screen TV that will be tuned to UC no matter who else is playing, and five more TVs that could show other teams. Owner Mike Larkin recommends the cheeseburger. It's $2.50, or $4.25 for a basket with fries and coleslaw. 6396 Salem Road, Anderson Township; 231-9666.

        • If you want to root for University of Kentucky, it's best to go to Kentucky. Jenny Marck, general manager of Barleycorn's in Lakeside Park, says it's “chaos” there when the Wildcats play. She says to get the Wildcat sandwich, a deep-fried chicken breast dipped in buffalo wing sauce, with sauteed mushrooms, cheddar cheese and blue cheese dressing ($6.75). 2642 Dixie Highway; (859) 331-6633.

        • The area Ohio State University alumni group meets to watch Buckeye games at the new Buffalo Wild Wings in Kenwood. Manager Cheryl Correll says the location has four big screens and 32 regular TVs, so there's room for all kinds of fans. She recommends the Western burger, with cheddar cheese, sweet barbecue sauce and bacon, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles ($4.59). 7714 D Montgomery Road; 891-9453

        • Indiana University fans used to go to Tickets in Covington when it was one of the few bars with a satellite dish, and it's still a favorite spot for Hoosiers. Owner Dave Ammon recommends the Heavy Hitter, a grilled ribeye sandwich with sauteed onions ($7.25). 100 W. Sixth St.; 431-1839.


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- Eat, drink and cheer on your favorite team
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