Football season is upon us and there’s no finer way to make your team play better than by shouting at multiple television screens fueled by cold beer and carbs, amirite? Clearly, I’m not one for fanaticism, but I do enjoy rooting on the ol’ home team, especially when there are good eats to be had.
Gordon Biersch in the Annapolis Towne Center had the perfect perch for which to enjoy the warm fall we’ve been experiencing while catching some Sunday night football. Their bar opens up to an outdoor patio during fair weather, and seated on the outdoor side I had the game right in my line of sight.
I immediately got my hands on a tall glass of GB’s Marzen beer and ordered the Marzen-Simmered Bratwurst Sliders. Not only was it an ideal pairing, but the sliders were truly something to cheer for. Served on a wooden board came three bite-sized brats nestled in pretzel rolls smothered in caramelized onions and housemade mustard.
Honestly, I could eat a modest pile of twenty or so of these and have no regrets. (Word to the wise: use the accompanying pickle chips with the sliders.) There’s even a little pile of housemade chips which I found darling and delicious. By the end of the first half there wasn’t a morsel left on that board.
The next course called for a Hefeweizen to go with GB’s Southwest Egg Rolls. They make these in-house and they’ll be sure to tackle any and all hunger pains right into a coma. Packed with chicken, black beans, corn, roasted red peppers, onion, carrots, zucchini, and pepper jack this finger food eats more like a meal.
What kind of foodie would I be if I didn’t finish things off with GB’s Cheese Curds. The fried cheese certainly did not disappoint, especially when combined with the bits of candied bacon involved. There’s a honey whole grain mustard on the side for some extra savory sweetness. I washed it all down with a Naptown Pils and felt like my team wasn’t the only one winning.
The following week I returned to the Annapolis Towne Center, but this time to check out the eats and game at Union Jacks. The self-proclaimed “mega-pub” is just that with enough space to house 25 televisions and anyone who wants to yell at them. (Does anyone feel bad for the tv’s here?)
Union Jacks has an extensive beer selection, including 30 beers on tap! I kicked things off with a Fat Tire Amber Ale and Chicken Nachos. These nachos were a sheer mountain of tortilla chips, melty cheese, fresh jalapeno, and seasoned chicken. I appreciated the crowning “condiment chip” on top, which was filled with sour cream, guacamole, and pico. Just watch out, if the jalapenos don’t get ya, the chicken has a decent kick too!
This next dish could very well be the MVP – most valuable pizza, that is! Union Jacks make their dough in-house and you can taste the difference. I ordered the London Bridge which was topped with prosciutto, goat cheese, cherry tomato, red onion, roasted garlic, baby arugula, and balsamic glaze. I enjoyed each bite with a swig of Smithwick’s and was too pleased to notice who was moving the ball or scoring the points.
To sweeten the deal Union Jacks is running football specials every Saturday (11-5), Sunday (11-9), and Monday (5-9) on select buckets, pitchers, spirits, and appetizers. You can even hop on one of their pool tables if you find the game isn’t going the way you’d like.
No matter whose colors you wear Gordon Biersch and Union Jacks have the fare and libations to see you through all the disappointments and celebrations alike. Like my new favorite t-shirt says, “I just hope both teams have fun”.
Featured blog by Rhea Torreon @annapolis_foodie