Soccer in the City ~ Euro 2012 Edition

Last week, the husband and I attended our very first international football match. European football match that is. This was my second time ever at FedEx Field and my second time there for soccer. Back in 2009, I saw D.C. United get trounced 3-0 by Real Madrid. Trounced is a good word to describe what happened on Wednesday. The U.S.-Brazil match was more of a Where’s Waldo vs. the Hulk than an even fight. But it was a great game. I loved seeing that at least 67,619 people in the D.C. area care enough about soccer to treck to Landover, MD. Of course, to put things into perspective, an average Redskins game draws in 75,000… but I digress… the game definitely put me in a soccer mood, which is good because from now until PSG-Chelsea at Yankee Stadium on July 22nd, I am all about the beautiful game.  Not only are there a bunch of international friendlies going on right now (those are great to warm up your rusty soccer trash talk) but it’s also time for the UEFA Euro 2012 Championship, aka EURO 2012. 

World Cup 2010 – spot the one Italian in this picture 😉 Hint: he’s being a good sport.

One of the greatest thing about international soccer tournaments, other than the excuse to brink beer and scream profanities for 90 minutes in the middle of the day, is the rivalries. Think Cowboys-Redskins animosity if the Texas team had tried to invade the District not once but twice and then on top of that is really good at the sport and controls all the financial power to bail you out of your current economic woes… I mean, yes, the Portugal-Spain rivalry is big (it typically is among neighbours), so is Italy-France (still not over that 2006 final…) but nothing beats everyone against Germany. Hollande-Germany. England-Germany. Turkey-Germany. France-Germany. Die Mannschaft just doesn’t have a lot of friends outside of Germany. But it’s all in good sports. Sort of. And that’s one of the many reason I love watching the World Cup, and the Euro Cup too. And I know it hasn’t been getting nearly as much attention as let’s say the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration, but the Euro Championship starts Friday, June 8th! This year, it is jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine and will see 16 tributes teams fight until July 1st when only one will stand alive victorious.

Fado’s Irish Bar 
Of course, there’s all sorts of other sports that Americans seem to like more than soccer competing for precious TV and bar time… Stanley Cup final, baseball, basketball, even boxing and previews for the Olympics… it’s not easy finding a restaurant or watering hole that’s a) open at noon when most of the group stage games happen thanks to the time difference with Europe b) showing the matches. Luckily, I’ve got a little round-up for you:

The Chinatown Irish bar seems to be catering specifically to me by playing all of the matches live AND having a special Taste of Soccer menu (available June 8 to July 1st) that combine beer and food. So if you’re sneaking out of the office for a “long lunch break” and you have to make it back so you can’t really drink, you can at least have beer IN your food (Guinness BBQ Chicken Sandwich anyone?) Pair it with an actual Guinness and it only sets you back $13.95. Not bad...

Biergarten Haus
The H Street beer garden opened its door nearly two years ago for the World Cup and they’re still planning on showing every games. If you can make your way there Friday, June 22 for the 2:45PM Greece-Germany quarterfinal, it should be a great place to watch the match. If you don’t mind the heat we’ve been having these days, the giant screen outside is pretty awesome!

The Pug
Same part of town as Biergarten Haus, this favourite spot of rowdy D.C. United fans opens at noon for every Euro game and is making a special $3 “european” sausage (or at least that’s the name they’re giving their locally produced 13th St. meats co bratwurst) for the occasion that can be washed down with $4 Carlsberg.

The Queen Vic
The Royal Pub is screening all matches live and offering 10% discount on their entire tab to those showing their three lions pride during the England matches. I wouldn’t show up there in an Italian jersey on Sunday if I were you 😉

Goethe Institut
This is the German cultural center…so it makes sense that they’re only playing the German games. Germany is playing Greece in the quarterfinals Friday June 22nd at 2:45PM. Bring your own refreshments and your own jokes. My favourite: Germany is going to kick Greece out of the Euros before kicking it out of the euro. Ah ah.

Local 16
Would you like a side of football with your rooftop sunday brunch? That can be arranged. Local 16 is showing all weekend games live on their gorgeous covered rooftop.

Boundary Stone
Showing all the matches live which I think is awesome!

Duffy’s Irish Pub
Duffy’s will have all the weekend games on with sound and $3 Tall Boys of PBR. Their kitchen, however, will not be open until 5PM so you can actually bring your own food or order delivery from one of the many nearby spots. Potluck anyone?

Duffy’s is only showing weekend games? Well, Barcode on the other hand is only showing the weekday matches… all live of course on ten 42in HD TVs and two 70in HD projectors.

Redline has a special $13 lunch menu with a French flair and is showing all the matches live on the 40 flat screen TVs and their huge 11 foot projection screen. At least I think 11 foot is huge, but really I have no idea… I still think in metric 😦

James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar
Showing the games live with $4 Heineken and $5 Guinness specials.

Buffalo Billiards DC
Showing all the games live with $3.50 Heineken Draughts & $3.50 Newcastle Drafts specials.

Ventnor Sports Cafe
While they ask patrons to kindly leave their vuvuzelas at home, Ventnor will be opening up early for lunch everyday to screen the Euro Cup matches.

Lucky Bar
Lucky Bar is always a great spot for soccer and it’s close to my office so I’ve been there quite a bit since the Euro Cup started. Taking many long soccer lunches there means I’ve had the opportunity to fully explore Lucky bar’s menu, which currently includes a special Euro 2012 menu, featuring beer and dishes from the hosts Poland and the Ukraine:  pierogies and kielbasa ($10.75 – pictured), 12oz bottles of Polish lager Okocim ($6.75), 16oz bottles of Ukrainian lager Obolom ($7.50) and Borscht ($10.75). If the game is really not going your way (trust me, I thought about on two occasions when we were playing Sweden last Friday) they’re also serving Stawski Bizonovka… a polish vodka infused with bison grass. You can have it chilled or on the rocks with apple juice.

If you can make up the stairs, Public Bar across the street will be a great spot to cheer for Italy. Very smart of them to attract the Azzuri fans with $3 peronis! Italy plays England (une fois n’est pas coutume: go England!) on Sunday, June 24th at 2:45PM.
Since neither Boqueria not Estadio is showing the matches (Boqueria doesn’t have televisions, Estadio is too good for the Euro Cup apparently…) Spanish fans can cheer on La Roja, while sipping sangria roja at Jaleo. All three locations will be showing the spanish matches. I normally love cheering for Spain, but since they’re playing France in the quarterfinals, I’m not a fan of the furia roja at least for a few days 😉
Of course, there are places in Virginia and Maryland that will show the games too, and it’s hard to have a list of soccer bars that doesn’t include Summer’s… but I’m sticking to the District for this post. I’ll also update it regularly as the tournament progresses. In the meantime, enjoy Euro 2012! And may the odds ever be in your France’s favour! Allez les bleus!
ps: if you can’t get out of the office (those 2:45PM games are a little trickier to pass as a late lunch or really long coffee break) ESPN is actually streaming all of the games live on its website. I never thought I’d say those words, but G-d bless ESPN 😉
[this blog post was updated on 6/21/2012]

One thought on “Soccer in the City ~ Euro 2012 Edition

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s