Catch the game at these Taos sports spots
By Arcenio J. Trujillo
In the mood to nibble on some distinct stadium food or local cuisine while you cheer on your favorite sports team? How about trying a locally brewed beer while you enjoy a game or two on a big screen surrounded by sports aficionados and foodies alike?
If this is how you like to watch sports, there are bars/restaurants in the Taos area dedicated to providing a steady stream of high-definition sports action and a unique customer experience. Despite the fact that there are no professional football, basketball or hockey teams based in New Mexico, there are geographical alliances that exist here. Anecdotally, most bartenders would admit that a majority of locals are either Denver Broncos or Dallas Cowboys fans, but none claim their establishments as the “headquarters” of any particular team. And if you’re into other sports, like basketball, hockey, boxing or soccer, these multiple-viewing establishments can help satisfy your competitive sweet tooth with just a request to change the channel.
575 Sports & Co., 1109 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Taos
Located on the south side of town off the main drag, the 575 Sports & Co. establishment is full of surprises. Along with its unique sports memorabilia collection and ambiance, its themed menu is sure to please a hungry group of sports fans. Perhaps you’ve heard of famous stadium favorites, such as the “Halo Dog” from Anaheim, California; a barbecue stuffed baked potato from Houston, Texas; Gilroy garlic fries from San Francisco, California; corn off the cob from Chicago (White Sox), Illinois; or a “Juicy Lucy Slider” from Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s here that you can get those specialty dishes that aim to replicate that hometown taste. Not claiming loyalties to any particular team or sport, 575 has seven big-screen TVs with many of them showing games in real time. During the National Football League (NFL) season and playoffs, the venue has an all-day happy hour on Sundays. During halftime or commercial breaks, patrons can toss darts at the two boards. For more information, visit facebook.com/monicanluciano or call (575) 779-8486.
The Burger Stand at Taos Ale House, 401 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos
Just north of Taos Plaza, you’ll find a great game-day spot that serves up gourmet burgers; “Hawt” dogs; small-batch, house-brewed craft beers; “Duck Fat Fries”; to-die-for “Truffle Fries”; and an eclectic selection of dipping sauces. On Sundays, wings and “micheladas” are the signature munchies. Maybe most importantly, the Burger Stand at Taos Ale House has multiple large flat screens and a pool table for your Sunday or Monday night pleasure – or pain, depending on how your team played. Visit taosburgersandbeer.com or call (575) 758-5522.
Gorge Bar & Grill, Taos Plaza
Conveniently located on historic Taos Plaza, the Gorge Bar & Grill offers “fresh and modern” casual dining, including a variety of menu selections such as fresh oysters, bison sliders, grilled salmon, green chile chicken Alfredo and juicy burgers. “The Gorge,” as it’s called by locals, features a large, three-sided bar with a TV on each side and a great selection of craft beers. The patio boasts a bird’s-eye view of the Plaza. Visit thegorgebarandgrill.com or call (575) 758-8866.
KTAOS Solar Center, 9 State Road 150, just north of El Prado
If you find yourself on the northern part of town and want to avoid a trip into town, the KTAOS Solar Center offers all the Sunday amenities – full bar and restaurant – for sports fans, too. The Solar Center offers a spacious lounge with gigantic windows that allow unobstructed views of Taos Mountain and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. If patrons wish to step outside for an even better view, all-weather speakers pipe the sounds of the game out to the courtyard for an uninterrupted play-by-play broadcast of the action. Happy hour is all day Sunday and brunch specials are available when the Solar Center opens at 11 a.m. Visit ktao.com/SolarCenter or call (575) 758-5826.
The Martini Tree Bar, Taos Ski Valley
If you’re up in the mountains of Taos Ski Valley and don’t want to come down, no worries. This popular spot for après-ski offers comfort food, local craft drafts, cocktails, live entertainment and sports is just upstairs from Rhoda’s Restaurant. The Taos Ski Valley mainstay gathering place has seven flat-screen TVs. Visit skitaos.com/things-to-do/martini-tree or call (575) 776-2291, ext. 2285.
Taos Mesa Brewing Taos Tap Room, 201 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos
The newest addition to the Taos bar scene, the Taos Tap Room is conveniently situated near the historic Plaza in downtown Taos. Well-lit and spacious, Taos Tap Room features an all-day happy hour on Sundays for the NFL crowds. There are six flat-screen televisions inside the multi-room restaurant and lounge that includes a recreation area with a billiards table, foosball table and a Vogelpiks (Belgian dart game) board. Known for its exceptional locally crafted stouts and fruit beers, Taos Tap Room is just the place to try something new this season. Game day specials are offered on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Monday and Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m. Visit taosmesabrewing.com or call (575) 758-1900.