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Where Can Out-of-Towners Get Drunk for This Weekend's NCAA Men's Basketball Western Regional Championship?

From Andrea and Chasen: So we should do something and tell all the people visiting Anaheim for our part of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament where to go eat and get drunk that's not too far away.

Rest of the Weeklings, who don't follow sports save for Ted, Matt and I: [Silence.]

Me: But the Honda Center has booze. . . .

Andrea: But they can't sell any for a college tournament.

Me: [Silence.]

SO . . . welcome, out-of-towners (except Duke fans), to our glorious county! Wish you could stay longer so we could give you a better experience, but I know most of you (save for San Diego State fans--bring us California burritos--and University of Arizona fans, most whom are probably back to visit home for spring break) took a cab from John Wayne to the various hotels around the Honda Center, only to recoil at your bill and vow never to use OC taxis again. We don't blame you--we don't bother with them.

I've been informed that the Honda Center won't sell alcohol for the NCAA men's basketball Western Regional semifinals and finals because of all those damn coeds--WEAK SAUCE. There are some bars and booze-friendly restaurants near the arena--but don't go for the obvious choices.

DON'T
go to Hooters, which is just 10 minutes away, walking, going west on Katella Avenue. We all know the only reason for patronizing the chain--and why bother with hints of T&A when you can get the whole thing at Fritz That's It about a mile away?

PERHAPS patronize JT Schmid's, which is right across the street from the Pond Honda Center. It's a good-enough spot, I guess, and a perfect distance from the Ayres or other high-class hotels for you to stagger to and from, but I've always found its entrées uninspired, if filling, and their cocktails a bit on the soft side (the beers, however, get nothing but kudos from people who care about beer--I'm not one of them).

MAYBE visit the massive Stadium Promenade shopping plaza east on Katella, in the city of Orange. They'll have more than a few drunk choices, from the good (Lazy Dog Cafe) to the besotted (Auld Irisher) to the crowded (King's Fish House). My only problem with sending ustedes (that's "y'all" in Southern California-ese) there is that you'll have to rub elbows with apathetic suburbanites and teens getting ready to neck at the big movie theater there.

GO to The Catch, the longtime bar of choice for Anaheim Angels fans; it's on Katella about half a mile from the Honda Center. They have a massive sports bar with all the HD televisions you may desire, plus an adjacent dining room that does a great job of masquerading as a New England chop house. The bar food is uspcale bro cuisine, but we're talking booze here: spectacular. They make a Manhattan that could floor a hippo yet maintains the sweetness of the cherry, the bourbon, the everything. The Catch is as appropriate for a date as it is for a bunch of yahoo Dukies. Go Aztecs!

Oh, and if you catch yourself hungry for great grub, try this list. Have fun in our county, and don't bother with Cowboy Boogie--been closed for YEARS. . . .

The Catch, 2100 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 935-0101; www.catchanaheim.com.

Got a spicy question for the Comida Critic? Ask him in the comments below!

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11 comments
Agent00714
Agent00714

What about Noble Ale? Food Trucks + Beer, just blocks away from the Ponda Center.

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Don't tell Coach K about Polka Deli, in Orange. I don't want him getting too comfy.

Grimson32
Grimson32

Danny K's is a dive, but has stiff drinks, plenty of room to watch the games, and average bar food. About a fifteen minute walk to the Honda Center, and they do not charge for parking. Go Aztecs!

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

There's more around than that... El Torito Grill has pretty decent margaritas. OC Sports Grill will fill you up with the 110-ounce "columns" of cold beer.

And for God's sake, Noble Ale Works is eight damn minutes' walk away. Yes, it's industrial, and yes, it's a warehouse with a TV on the wall, but damn, that beer is delicious.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

"Ponda Center"--HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, that was a good one...as well as the Noble Ale rec...

Honeyman
Honeyman

But Gustavo doesn't like beer.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Gracias! And I forgot that dive bar near by...Cherry Room or something?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

EXACTLY. El Torito Grill MIGHT be a bit of a walk, though, no? Then again, I'm thinking like a pinche Southern Californian...

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Damnit, Gus. I was very happy that you didn't mention any cool local places(other than The Catch). Don't bring the Cherry Pit into this! jk ;)

Actually, they could probably use the business. Go to the Cherry Pit...or hell, The Salty Dawg, even. Those are two real bars that are very, very close, and not lame. NCAAlcoholics would find themselves right at home(I mean that in a nice way, as both of those bars are a-ok by me).

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

1.2 km straight west on Katella... 15 minutes' walk. Done it many times. Then again I walk from my house to the Honda Center, so...

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