The plant-based "Beyond Sausages" at Rosamunde Sausage Grill. (Courtesy of @pacgourmet)

A Gay Man's Guide to Surviving the Whole Sports Ball Thing

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With the year's biggest helmeted Sports Ball game kicking off this Sunday, San Francisco bars and restaurants are planning a veritable field day to celebrate.

As you know, in macho-dominated straight world, Super Bowl Sunday is basically an excuse to get brown-out drunk in the afternoon (in gay world, we call call that "brunch"), but as a wildly gesticulating gay man who anchors his consonants to the ends of exclamations, I would rather stay home and play with my python U'Lani than wedge myself into a bar with a bunch of rams and patriots. But then, I also have major #fomo.


And so, year after year, I seek out the just-right spot where I can cheer or boo when it's communally appropriate and pray to a Higher Power (i,e, Oprah Winfrey) that the shiny commercials and halftime performance will bestow upon me some sense of lasting joy (may the #BeyoncéBowl of 2013 live on forever in all its gif-able glory).

Blessedly, I live in San Francisco where there are plenty of palatable ways to skin a pig—like Nikkei-style brunch, craft cocktails, and bottomless mimosas. Of course, there's no way Adam Levine can hold a candle to Queen Bey, but hey, maybe we'll get to see Gisele.

Here's how to survive Super Bowl Sunday in style.

Start with a fancy brunch.

When: 10:30am to 7:30pm

Where: Kaiyo, 1838 Union St. (Cow Hollow), kaiyosf.com

ICYMI, Kaiyo is one of the city's hottest new eateries, serving Japanese-meets-Peruvian fare and cocktails from the team behind Whitechapel and Novela. Start drinking early over a brunch of braised pork belly hash or Wagyu steak and eggs—you'll be good and sauced by the time Super Bowl festivities get going at 2pm. The Cow Hollow restaurant will screen the game on three TVs and will be offering a special menu of Super Bowl–inspired plates and libations once the game gets going. // Get (free) priority admission with an RSVP on Eventbrite, or reserve a table at yelp.com.

Eat all the sausages.

When: 1pm to 9pm

Where: Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 2832 Mission St. (Mission), rosamundesausagegrill.com

Sausages are essentially required when watching sports ball, and it's all you can eat at Rosamunde, where you can choose from three different kinds of wieners plus toppings. It's all you can drink too, because reasons, thanks to Colorado-based brewery Oskar Blues, which is supplying the canned craft beer. But what really makes this event worthwhile for even non-football lovers is that 20 percent of tickets sales will benefit families reeling from the Camp Fires. // Tickets ($35) are available at eventbrite.com.

BYO food.

When: 3pm to 7pm

Where: The Cinch Saloon, 1723 Polk St. (Nob Hill), facebook.com

No self-respecting gay man would eat saloon food while watching football. Well, that's not really true, but let's pretend and bring our own duck liver mousse to the first-ever potluck at Polk Street's laid-back gay bar The Cinch. These kids have their priorities in order: Beer bust starts at 3pm, then you can "cheer on the Rams or the Patriots (not) and don't miss the halftime show with Maroon 5!" Ok, check.

Watch the game in style.

When: 1:30pm to 9pm

Where: Novela, 662 Mission St. (SoMa), novelasf.com

While you won't find us fangirling down at the local sports bar, we can always be convinced to flop down in one of Novela's plush lounge chairs for a craft cocktail and a charcuterie plate. The SoMa bar is showing the big game on five HD flat screens and two seven-foot-tall HD digital projection displays (they really want to make sure you can see Adam Levine's carefully groomed five-o-clock shadow) with theatre-worthy surround sound. It'll be like you're watching from the bleachers in Atlanta—only not, thank Bey, since you'll have the sense to reserve their Lombardy Trophy Room, which, for $750, seats up to 20 people and comes with its own private bartender and 50-inch HDTV. You're a real baller. (See what we did there?)

Make sure your TV is the biggest.

When: 3:30pm to 11pm

Where: Emporium SF, 616 Divisadero St. (NoPa), emporiumsf.com

If you think spectating is for sissies, get your own game on with the arcade offering at Emporium, where you can kick off (get it?) the festivities with video games, air hockey, pinball, and pool. But when game time arrives, you better be ready to rumble: Emporium is showing the showdown on its massive 50-foot HD screen. Bring your own food (why not try making one of our Super Bowl-ready recipes?), money for drink specials, and get there early—admission is free but there are no guarantees if the place fills up. // Get more details at facebook.com.

Have another mimosa.

When: 10am to 9pm

Where: The Bar on Dolores, 1600 Dolores St. (Noe Valley), thebarondolores.com

Even if you're not a fan of Sunday's barbaric ball antics, you can surely get behind bottomless mimosas. The endless offering of Champagne and juice ($14 per person) excuses you from going to this actual sports bar. There will also be game-day food and several screens to watch the game. // Get more details at facebook.com.

Or just drink wine with your dog instead.

BYO DD (designated dog) to The Winery SF.

(Courtesy of @bradyd00d)

Escape the Super Bowl Wine Tasting

When: Noon to 5pm

Where: The Winery SF, 30 Avenue G. (Treasure Island), winery-sf.com

If you're more into grape skin than pigskin, you won't be remiss to partially cross the bridge for wine tasting on Treasure Island, where the dog-friendly Winery SF is offering $5 off tasting when you RSVP in advance. For of those dollars will go toward any bottle you purchase to take home for the big game (or not).

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