Everyone Wins on Game Day
Duke’s Plates and Pints
510 La Sierra Drive, Sacramento
It’s near the end of Seahawks/Vikings NFL playoff game on a Sunday afternoon and the bar is scattered with fans. About every 10 minutes or so—in between eating or drinking—you can hear the occasional “OOOHHH!” from the bar, after a good or bad play. There were no complaints to be heard at Duke’s Plates and Pints because the Sunday game was on the big screen and happy hour was all day.
Located on La Sierra Drive, near Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, Duke’s Plates and Pints is ready to cater to any football fan, hungry patron or happy hour hound. Duke’s is a casual bar that is small enough for you to grab a quick bite by yourself but big enough to meet with your crew on game day.
Though it’s a low-key hangout spot, Duke’s has a surprising number of craft beers on tap. It’s easy to get pretty excited with their craft beer selection, with more than 20 beers on tap, bottled sours, hard ciders, and don’t forget wine. You can start off with a golden ale, work your way up to a hoppy IPA, then end with a chocolate stout. And if you want to experience more beer tasting like I do, you get to choose from different sizes: half-pint, pint or pitcher. It’s not only a good place to watch the game on Sundays, but they also have a relaxing patio where you can drink beer, chat and bask in the sun with your buds. Their all-American food menu is full of wings, fries, salads, burgers, sausages and sandwiches. Most plates range from about $9 to $11, giving you a full meal and maybe even some leftovers.
The happy hour schedule is normally Monday through Friday 3–5:30 p.m., but if it’s game day on Sunday, happy hour is all day. But now time for a play-by-play on how much grub this happy hour hound can get for only $20.
Their happy hour menu consists of carnitas tacos, pork sliders, pretzel sticks and $1-off pints. When I went to order, I fell out of luck with the happy hour food menu, because they were out of pork until the end of the day, so I was forced to improvise my game plan.
I started off with two half-pints of beer, first the Amador Brewing Company’s Deep Hop Red for $3, then the Boulder Beer Company’s Shake Chocolate Porter on nitro for $3.50. I figured it would be worth it to try two craft beers for the price of one. It’s hard to beat a good hoppy red ale on tap and a chocolate porter is one of my favorite beers to drink in the winter. I see it almost equivalent to ordering a hot chocolate but cold and with more alcohol.
Next up, I ordered two pretzel sticks (only $1.50 each). The soft pretzel sticks were not at all what I was expecting in my head, they were so much better. They were served coated with parmesan cheese and big chunks of sea salt. It melts in your mouth when you take a bite of the warm, soft, doughy pretzel. Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks to have with beer, but these put normal snack pretzels to shame.
Next was the main course, the dish I was looking forward to eating the entire time and when it was served all I could say was, “Woah.” With a name like “Macho Nachos,” there was no way I was going to pass that up. Served in a giant bowl, these nachos were smothered with shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, tomatoes, chili and shredded chicken. No matter how full I was, it was hard to stop eating the salty, cheesy indulgence.
For a grand total of $21.70, I got to pig out on two half-pints of craft beer, two pretzel sticks, and epic cheesy nachos. Duke’s Plates and Pints is a casual spot for game day and a great spot for trying new beers on tap. Grab a friend, a beer, a burger and wind down at Duke’s for the best few hours of the day, happy hour.