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Watch the Big Game

Watch the Big Game
Cavanaugh's Restaurant & Sports Bar bills itself as a "Gastopub Sports Bar," and that just about sums it up. Fancy pub food is on the rise in Philadelphia right now, and I was fixing to see just how snazzy these folks could get with their hot wings.

Upon entrance, I was faced with the decision of heading up or downstairs. Both paths lead to fairly similar bars, with some seating tucked toward the back end. I opted for the lower path, primarily because it was quieter and sported what appeared to be a Big Buck Hunter II machine.

The walls behind the bar are lined with HD television, piping highly detailed sportscasts throughout the room. The liquor selection is pretty broad, but nothing really standout from any other sports bar. A notable beer on tap is the Brooklyn Pennant Ale the first time I've seen it in Philadelphia. Opting to pair spicy with spicy, I ordered a Victory Brewing Company's Golden Monkey.

Thursday was 35 cent wing day during the happy hour, so I saddled up and ordered ten. "Hottest wings you got, please. Kill me."

The 3rd Degree sauce doesn't lie. I can say without a moment's hesitation that these are the hottest wings I've had thus far in Philadelphia, and I am no novice. An intense heat matches with a nice subtle sweetness, and will surely leave your lips a-burnin' for quite a while. The sauce is thick, almost certainly tomato-based, and flavorful. It's rare to find something legitimately spicy in any restaurant these days. My hat goes off for the pleasant surprise.

The drink prices aren't too bad, and it seems that the specials are where Cavanaugh's shines. My Thursday happy hour yielded $4 on most bottles, which was great given the impressive bottle list.

The service was very accommodating and friendly, and the food was promptly served and delicious. The downstairs restroom made me feel a little like Harry Potter under the stairs, but it's a fairly relaxed bar - I sort of expected as much.

Average drink price runs around $5, and the food menu definitely stays on the cheaper side, erring around $8-10. Cavanaugh's runs many, many specials from 4pm-Midnight every day, so you're guaranteed to find something within your budget.

Relaxed atmosphere, good food, and a decent drink selection…and a Big Buck Hunter II machine.
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