With fall comes colder weather, the changing of the leaves and possibly the most important event: the start of football season. While some Gauchos might proclaim that the only kind of football is the kind UCSB plays at Harder Stadium, a plethora of local places score with their Sunday and Monday night festivities. You never know… anything can happen in the NFL.

Tap the Rockies

Z’s Taphouse & Grill at Zodos Bowling & Beyond
5925 Calle Real, Goleta
(805) 967-0128
Price: Under $10

Known for its late-night bowling deals, Zodo’s also features an in-house bar and grill, Z’s Taphouse. Bartender Nate Montross said the eatery has specials for both Sunday and Monday night football.

“There are beer specials through the whole game … whenever football is on,” he said.

If you prefer your football in the morning, Montross said Z’s grills up breakfast burritos, tacos, omelets and sandwiches, which are available Sundays from 10 a.m. until noon.

Z’s also dishes up double the fun, with dinner deals on both Sunday and Monday nights. Montross said menu highlights include the Ultimate Philly Cheesesteak, Fried Egg Bacon Cheeseburger and open-face Bacon Chili Cheeseburger.

“The Meat Trio Sampler is really good – Italian sausage, sirloin steak and soy chicken with a sweet and spicy Thai chili and chipotle barbecue sauces,” he said.

The restaurant is also equipped to handle the pressures of the game, with multiple televisions for multiple-game access, Montross said. So even if a member of the “Gridiron Gang” is blocking your view and contributing to your varsity blues, all you have to do is simply turn your head.

“We have 40 beers on tap and 14 [HD] TVs; if you want to watch football it’s the place to be,” Montross said.

So take a time-out at Z’s Taphouse Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Second Down

Madison’s Grill & Tavern
525 State St.
(805) 882-1182
Price: $10-$20

Touch down downtown at Madison’s, where they serve up football specials Sunday and Monday nights. Owner Diane Harding said the eatery has great deals during the games.

“We have half-price appetizers between 4 and 7 [p.m.],” she said. “Our two-for-one steak special is between 7 and 9 [p.m.], and then we feature $3 Miller Light in our 20 oz. schooner.”

She said the restaurant has 50 flat screen televisions to watch any of the games and that local radio station KTYD 99.9 FM does special events from the bar.

“We have KTYD on Monday nights and they do a live broadcast for Monday Night Football,” she said. “KTYD does raffles, you can win concert tickets, tickets to football games, passes to Chumash Casino.”

Additionally, Harding said the bar is great for the college crowd.

“We’re famous for steaks, sports and fun,” she said.

So make your designated driver game plan and take your victory dance down to Madison’s Grill & Tavern on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Take a Bite Out of the Competition

416 State St.
(805) 963-9680
Price: Under $10

While Sharkeez is often known for its college-night specials, the popular downtown bar also serves up some hot football specials. The bar has Saturday, Sunday and Monday football specials, with breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.

Promotions Manager Katie Manser said the bar incorporates activities into its football coverage.

“We do trivia all throughout the game,” Manser said. “We give away T-shirts and stuff.”

Participants also have chances to show off their passing and throwing skills, Manser said.

“At halftime, we do a football toss,” she said “Whoever wins gets a pitcher of beer.”

Manser said that their extensive food and drink specials can all be found online at www.sharkeez.net. She recommends the buffalo bites.

The bar’s 45 HD flatscreen TVs ensure that the game you want to see will be playing at Sharkeez, Manser said.

“We try to let everybody know that no matter what game you want to watch … we get every single game,” she said.

The bar, which has several locations in Los Angeles, tunes in to all University of Southern California home and away games, and is also holding a raffle for tickets to the homecoming game as well as the bar’s “Super Tailgate Bash,” according to their Web site.

So sack your hunger and play the field at Sharkeez Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

From kick-off to the final touchdown, these eateries will blitz your taste buds and put your wallet on the bench with their wave-worthy menus and specials. Forget the coin toss and take your huddle down to all these great local restaurants for the perfect play in your football game.