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If there’s anything that Brazil and Portugal fans can agree upon—well, besides Portuguese, of course—perhaps it’s the flickering high-def bliss of the area’s “Best Soccer Pub.” Or maybe the baja wrap. Correspondent C.T. Schwink reports from Summers Restaurant in Arlington, during Friday’s 10 a.m. clash of South American and European powers.
Pregame-Big group of Portugal fans here. About 25 of them decked out in national team gear with a big flag hanging across a couple of chairs. Some Brazil fans clearly divided into another part of the restaurant. A lot of them look like they could have some legitimate Brazilian roots. Not those bangwagon SOBs that are buying jerseys because they’re trendy. The bar was empty when I arrived. It’s now almost completely filled. Most people are sipping on mixed drinks. I thought it was never too early for beer? Portugese national anthem gets applause. The Brazilian anthem gets whistles, table-banging and cheers.
6th minute-Guy sitting by himself at the end of the bar has his headphones on, bobbing his head to the music. Looks like he just got done with a jog. Beer in one hand, small Brazil flag in the other. Please no one disturb him. He’s in the zone. For breakfast, I ordered the No. 3: breakfast burrito with egg, peppers, jalopenos, shrooms, onions in a sundried tomato tortilla. It was awesome. Blows the empanadas [noshed during the Argentina game last week at El Patio in Rockville] out of the water. Costs about eight bucks. Comes with potatoes, too.
12th minute-Two guys in a booth nearby; one telling a tale of the time he went to the “Big House” in Ann Arbor; his friend in the Brazil soccer garb couldn’t care less.
36th minute-Anytime something with a hint of excitement happens, a group of female Brazil fans, all in gold jerseys, start yelping. They sound a little bit like a group of ankle-biting dogs with their high pitched barks. I detest any dog that can fit into a handbag. But I must admire these gals’ enthusiasm.
41st minute-I’m keeping my eye on the North Korea-Ivory Coast game. Ivory Coast is up 2-0, but I’m rooting for the commies, only because I don’t want the players to spend the rest of their lives working in a coal mine. I count about 22 TVs here—half tuned in to North Korea, half on the Brazil game. A total of 10 behind the bar, all in a row; two placed around the dining room.
Halftime-The yappy ladies in gold get up for a group bathroom trip. I guess no matter where in the world you’re from, girls always go to the bathroom in packs. My little brother, who’s taggling along today, spots a Bud Light truck outside and suggests that we hijack it, put it in our backyard and then cover it with blankets, so our mom doesn’t see it. I like his plan. It’s fool proof.
54th minute-The breakfast burrito looks to be the favorite around here. A bunch of them arrives suddenly at the tables around me. One guy loudly demands more sour cream. His waitress delivers. Game is still nil-nil.
77th minute-Lots of people standing at the bar now. The kitchen is swamped, according to my waitress, and the table behind me is getting impatient. They want their burritos before the game is over, dammit! Still nil-nil.
88th minute-Two failed scoring chances for Brazil. Half the restaurant is yelling in frustration, the other half cheering in relief. Fed up with waiting for his food, the guy at the table behind me cancels his order. Come to find out the beloved breakfast burrito is officially called the “baja wrap.”
Final whistle-An anticlimactic scoreless draw. At least the baja wrap is satisfying.
Photo by Raimond Spekking/Creative Commons Attribution License