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Photo by Jim Tanner / Smoked chicken chili nachos ($12) starts with a pan of pulled smoked chicken chili over chips, topped with spicy avocado cream, pico de gallo, chile verde salsa, sour cream, jalapeno and pepper jack cheese.

Saturday in the fall means college football, friends and food to many in the South, and an early November Saturday evening in Chattanooga brings lots of folks out to enjoy all three.

With the Georgia-Florida game just ending and Tennessee game getting ready to kick off, HiFi Clyde's on Chattanooga's Southside was packed with fans of those teams and others cheering for their teams.

Finding some free space at the bar, it was time to settle in for a bite while watching some football.

 

THE SPACE

HiFi Clyde's was on the forefront of the Southside revival, and it has remained a popular spot for both lunch and dinner, as well as just hanging out for drinks with friends. The restaurant opened in 2014, and is part of a group of popular restaurants developed and owned by the Monen Family Restaurant Group.

Located in what was formerly Clyde's Auto Glass on Main Street, HiFi Clyde's is a large, open space with a variety of seating options from a long bar to booths, regular tables and sofa seating areas.

During the day, there are pingpong tables for guests to enjoy; on weekend nights, a stage is set up for live music.

For sports fans, the space features several televisions throughout the room that are large enough to be seen from anywhere in the space.

 

THE MENU

The menu at HiFi Clyde's is big and offers something for all tastes. Chicken, barbecue pork and beef brisket are smoked on-site. There are sandwiches ($9.50-$15) and entrees ($13-$18) with a variety of options.

If you go

› Where: HiFi Clyde’s, 122 West Main St.

› Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday (bar open until midnight); 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday-Saturday (last call for drinks at 1:30 a.m.)

› Price range: $5 for beer cheese pork rinds to $24 for a full rack of Memphis-style ribs

› Phone: 423-362-8335

› Website: www.hificlydeschattanooga.com

There is a diverse list of appetizers ($5-$14), including wings, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and Vietnamese spare ribs.

The full bar features a wide variety of beer and spirits, and they have several premixed specialty drinks with names such as The John Daly, Jungle Juice and The Frozen Lebowski.

 

THE FOOD

What is the go-to dish to enjoy with friends while watching the big game? Some may say wings while others prefer a sandwich and fries. All are acceptable choices.

For me, however, there's only one choice when it comes to football-watching fare: nachos. Nachos are filling enough to eat as a meal while also being shareable with friends.

HiFi Clyde's has three types of nachos on its menu: the self-described vegan nachos, smoked brisket nachos and smoked chicken chili nachos. On this night, the choice was the smoked chicken chili nachos.

The nachos are served on a metal tray filled with tortilla chips that are covered in chicken chili, a spicy avocado cream sauce, pico de gallo, chile verde salsa, Clyde's signature cheese whiz, sour cream, jalapeno and pepper jack cheese.

The toppings were all tasty and there was plenty of food to easily feed a group of three to four while enjoying the atmosphere and some football.

 

THE SERVICE

HiFi Clyde's on a Saturday night is a busy place to be in Chattanooga, but there were plenty of bartenders and servers in the restaurant making sure that orders were taken quickly and drinks were kept full.

Any busy restaurant on a weekend night is going to require a bit of patience, but the staff at HiFi Clyde's seemed to manage the guests smoothly.

 

THE VERDICT

With a diverse menu and plenty of space, HiFi Clyde's is a good choice for any meal any time of the day. And with lots of televisions for watching sports, it's perhaps the best choice on the Southside for watching football with friends.

The nachos are good and were served quickly. It's a recipe for a fun night out — as long as your team wins.

Contact Jim Tanner at JFTanner@gmail.com. Follow him at twitter.com/JFTanner.

 

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