Ramparts lounge is the sports lover's dream: a bar covered in college pennants, filled with fans watching their favorite teams on seven televisions, one of them a giant screen. Directly above the bar fly banners proclaiming "University of Alabama National Capital Chapter." Weekly sports schedules are printed and waiting at the bar. These folks are serious about their sports.
They are also very serious about their food and beer. There are over a dozen taps with quality microbrews, plus tubs of iced domestics. The menu is a diverse lot, starting with the appetizers: salmon, brie, spinach and artichoke dip, calamari, skins, nachos. The light fare spans vegetarian sandwiches to Jamaican jerk pork. And the entrees touch everywhere from Louisiana to the Pacific rim, most are $11.95, plus homemade desserts and pastries.
The crowd is young and dressed predominantly in button-downs and ball caps. And the staff is on a first-name basis (or soon to be) with everyone who passes the doorway. If capturing the feel of a Southeastern Conference campus on gameday isn't enough for you, the other half of the building is an artfully renovated dining area with a more upscale feel, including valet parking until 10:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
-- Bob Massey