Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting the VIP treatment at Xfinity Live!

Indeed, another piece in a continuing series about my quest to experience everything the new Xfinity Live! complex in South Philly has to offer.  Hell, I may even ride the PBR Bar & Grill's mechanical bull soon!

Last night I went out with my pal and frequent hanger outer Johnny C to watch the debacle that ended up being Game 4 of the Flyers/Penguins first round playoff series.  Out destination to watch the game was Xfinity Live, specifically their VIP section, to which we each purchased $99 entry passes.

This isn't something I ever do and with the place so new, many people told me to keep them in the loop to let'em know how it was for that kind of cash.  In a word, the overall VIP experience was fantastic!

For the entry fee we were offered a 2-hours of buffet-style eats consisting of such manly hits as wings, cheese steaks, roast beef sandwiches and pizza. 3-hours of open bar were also included and for someone that is a notorious vodka drinker, this was heaven made physical.  Though the Grey Goose was certainly flowing, I opted to relax with the sugary sweet Pinnacle Gummy (gotta love Swedish fish taste!) on the rocks.  There was a pretty comparable selection of bottled beer up for offering and as mentioned, harder liquor was readily available and included. The only thing I really didn't notice was wine.  That isn't to say they didn't have any in the VIP area, but we were there for a sporting event and despite all the women in attendance, it just wasn't a wine type of crowd.

I had two nice-sized plates from the buffet and have zero complaints about the food. It was exactly the type of liquor-sopping, got-the-munchies,l "I'm off the diet tonight" deliciousness you'd expect when talking about various types of cooked meat sandwiches in Philly.  I'd have gone back for a little more, but a few trays of very soft, insanely good chocolate chip cookies were brought out and that was the end for me.  I think I ate nearly 10 of those things!

The VIP area itself had plenty of seating and on this night was two-levels (the bartender told me that it wasn't always up and downstairs, though always up); downstairs VIP was where you could be in the scene and get that feeling of everyone staring at you while you did your "cooler than them" thing.  Upstairs was where my buddy and I hung and the bar was readily available the entire duration of the eve.  I think I may have waited a minute when I needed a drink, never any longer.  The same couldn't be said for the downstairs which, even though I didn't grab a drink down there, was much more close quarters and busy than the second level ever was.

Second floor of VIP also had it's own restroom, which isn't the case for most/all of the restaurants in the Xfinity Live! complex. If you're in Spectrum Grill and nature calls, you'll have to exit the venue and hit a corridor that  leads to a restroom (think how it is done in casinos).  So that was nice too, being able to walk mere feet in the same room and not have to worry about over-crowding on a crazy sports night.  Also a part of the second floor VIP was what I'd have to call the "uber-VIP" area where your local famous people hung.  On this night was word of Eagle Jeremy Maclin being spotted, among others. This area was blocked off by a house of a male bouncer/security guard so there was no sneaking in and harassing the talent.

All of the staff worked their asses off.  The bartenders were excellent and always courteous, taking time to chat up attendees whenever they could.  If a patron dropped anything or deposited a plate/glass somewhere it didn't belong, someone was there to cart it off almost instantly.  When one over-exuberant female tossed back a shot and then vomited right after, staff was right there to clean everything up; so quickly that I missed the whole scene (dammit!) and it happened five feet to the right of me.

Finally, I'd be a terrible writer if I didn't mention the view. For sports, there is nothing better than a packed house and the view from the second floor was just unbelievable and totally the clincher for making you feel like you were totally somewhere special.  Treat yourself to their VIP experience and cheer for your favorite Philly team, or just go there and hang out simply because you love the energy and the scene  Enough words.  Here is a photo or few:

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