Let's face it: We guys love our sports! Most of us do, anyway. It took the restaurant business years and years, but once they introduced the concept of the sports bar, it did not take too long to realize they had a runaway hit on their hands. Nowadays, it seems you can hardly go into a bar, restaurant or brewpub without at least one big-screen (flatpanel) TV, which is most oftened tuned into ESPN, NFL Network, or Fox Sports Channel.
At first, these eateries were not renowed or patronized for their culinary expertise; their diners simply wanted good, unpretentious, cheap bar food. More recently, however, some of the newer, better quality chains have started upgrading their menu selections, much to the customers delight. My lovely wife the Rock Star and I decided to journey to our local outpost of one of these chains, Fox Sports Grill, one recent Saturday evening. This restaurant, with locations already in half a dozen states, represents current state-of-the-art in atmosphere, food, and service.
Fox Sports Grill has the sleek, ultramodern look of a brand new drinking facility: lots of soft, blue lighting in the chic and expansive bar area, and plenty of very comfortable chairs at the numerous tables in the restaurant proper, which makes the interior seem very inviting. Everywhere you sit, you are within site of a flatpanel TV, tuned to a variety of sports programming and channels. We arrived at seven on a Saturday evening, which in most establishments guarantees a lengthy wait for table, but Fox Sports Grill is so large we were able to be seated immediately, despite the many diners already enjoying their dining, sports, and companionship. In other words, reservations not necessary, and I can envision this place only getting really crowded when a live, primetime sporting event (such as NFL Football) is under way.
Sports bars and beer are usually a perfect match, and Fox Sports Grill can certainly help you there, yet the Rock Star and I often enjoy wine with dinner, and were promptly brought a wine list. Unlike many such establishments, Fox Sports Grill can boast an excellent wine list with great breadth and value, including numerous selections by the glass. We chose a Foille a Deaux Meritage, an outstanding red blend, whose supple yet bold mix of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet paired very well with our cuisine.
We decided on a light repast this evening, and The Rock Star selected the Pear, Blue Cheese, and Pecan salad for her entree. (Does this sound like standard sports bar fare to you?) She was rewarded with an enticing mix of Romaine and baby greens tossed in apple cider vinagrette and topped with blue cheese crumbles, candied pecans, market-fresh pears and dried cranberries for the perfect blend of sweet and savory. This delightful dish was served with a hunk of warm cornbread, both moist and sweet, and very much the way we like it. I chose a bowl of the Filet Mignon Chili, a fabulous concoction of filet mignon and black angus beef simmered with red, black, and pinto beans and garnished with green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese for a light, yet immensly rewarding dinner. We ended our repast with dessert, namely Granny's Apple Pie, flaky pastry filled with caramel braised Granny Smith apples, baked golden brown and served with Dreyers vanilla bean ice cream and warm caramel sauce, which finished off the meal in style.
Our waiter Justin proved both very capable and personable, easily entering into our discussions of wine, food and sports when called upon. With ample staffing and a low tables-to-waitstaff ratio, it was easy to see that other diners were easily well cared for by the knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Visit www.foxsportsgrill.com for hours, locations and other pertinent information, including individual menus for each restaurant of this (hopefully) rapidly expanding chain.
Fox Sports Grill more than fills the bill, whether for a quick round of brews with the guys, or for a more adventurous meal with the ones you love, if you so desire. Visit soon, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!