Not a homer. Maybe a stand up double.

Big league size portions

People talk about the problem of obesity in the US, and one of the issues is the enormous portions many restaurants provide.  Lunch today was a perfect example.

Gail’s son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons came up from Fresno today, and wanted to have lunch somewhere they could watch many football games at once.  The only sports bar I could think of was McCovey’s, in downtown Walnut Creek, so off we went.  They were great about taking a reservation for 10, and had a large table set up when we arrived.

McCovey’s is pretty much your typical sportsbar, but nicer.  Not as many TV screens as most, I think, but still plenty.  Awfully noisy, which seems to be a requirement of the genre.  Absolutely packed, jammed, stuffed full, of sports memorabilia.  Dozens, hundreds, of signed bats.  Jerseys.  Game balls.  A signed home plate from Candlestick.  The owners claim the collection rivals Cooperstown, and maybe they’re telling the truth.

The restaurant is supposedly the lifelong passion of a guy whose family was friends of McCovey, a dream he has held since he was 14.  Great, heartwarming story. Of course, they fail to mention that it is part of the restaurant holding company that also owns Bing Crosbys and Maria Maria.  Nonetheless, it’s a professional operation.

The food, you ask.  The food: mediocre.  Adequate.  Heavy, fatty, absolutely enormous portions.  When there is too much food for a big boy like me, there’s just too damned much food on the plate.

I started with the onion rings, and I’ve never seen so much oil drip out of an onion ring in my life.  You could lube your car with these things.

Then I had a chicken club sandwich. This was the only so-called club sandwich I have ever had which came on a bun instead of 3 pieces of toast.  The chicken breast was dry and the avocado was unripe.  The mountain of coleslaw was certainly fresh and crispy, nowhere near as sweet as one usually expects, and sufficient for a small Nepalese village to subsist on for a week.

Gail had a taco salad the size of Guadalajara.   Ross had the sliders, nominally an appetizer but enough for a meal, and then the Santa Fe salad, which looked great, and was able to eat almost half of it.  The child’s portion of mac and cheese that 9 year old grandson Beaux ordered was about the right size for a normal adult.

Service was decent, not great.  Football Sundays are crunch time in a sports bar, true, but they just ‘forgot’ to tell us that they had run out of the gas that powers the beer tap, and it took over 30 minutes before we could get the situation straightened out and order bottled beer.  They didn’t forget to add the 18’% tip to the bill because we had a large party, though.

McCovey’s isn’t expensive like Flemings or Ruth’s Chris, but it isn’t cheap, either.  10 of us had lunch, a bottle of wine and couple of beers, and it was just under $300 to bail out of the joint.  Of course, since we won’t need to eat again for a few days the investment may seem pretty reasonable.

The combination of being a lifelong member of the clean plate club and the oversize quantities of food is literally a killer.  I’d have settled for half as much gross tonnage and better chicken and avocado, but quantity is easier and cheaper to provide than quality.

As sportsbars go, McCovey’s is probably pretty good.  The atmosphere is manly and exciting, the food is passable, the memorabilia display is first rate and you’re dead certain not to go home hungry.



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