Thursday, January 11, 2007


I was skeptical of yet another sports bar chain restaurant, but my beloved was having nothing to do with being in the car longer than about 5 minutes, so Champps it was. I find the name offensive, the double P especially so. However, the food was decent and the menu was surprisingly diverse for that genre of restaurant. We saw several appetizers that looked interesting, but were put off by the high prices. I don't think an appetizer in a sports bar should be more than about $7. Theirs ran from about $9 to maybe $12, which seems fine for The Winds, but crazily high for a sports bar.

Since that was the genre, I opted for sports bar food, a half slab of ribs with garlic mashed potatoes. The ribs were decidedly tender and quite good, but the sauce was not stellar. Not bad, just not Bubba's or Corky's, definitely big chain fare. The mashed potatoes had a weird consistency, kind of glue-y. However, the garlic flavor was pronounced, a plus for me. If only they could get the texture right. J had the fish & chips and what magnificent fried fish that was! I wished I had ordered that, but it so often isn't done well. This was...Sam Adams batter, high quality fish. Man, I would go back there just for that. Her waffle fries were pretty good, too, and she reported that the cole slaw was great. Dessert was not so hot, though. I was quite disappointed in it, in fact. The cookie was cold and dried out, the ice cream unexciting, the mocha & butterscotch sauces bland. J really liked the whipped topping, however. I guess my expectations were too elevated due to the scrumptious cookie & ice cream concoction I had at Forge in the Forest. Oh, well.

The atmosphere was much nicer than I expected, feeling like a quiet, private place rather than a noisy, crowded sports bar. This is due as much to the design as to a mellow crowd. Our waitress was also very friendly and happy to make recommendations. While some of it felt more like an annoying required spiel to chain specs than genuine conversation, we did get some of the latter further along in our dinner. The people in the kitchen seemed to be having a good time, which is always nice to see. Less nice was the original seat we were offered, which felt like it was right in the path of people going in & out of the kitchen. Luckily, J asked for a different booth.

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