The ESPN Zone

September 27 2005 - 11:54 AM

My big complaint is that there is nowhere to eat downtown. Given that Monday night I wanted to watch the game with a buddy and the ESPN Zone was giving away $10 worth of game tokens I figured why not. I had a taste for the fried. So going in with low expectations I was amazed how much further down reality sunk.

One might think that even if the food was lousy the game would be the
main event, right? If you are one of the lucky 30 or so to get the
"good seats" on the second floor you might have been able to watch the
show in comfort. But relegated to the first floor and the standard wooden, unpadded, spartan
chairs and stuck facing non-hd rear projection televisions that neither
my wife, nor I, would allow in my house we realized the cruel joke was
on us. The several dozen hanging TVs in the first floor restaurant were
also not only standard def but not even flat screen CRTs. You may ask
why this is sounding like a commercial for Best Buy…? Well we
certainly weren’t there for the food…

In fact they tried to seat us in the corner "sportscaster" table which is set up as a mock ESPN studio. We would be in the corner facing everyone. The big screen crap-ass TVs would be over our respective shoulders. I opted out. If you are forced to sit there and lord over the sports-dork sausage fest you MUST drink sick amounts and embarass yourself and everyone else until someone offers to pay your tab as long as you leave immediately.

Our nachos were a pile of thin chips with gritty cheese-paste on top
then camoflauged with grated cheddar. Why bother with the real cheese
on top? I really don’t know. It’s not like they’re fooling anyone.
Maybe it was a 2-cheese plate but even still that would be a lie. The
selection was either sandwiches or overpriced and since our nachos
arrived a minute after we ordered them (literally) I rethought ordering
an entree and got a chicken sandwich. My buddy got the Philly Cheese
Steak.

The Chicken was non-descript. It would have been okay as hospital food.
The Cheese Steak was unusual. I am used to cheese steaks having sliced
steak on a roll with melted cheese on top. This was the same herbed
roll my chicken came on with a portion of "cheese-steak" a mush of
cheesy-steak or would that be steaky-cheese… I wouldn’t try it and my
buddy didn’t like it calling it "one of the worst cheese steaks I’ve
had in my entire life. They’re lucky I was hungry."

Between the cigar smoke upstairs and the faux-cheese downstairs if you
have any tastebuds run and hide them somewhere. Treasure them. To stay
and accept the challenge of this Sysco-nightmare light up, do several
shots of tequilla and then order.

I should make a joke about the "En Fuego" flaming sign that was over the kitchen but won’t. If we’re really nice maybe Dan Patrick will come down and grill us some brats. 

Never going back.

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