Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dining critic candidate No. 32

Andy McCarthy’s Sports Grill

The New Pub in Town…..

Privately and independently owned, quite contrary to chain restaurants, Andy McCarthy’s is conveniently located on the East side of town off of Powers Blvd. and S. Carefree; truly a local upscale sports grill that gives patrons the opportunity to enjoy fresh cooked meals in a fun, relaxed and cozy environment. You better come hungry because the portions are huge!

I found an abundance of friendly staff members waiting to greet and seat me. As with most places of this kind, this restaurant was divided into two sections, the bar to the left and the dining area to the right. As requested, I was seated in the dining area and immediately felt comfortable; the atmosphere was warm and inviting. Upscale contemporary soft lighting outlined the restaurant’s interior with dark wood trim detailing windows, tables, and booths. Black and white pictures of famous historical sports memorabilia occupied the walls providing the opportunity for customers to brush up on their sports trivia. Against the far back wall of the dining area stood a fireplace with flagstone rock serving as its frame and I watched as its flame steadily burned providing indoor warmth protecting us from the outside chill of the night. If you come here to watch a game, you will have no trouble with locating a television near by. There are several big screen television’s accompanied by smaller television’s throughout the bar and dining area.

My waitress, Crystelle, was prompt and courteous and greeted me with a smile. I had thought about ordering one of the many microbrews listed on their drink menu but then quickly decided that I wanted to leave as much room for this great food experience as possible, so I decided on a nice glass of Chardonnay!

The appetizer menu although not unusual, was appealing, offering a variety of munchies to choose from to include wings, nachos, quesadillas, corn dogs, and shrimp cocktail to name just a few. However, I was in the mood for something spicy tonight and had decided on the Santa Fe Chicken Egg Rolls filled with spicy chicken, black beans, jalapenos, red peppers, corn, and spinach. A few minutes later, my egg rolls arrived with the pleasant aroma of jalapenos filling the air. Nicely arranged on a bright and festive plate, the rolls were cut diagonally in half accompanied by ranch dipping sauce and placed on top of a bed of lettuce and tomatoes exposing its many tasteful ingredients that I immediately indulged upon. The texture and flavor of the egg rolls were just what I expected, the outside shell was crunchy and thicker than your traditional egg roll and the inside was full of flavor though not as spicy as I originally thought. All in all, a good start to a cold evening.

Andy’s Entrees: Where to begin? The menu offers a variety of options to include salads, burgers, ribs, fish-n-chips, specialty sandwiches and even Mexican dishes. I ordered the Penne Alfredo with Spicy Chicken, one of Andy’s Signature Dishes. The menu indicated my entrée would be served with a side salad and choice of one of their side dishes, however, my waitress only offered me soup or salad, so I choose a cup of their homemade green chili. Wow! Homerun! Served piping hot with a warm tortilla by its side, this green chili was fantastic. Darker than most green chili, with sort of a smoky color to it, it had great consistency; thick, peppery and full of flavor with large pieces of tender pork. Get this to go by the gallon, you will not be disappointed!

The Penne Alfredo with Spicy Chicken was served soon thereafter. Served in a large pasta bowl, there was enough of this dish to feed 3 John Elways! Topping this mountain of pasta was a combination of fresh garlic, parsley, greens onions, and parmesan cheese. This dish was both elegant and fragrant. The chicken was moist, lightly dusted with a Cajun spice and grilled perfectly. Tying all of these ingredients together was the Alfredo sauce. Not as heavy as I would have expected an Alfredo sauce to be, it was lighter, but yet creamy and silky with the tang of parmesan in every bite. This was truly a satisfying and fulfilling dish.

The dessert menu looked awesome with favorites such as Banana’s foster and Apple Cinnamon Crispitos, however I had to pass as I knew I couldn’t eat another bite.

Andy McCarthy’s is more than just a sports grill, this is a place where family and friends gather for a good time and enjoy a good meal without having to blow their budget.

Rating scale: 1 to 5 Bulls Eye (5 being the highest)






Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice effort, but is too wordy. Grammatical errors are distracting. Although it seems this would be an editor's worry. Still, they were hard to overlook here.

8:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home