Thursday, December 07, 2006
This Week's Restaurant Review: McCovey's in Walnut Creek
Sports bars are rarely known for their cuisine. We’re talking burgers, sandwiches, salads and a lot of finger food. People go to sports bars to drink and watch sports. If they get drunk enough or get the munchies, they’ll usually settle for sub-par food, as long as their favorite game is one on of the TV’s in the joint. I have never had spectacular food at a sports bar. Some of it has been pretty decent, but the majority would best be described as very mediocre. That’s why I’m not surprised but I am quite unhappy to say that I recently went to a highly renowned sports bar where the food can only be described as totally inedible. The place I am referring to is called McCovey’s, a trendy spot located in the yuppified section of downtown Walnut Creek. The atmosphere here is remarkable, with one of the most comprehensive collection of baseball memorabilia I’ve ever seen in one location, except maybe at the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame. I am a huge baseball fan, and when I go in McCovey’s I feel like I’m in a baseball museum. They have autographed bats, balls, jerseys, artifacts and artwork that is unsurpassed on the West Coast, in my opinion. But, that’s where the McCovey magic stops. First, let’s address the service. I am not a real complainer when it comes to restaurants, as anyone who reads my reviews knows. Give me decent food and fairly attentive service, and I am a happy camper. But, when service is really bad, I go out of my way to say something about it. If it occurs once, I can be somewhat forgiving, but I have been to McCovey’s 3-4 times to watch games and meet clients, and the service has been atrocious each and every time. The wait staff there seems to specialize is forgetting you exist. They make you wait a good 10-15 minutes before they realize you’re there and then they let you sit with nothing on your table for another 10. When they do take your order, it’s invariably wrong, and then you have to send stuff back and wait all over again. Then, the food is not good. They serve all of your basic sports bar items – from pizzas to burgers to hot dogs and the like. They also try to do some other higher-end items at McCovey’s like Ahi Tuna and Prime Rib. But, overall the food is less than all-star quality. The other day I was in there for lunch and I ordered the Fish & Chips. The fish was undercooked and the fries were limp, even though I requested that they be extra crispy. To add insult to injury, they had to be the most expensive Fish & Chips this side of London – a whopping $16.95! You would think that for that kind of money, you’d at least get something other than cold cod and potatoes. McCovey’s isn’t a total shutout – the beers on tap are decent and the drinks I’ve had were good. But, overall the place is surely not a home run. I would rate it somewhere between a pop up and a bunt single. Go in there to watch your favorite team and then venture down the street where Walnut Creek offers a plethora of superior food alternatives. McCovey’s is located at 1444 North California Avenue in Walnut Creek and their phone number is: (510) 268-7050.