Top Dog Sports Grill
Review by Lavachickie: 12th Street isn't an area that usually inspires one to lunch. But the bright colors on the newer building that houses Top Dog Sports Grill has drawn my attention a time or two. Then my eyes took in the neon signs for noodle meals mixed in along the usual sports bar brew signs, and my curiosity was piqued.
Stepping inside a bit before the usual lunching hour, my partner in crime and I slid into a booth with it's own flat screen tv for our specific viewing pleasure. Opposite the wall of tv'd booths is a mega lineup of eight larger flat screens. During mid day it is set to a mix of news, sports and soap operas. As is the style, the walls are chock full of sports ephemera--some authentic, some just marketing posters, and who knows what else in between.
Overall the place is spotlessly clean, well laid out and comfy, if you don't mind the distraction of twenty different moving pictures at once. I unplugged the TV at our table for the duration of our stay.
The lunch menu was filled with tasty sounding options, and our server gave helpful tips and suggestions. Sandwiches, noodle bowls, salads, I settled on the Crispy Sesame Chicken Salad, and my partner had a Teriyaki Chicken Burger. The wait wasn't long (appropriate for lunch-time), and were plated and presented well. I loved the high backed bowls the salads are served in; a little unique touch to what can otherwise be a boring lunch choice.
Both dishes received two thumbs up thanks to fresh, quality ingredients, good portions sized and good production values. What should have been cold was cold, what should have been hot was hot, etc.
A cooler behind that bar has a sign for Eng's, and I asked about that, having heard about a now-gone Chinese place on South Commercial called Eng's. Seems it's the same owner; he has another sports bar type place (she couldn't remember the name), and has opened a third down on South Commercial across from the newer Safeway. Hmmm... we'll have to investigate and try those, because from this encounter, someone knows how to run a good place. A visit in the evening on a weekend is in order to see if service levels and quality hold up with a bigger crowd.
The lunch flow was slow, so it was a nice low key place to eat lunch. Nice enough for a business lunch, relaxed enough to hang with friends. Seems like a good evening watering hole as well thanks to the full bar, a few games and lotto options, too.
Prices were good with just about all items in the $8-10 range.