Our Rating  

Bleachers
118 Preble Street
772-9229

 
Three Plates  
 
Bleachers Reviewed: Summer, 2000

It was a perfect Bleachers day (if only we'd had a beach ball) when we plopped ourselves on the outside deck to enjoy some sun, food, and microbrew beer. It was just like being at a ballgame…only without the game…and the huge crowds, and… well, it wasn't really like a ballgame other than that we were out in the sun drinking beer. There was, however, a ballgame on inside. Bleachers Restaurant & Pub is a great place to watch sports. The pub has 6 televisions positioned throughout the bar and sitting area so fans won't miss a great shot or a good crash. There's plenty of seating in tables as well as booths and at the bar. The walls, adorned with sports memorabilia, keep the fans craning their necks-"Who's that over there?" "No, no-Bernie Carbo?! How can you mistake Tony C. for Bernie Carbo?!" No mistaking, Bleachers is a sports bar. While important to a bar, beer, free peanuts, and mementos do not a restaurant make. At Bleachers, we were pleasantly surprised to find a varied menu, even for the finicky vegetarians among us, and the cheap prices weren't reflected in the quality of the food.

Our party was to number 6, but two of us arrived early, and after waiting a time, decided to order, and let the others fend for themselves if and when they showed. My companion started with a cup of vegetarian chili, followed by a vegetarian Rueben sandwich. The chili was thick and flavorful, and had a little kick to it, but not hot enough to ring an alarm. She enjoyed the cole slaw on the side of her Rueben, but didn't care for the veggie burger that made up the "veggie" of the sandwich. She commented that the burger wasn't flavorful and had a texture she didn't care for. It was served with kettle-style potato chips. However, she found the sandwich very tasty without the veggie burger, saying that the sauerkraut and Russian dressing were excellent.

I partook of a grilled chicken taco salad, served in an enormous fried tortilla bowl. The bowl was filled to the top with fresh greens, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and vegetarian chili, all topped with several strips of grilled chicken. A tangy salsa and sour cream dressing was served (in abundance) on the side. I was more than satisfied with my order. The chicken was cooked just right and the mixture of veggies, chili, chicken, and that tasty dressing nearly kept me from breathing until I'd eaten the entire salad, bowl and all.

By this time, our four tardy friends had arrived, and they immediately ordered appetizers. Their chili potato skins (with veggie chili) comprised of large potato boats heaped with chili and cheese and served with 2 little tubs of sour cream. Overflowing piles of chili made it appear that there were more than 4 skins on the plate. Messy, as a good appetizer should be, and fairly tasty, but not spectacular. I've had better.

After the sun went down, we moved inside. Hopping into a booth (with a totally dirty table that the waitress never wiped for us), we filled a couple more pails of peanuts and ordered more beers. Two of us played a Golden Tee video game and watched the Red Sox and Yankees while we waited for the rest of our food. Witnessing my inhalation of the taco salad, someone else ordered one, sans the chicken, and he ate everything too, including his bowl, which he saved for last and dipped in ketchup (The ketchup bottle was labeled Heinz but was actually a tangy sort of generic refill).

Another friend ordered a turkey bacon pesto sandwich. The waitress didn't give her a choice of bread as it read on the menu, and the sandwich was served on wheat (she was going to order white). But, the sandwich itself made up for that-it was thick and filling, with large chunks of turkey, carved right from the bird, like a sandwich you'd make after thanksgiving dinner. The pesto mayo was flavorful, and the Canadian bacon was an interesting touch, though it would have been nice had they noted on the menu that it was not served with regular bacon. The turkey bacon pesto sandwich was also served with kettle-style potato chips, a pickle, and a little scoop of cole slaw. Our last two friends ordered chicken fingers that came with Honey Mustard dipping sauce. (One fellow ordered BBQ dipping sauce which the waitress forgot to bring until he had only one finger left-no one was in the mood to put up a fuss because the Sox were getting their hats handed to them by the (damn) Yankees.) Both guys liked the chicken fingers, though, seeing as they gobbled them up pretty quickly (not allowing the waitress, in her defense, much time to bring extra sauce.) All said and done, we had a very good time at Bleachers, and were impressed by this sports bar that cooks like a restaurant. Our four late arriving friends paid separately, dolling $51 before tip (including potato skins, four dinners, and 8 beers.) The two timely diners shelled out a paltry $14.85 for an appetizer, two dinners, and several sodas. A good night, if only the Sox had won.

parking
reservations  
wheelchair accessible
vegetarian selections
vegan selections  
beer
wine
liquor
most credit cards accepted
Appetizers start at free for peanuts, $1.95 for a cup of chili, and run to $9.95 for a "triple" order of wings (the most expensive item on the menu). Nachos, burritos, fajitas, and the like, sandwiches, salads, and burgers run from $3.50-5.75. A full compliment of microbrew beers, domestic, bottled, and a full bar is available to choose from.

Appetizers start at free for peanuts, $1.95 for a cup of chili, and run to $9.95 for a "triple" order of wings (the most expensive item on the menu). nachos, burritos, fajitas, and the like, sandwiches, salads, and burgers run from $3.50-5.75. A full compliment of microbrew beers, domestic, bottled, and a full bar is available to choose from.  back to the top

Meg Bailey is a freelance writer living in Portland.

 

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