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Almost Sporty at Don & Charlie’s

Pile ’em high.

It’s very rare that I require a TV in restaurant. After all, my favorite sport of college football is often finished before it’s anywhere close to dinner time. But every once in a while it happens, like when I was in Phoenix and my Tigers happened to be playing in the World Series (yes, this review is way delayed). My upcoming family recommended Don & Charlie’s, a Mecca for baseball fans and my family took the suggestion.

To begin with, Don & Charlie’s truly is a haven for baseball fans. Memorabilia lines the walls of the place, with anything from signed baseballs to paintings of teams. It’s like Planet Hollywood for baseball, but with actual character. The only trouble is that while they were lining the walls with goods, they failed to leave room for TVs. We found their only TVs in the bar area and although they weren’t conducive to a large group, we managed to squeeze a bunch of tables together to get things going.

To really get things going, we started with an order of their French Fried Onion Strings. As you can see above, this was no light appetizer. The strings were thoroughly breaded and fried to a great crispy state. And boy were they heavy. After just a few helpings of the strings, I was feeling pretty full, but I knew more good food was ahead.

Oh, more onion strings you say?

That food was a filet trio that I split with my dad. Each filet was three ounces and came with its own crust. The first was a horseradish dijon, the second parmesan and the third was blue cheese. Yet, as I looked at the two plates of filets, I couldn’t get over the fact that they were served with the same onion strings I had just devoured as an appetizer. Look, I’m happy to get a bonus side, but wouldn’t it have been nice to a) give me a different side because of what I had just eaten or b) warn me that the steak came with that so I could’ve ordered a different appetizer?

More blue cheese, please!

Anyway, the steaks turned out to be quite delicious, with the blue cheese crust being the best. I’d say the horseradish dijon came in second, but it was pretty distant. As for the parmesan, it’s not that it was bad in any way, it just didn’t offer much of interest compared to the other two.

But we weren’t done yet.

Au gratin potatoes with a hint of nostalgia.

Next came the au gratin potatoes, which my dad and I also split after my lady had talked them up so much you would have thought they could broker a peace agreement between the Israelis and Hamas. The verdict? Well, they were certainly good and a side I would order again, they weren’t the key to the Middle East. I think her memory of the potatoes was somewhat heightened by nostalgia. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I sometimes find myself giving food biased reviews based on the memories I associate with it. This food is almost always Taco Bell.

So while Don & Charlie’s needs to find a way to please both baseball memorabilia fans and baseball watching fans, their food did not disappoint. I can’t say it blew me away, but it is definitely worth a visit.