Duking It Out (Duke's Sports Bar & Grill - Davis, CA)

Friday, August 11, 2006

I remember the first time I went to Duke's, the food was damn good. The burger came with thick pieces of bacon, large wedges of avocado, and the burger was thick and juicy. It came with a delectable side of fries tossed with garlic and flat leaf parsely. This was samsara, nirvana, and heaven all on a plate.

But what happened? Apparently over an eight month period, things just fell down the slippery slope. Sports bars are supposed to have awesome food, good cheap beer spilling over the pitchers, and a game on the screen. Well, two out of three ain't bad. And honestly, the food isn't bad after a few drinks or with a beer, but on it's own it lacks that Americana gusto bar food should have the quality of.

Rob and I went down for a quick bite to eat. I had the pork ribs, and Rob had the skirt steak. Both came with the general vegetable medly you expect at a steakhouse, they were good, they were vegetables. Nothing more. The garlic fries this time were dissapointing, Robs were only just warm, and both of ours had the garlic burnt. I do believe they tossed the fries with the garlic first, then cooked them. Bleh.

The ribs were meaty though a bit too wet, and covered in general BBQ sauce. Nothing to rave about, but nothing to put down either; all in all they were good. Rob's steak however, I must admit was damn fine. Damn fine! We were both genuinely surprised. I tried to steal some from Rob, but the bastard kept shooing me away, and wasn't falling for the, "Hey, look over there!" routine.

We also ordered some spinach dip before hand. Skip this one. It's the very definition of bland. I even took the time to write on the check that it needed garlic and tobasco, an action I would normally deem rude, but the fact that they had the nerve to serve it was license enough. I was even shocked that I did that, but then again, I doubt that Judy Rodgers is heading up the kitchen rather than some frat boy with a part time job over a stove. I'm sure the note was ignored.

The burgers there are still pretty good, but you can do better at the Grad in Davis, or Hamburger Mary's in downtown Sac. If you want a sports bar with sports bar food, Duke's will do the job. Basically stick to the lunch menu, but ignore dinner. And get a pitcher, regardless what you think of Duke's, a pitcher makes everything better!

Duke's Sports Bar & Grill
2171 Cowell Blvd.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 297-7100




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