Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: Walnut Creek restaurant provides fan-friendly atmosphere and food better than the ballpark

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Walnut Creek restaurant provides fan-friendly atmosphere and food better than the ballpark

Walking into McCovey’s Restaurant is almost like stepping into a mini version of the Giants’ AT&T Park, but
the food is tastier than the typical ballpark spread.
            Upon entering the restaurant, one can immediately recognize its theme. The seating host’s podium is situated right in front of the home plate in a cleverly constructed miniature infield that you cannot help taking a lap around.
            For baseball fans that enjoy the ballpark experience, the waiting area consists of the familiar green AT&T Park replica seats, which are located behind home plate along a resemblance of a baseball field’s first and third base lines. It is almost as if you were taking in a ball game at the corner of Third and King in San Francisco.
            The menu options are plentiful, consisting of both the standard ballpark favorites – hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and nachos – and classic steakhouse dishes as well – New York steak, smoked barbecue baby back ribs, and pork spare ribs. With the cloth napkins and sparkling silverware, you get the feeling of fine dining at the ballpark.
            Yelp reviewer Kyle T., who gave the restaurant a rating of 5 stars, wrote that he was a big fan of the restaurant’s spread.
            “McCovey's pays homage to the American Tradition of Pub Grub by preparing savory classics with a variety of new and exciting items sure to please all.”
            For starters, the chicken nachos are not the oily chips, cheese, and meat slopped together at the stadium. Served on a plate enough for four people, topped with sour cream and pico de gallo salsa, the flavor is definitely one to savor, with a satisfying crispy beer taste that is better than any brewhouse-themed restaurant.
            Next, the beer-battered thick-cut onion rings came, cooked to a golden brown. For about $5, and even less than that during the mid-day happy hour specials, one can savor the crispy onion rings served with buttermilk ranch and barbecue dipping sauce.
            The Blues Burger had an intriguing name, so it was worth a try. Thankfully, the burger will not make you sing the blues.
            At $9, the Blues Burgers gives you a healthy-sized Angus burger with all the classic trimmings – lettuce, tomato, and cheese – along with a little extra flavor to it. Topped with blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms in a freshly grilled bun, the burger has a tender, juicy flavor that will leave you finishing the entire thing, regardless of its size.
            The burgers and sandwiches are generally served with your choice of french fries or cole slaw, but you can choose from one of their many sides, including corn bread, garlic mashed potatoes, or seasoned vegetables for a healthier option. Where some places charge as much as $3, you can also upgrade your french fries to garlic fries at no extra cost.
            Anyone who is a Giants fan, or who has been to AT&T Park, knows the aroma of the tasty, warm, and crunchy garlic fries present at the stadium. The garlic fries made at McCovey’s is comparable to, if not better than, the delicacy made fresh at the ballpark.
            Although the food at McCovey’s is excellent, the atmosphere is what makes the restaurant special. The most defining feature of the place is the large rotunda-like ceiling at the center of the restaurant, filled with banners, quotes, and jerseys from some of baseball’s greatest players.
The whole restaurant is like a baseball museum, rich with not just Giants memorabilia, but memorabilia from almost every major league team as well. It is almost like being at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
            Another yelp reviewer, Elizabeth T., also gave the restaurant 5 stars, mainly because of the restaurant’s scenery and its baseball fan-friendly setting.
            “The decor is fabulous. I am a die-hard Giants fan, but you do not need to love the Giants to have fun here. They have memorabilia from other local teams, so there is really something for everyone.”
            For those wanting to catch the big game, McCovey’s is the place to be. The bar area in the restaurant’s outfield is a spacious sanctuary for sports fans, like the big outfield  area at AT&T Park, with marble countertops and a wide drink selection.
            The bar area has about a dozen flat-panel televisions, including one big-screen projector. Even fans that need to make a quick trip to the bathroom will not miss any of the action, as a flat-panel television rests above the sink in the restroom.
            McCovey’s Restaurant in Walnut Creek adequately delivers the fan experience. With its stellar food and excellent sports atmosphere, you will quickly become a big fan of this fine establishment.

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