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Chicago Sports Cafe
No.1 Queens Wharf
Phone: (04) 473 4900
Date of Visit: 04 October 2006
OVERALL EXPERIENCE (5 is Best)
The Dead Cow Society New Zealand are branching out further from our habitat in the Manners Mall area of Wellingtons CBD. On this occasion we made the long journey to the waterfront at Chicagoís Sports Cafť. Itís not normally such a long and treacherous journey, but Wellington was putting on itís oh so typical Antarctic storm weather. We had to battle gale force winds, freezing temperatures, collections for Save the Children, Green Peace and SPCA and cross a really big road. We nearly lost Kelvin who fell behind too. His military training must have saved him, as he turned up 15 minutes late. However we got there just that little bit hungrier having earned it.
We walked in and were greeted by an empty room no customers and no staff. But the guys who walked in first knew where they were going and we ambled up the stairs to the dinning area. A staff member intercepted us and directed us to our table, which was a nice window seat, but given the crappy weather it didnít mean much to us. Having pre-ordered via email we didnít need to see a menu but a drinks order was taken straight away with a wine menu being produced upon request. There really were not many reds in comparison to other options, but overall it was an impressive number of wines. They were quite pricey, but you expect that on the waterfront. Reuben commented that his Pinot Noir, $8.50 per glass, was quite nice.
We welcomed some new members today, Turei and Rob, to our ever-growing group of Dead Cow enthusiasts. May your Dead Cow be rear and your beer be cold.
Our Waitress was very polite and attentive. The big highlight of the visit was that the service was most impressive, not to mention that the waitress had a good aesthetic quality not lost on the guys. Throughout our visit our waitress checked on us regularly and inquired about our needs at appropriate times. One amongst our ranks did feel as though we where being given the hurry along, though as a group we ranked the service quite highly.
The Bar was decked out in American Sports paraphernalia. There is nothing wrong with having a foreign theme, but when your posters are out dated by more than a decade and fading it leaves something a little lacking. There was however lots of plasma screens around and one giant screen with the MLB play offs on. The weather probably didnít help the atmosphere. The whole place felt kind of grey. It would be great on a sunny day on the balcony but alas, there was no sun. With the lack of patrons it was very empty too, but hey, itís a bar and we werenít expecting the Hilton.
For a bar the menu it is really very good. Unfortunately it only has two Dead Cow options. The 8 ounce (200 gm) Rib Eye at $23, and the 10 ounce (280 gm) Sirloin at $26. Plenty of other options at competitive rates, but we werenít there for anything else but Dead Cow. And as far as Dead Cow goes I canít say Iím impressed. Four out of eleven steaks were over done with two being burnt around the edges. Now I know what youíre going to say ďbut itís supposed to be flame grilled.Ē Well yes but you should use a Ďflame grillí to do it with. Not a blow torch and a potato masher!
I did have the luck of sitting next to Rob and seeing his Rib Eye Dead Cow. It looked great and as he said ďMumf mupham ood fteak.Ē On another note some of the steaks where served Ďfat edge outí- a minor presentation issue but first impressions are important. For some reason my Sirloin was salted heavily. Maybe they where making jerky when we arrived and ran out of steak. The potato mash was also heavily salted, although Ivan was enjoying it a great deal. It wasnít unbearable but I did finish my Monteiths Original, $5.50, earlier than usual. Mmmm a crafty ploy. The fries were good to.
In conclusion I cannot say that I will be going back to Chicagoís in a hurry. It has average food in an average setting with average prices, with great service. Fine if you are not fussy, but Wellington has very competitive dining with such a range of cuisine that you neednít be content with average.
ALL RATINGS FOR CHICAGO SPORTS CAFE, WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND