Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Champps (NJ)

Champps is an American restaurant/sports bar located in the Menlo Park Mall. At one point Champps was the place to go if looking for some food and drinks whether it was before or after shopping, but Menlo mall has added other favorites like Cheesecake Factory and Fox and Hound, which puts Champps low on the favorites list.

Tucked away on the top floor of the mall, next to the food court--Champps is dark and univiting. The restaurant was pretty empty and really quiet. TV's lined the walls making me think the night crowd is what keeps a place like this in business. The service was pretty slow, but the company was great so I cannot complain about that--this time. The food was pretty good. Me and my old dining companion, Stef, split the firehouse burger and the Americana Chopped Salad. The burger was definitely the better of the two as this burger was piled high with red and yellow bell peppers, green chiles, poblano peppers, onions, Chipotle Tabasco, Cajun seasoning and pepperjack cheese then topped with fresh sliced jalapeƱo peppers. We opted to get a turkey burger as the base of this spicy sensation. I often lean away from turkey burgers, not only because ground beef is better, but because turkey burgers could be very dry if cooked wrong. The grillman at Chammps knew what he was doing as the burger was juicey and had great flavoring. The salad was alright--seemed to get soggy pretty quick but maybe thats because I was doing more talking than eating. The salad was
grilled chicken,, balsamic vinaigrette, applewood-smoked bacon, dried cranberries, sliced apples and candied pecans. Served with a garlic buttered roll. The salad normally comes with bleu cheese, but we decided to leave that out.

The beers seemed alittle off, but I'm not much of a complainer so I drank them without saying anything. I don't know if the beer was a bit old or the keg lines hadn't been clean. Whatever the case, the beer seemed a bit off. Probably should have went with a bottle!

Overall, it was a pretty good dining experience. I went in there with pretty low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised with the food. The beer on the other hand is something I banked on being good and was extremely disappointed with. I think next time we will go to Cheesecake Factory or Fox and Hound!

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