Sports bars are great hangouts for groups or even for going solo, and SoCo's Sports Bar & Grill continues in the same mold for a fun time with friends. The place has a welcoming feel about it; the décor and the openness are pleasant to the customer.
The bar area is spacious, with both tall bar and table seating and plenty of TVs poised perfectly so viewers don't miss a single play. Tables and booths fill the main dining room space and a large stage with a dance floor for live music provides a backdrop for one side of the restaurant.
A friend and I ventured to the south part of the city to see what SoCo's was like on a Saturday night. We arrived much too early (7:30pm) for any action on this evening, although things did get going when we left shortly after 9pm.
The menu has typical sports bar food, as well as a few surprises. Appetizers include such items as SoCo's Nachos, Southwestern Potato Skins, Fajita Quesadillas, Buffalo Wings, Coconut Shrimp, Beef Teriyaki Skewers, BBQ Bourbon Chicken Skewers, Calamari, Tower O'Rings and Cheese Fries.
We decided on the Southwestern Potato Skins ($6.99), which were four large potato boats stuffed with cheddar cheese, bacon and pico de gallo. Served with sour cream, these spuds were tasty and filling. The real bacon had a rich flavor, and coupled with the cheese made for an enjoyable beginning.
Under the Soups & Salads heading on the menu, the Green Chili soup grabbed my attention. It was described as loaded with pork tenderloin and served with two warm flour tortillas (but for some reason these tortillas never made it to our table). This was most enjoyable. Hot and spicy, this soup was filled with large pieces of tender pork tenderloin, green chilies, onions and garlic in a light, creamy broth.
Entrees included Sandwiches, SoCo Specialties and Pasta. I felt like eating a hearty burger, so I ordered the Angus Cheeseburger ($6.99). My friend ordered the BLT sandwich ($5.99). Runners-up that we did not select included the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, the Rib-Eye Steak and the Country Fried Steak.
My cheeseburger was a flame-broiled Angus Beef patty on a corn dusted Kaiser Roll. I had everything on it--lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and mayo (but I could have added bacon, sautéed mushrooms or grilled onions for only 99 cents). What a great tasting burger! The flame-broiled flavor was a definite plus. The meat patty was large and cooked a little too much on the well side for my preference of medium rare. Nonetheless, it was a great burger.
I had a side of coleslaw which was thick, slightly sweet and creamy-probably the creamiest I have ever had. It was a pleasant deviation from the standard coleslaw.
My friend's BLT was good, he said, but nothing too special. He thought the largely-sliced slab bacon was too much for the sandwich. Described as Texas smoked bacon, it was definitely not a typical BLT.
Other SoCo selections include Alaskan Salmon, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Napa Valley Roasted Chicken, Spicy Shrimp Marinara, and Grilled Chicken Alfredo. Desserts options are New York Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake and Caramel Apple Pie.
SoCo's was slowly coming to life this night as we were finishing our dinner. A large section of tables surrounding a dance floor in the main dining room was reserved for a wedding party, as we were soon to discover. On the other side of the dance floor Jenny Labow was preparing to perform.
Service was good from the beginning, but as the crowd thickened, the service thinned. Our server was juggling a number of tables by 8:30 and her attention to us was very much divided by this time. Still, our experience was enjoyable at SoCo's. It's a hopping place on Saturday nights.
SoCo's Sports Bar & Grill
8161 S. Harvard
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