Long Live The Englander!
Thursday, March 17, 2011 Leave a comment
We here at Wrecked frequent many establishments. Sometimes we get bored with those locations, especially me. I have the attention span of a kindergartener. So, I venture out and find new places that are awesome. Since that’s what this blog is about, let me introduce you all to: The Englander Sports Pub & Restaurant. How awesome is this place? Well, I have returned to The Englander solely to write this review…and enjoy a delicious brew, of course.
Located in San Leandro, a place I sometimes refer to as “Oakland, Jr.”, The Englander is in an oddly nice part of town. The area has several bars, restaurants, and businesses. Next door is a place called The Vine: Wine & Tapas. This area already looks promising! If you’re driving, park in the first spot you see because you probably will not find another one.
I’m not going to lie, this is probably one of the nicest spots in San Leandro. Arriving at 8pm on a Friday night, the place was packed. We were immediately greeted by a wall of beer and spirits. If any of us had a house and tons of money, this is what our bar would contain. There was a makeshift casino in a few of the rooms for a corporate event. Yes, the place is huge.
My girlfriend and I each ordered a burger. I ordered the barbecue bacon bleu cheese burger. It was probably one of the single best burgers I have ever had, and I don’t exaggerate when it comes to burgers…they’re a very serious, very delicious topic. (If you remember my love for tacos, my love for burgers is equal to it.) She ordered the California Burger with bacon, avocado, and pepper jack cheese. Simply put, no one will ever accuse this place of skimping on ingredients because there was half an avocado on this thing. The bacon on both burgers was crispy, just the way I like it.
Despite the fact I was starving by the time my burger came out (I had waited too long to eat dinner) I instantly knew my barbecue bacon bleu cheese burger was perfect. I have a problem with bleu cheese burgers most of the time because they’re usually dry and disappointing. This burger was juicy, flavorful, and huge. I destroyed it after a battle that proved it was a worthy foe. The fries were delicious, not that I could eat many because I was so full, but they definitely stood against the test. Oh, and her California Burger That’s my next victim.
The beer? Well, I started off with a simple Hoegaarden, which is a Belgian white ale with a bit of a bite. Before I moved on to my next ale, we were joined by fellow Wrecker, Ivan Torres, who asked the waitress about a beer on the list called “Englander Ale”. It piqued my curiosity enough to give it a shot. Basically, it’s not served ice-cold like most beers, but that’s not a bad thing considering that Belgians drink beer at room temperature. Imagine a lighter Fat Tire with all the flavor. It goes down smooth, but has tons of flavor and depth. To end my night, I had an Old Speckled Hen. If Fat Tire and Guinness had a baby, this would be it. It’s nothing short of amazing and was instantly a new favorite of mine.
We all really wanted to try the Irish Cream Shake, but we were just way too full to bother. Come here with an empty stomach. A very empty stomach.
Prices here aren’t that bad. Most beers are around $5 while our burgers were each $10. Service is good and the staff is friendly, though I will admit the bartenders are infinitely better than the waiting staff when it comes to beverages. It’s a breath of fresh air to find such a great selection so close to home. With a full menu and enough drinks to challenge BevMo to a booze-off, I’d say you have found your new hangout.
The website says it has 21 TVs but I count upwards of 30 from where I’m sitting. There are at least 7 different sporting events going on right now. Today, a Wednesday night around 9 pm, every stool at the bar is filled, with a few people standing around. Most of the tables are filled and the empty ones are only empty because people finished eating and left. If that doesn’t prove to you this place is worth your time, then I don’t know what will; this is a glass half full situation any way you look at it. Speaking of which, my glass is actually getting empty. Time for another brew!