Sunday, July 10, 2011

Standing Ovation or Bronx Cheer for Stadium Brewing?

Stadium Brewing Co.
26731 Aliso Creek Rd. Suite C
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

My good friend, Brett was going to be playing with his band at Stadium Brewing Company. Since it is only a fifteen minute ride, and all of Katie's family was going to be eating dinner here, it was the perfect opportunity to blog about the food here. We have visited here before, for breakfast, and this would be my first time eating here for dinner. 

Katie and I of course were the last of our party of nine to arrive to the restaurant. Sorry guys. Stadium Brewing is located in one of the busiest shopping centers in Aliso Viejo. It did not help our tardiness that we were relegated to parking at the very top of the parking structure. Not an excuse, just a reason why we were late, (okay it really is an excuse). 

Stadium Brewing is one of the few non-chain restaurants in the city of Aliso Viejo. The restaurant has a small bar area, two patios, and a dining room. When we arrived at 7:30 on a Friday night the place was packed. The dining room we were seated in was very loud. My friend Brett would say it was packed because everyone wanted to hear his band, but I am hoping it was because of the food. Let's check it out.

Because we were so late we missed most of the appetizers that were ordered, but we did get a shot of the Garlic Cheese Bread above. More like a cheese pizza, this had a great garlic flavor, but the crust on its own kind of fell flat. 

Starting us off on the dinner portion of our night is Marcy's choice, the Southwest Chicken Salad. This salad featured mixed greens, avocado, black beans, tortilla strips, corn, peanuts, jack and cheddar cheeses all tossed with cilantro cashew dressing. Marcy had mixed feelings about this salad. She enjoyed the avocado, but felt that the peanuts were not a good fit here. I think peanuts are odd in this salad too, but I would probably guess it would help change up the texture of this salad, which I kind of respect.

The salad above will end the produce portion of this post. Sara's choice of entree was the Raspberry and Gorgonzola Salad. This consisted of greens, fresh raspberries, candied pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette. Sara could not stop gushing over this salad calling it, "the best salad I have had at any restaurant". She gets this every time she is here, and it never fails to impress her. Lofty praise from hard to please Sara. 

You thought the salad's were done? Well believe it or not this is not a salad. Under all of that lettuce there are actually Greek Tacos. Greek Tacos combine the following items, tomato, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese, lamb or chicken, and cucumber yogurt sauce all served on a grilled pita. Three people out of our party of nine got this dish. Thanks for the diversity guys! Anyways, All three of them opted for the chicken. Jimmy and Emily felt the chicken was dry, but Katie liked this dish. Jimmy called this dish bland, while Katie said it was bursting with flavor. The piece of chicken I tried was dry, but I did not try it in the taco. I also would have gone with the lamb. With the difference of opinion with this plate, the jury is still out. 

Here is another plate where we had a difference of opinion, the Stadium Chicken Sandwich. This comes with lettuce tomato, onion, your choice of cheese, and your choice of having this blackened, Teriyaki, or BBQ. Lynn and Dennis split this sandwich and both of them felt differently about it. Lynn was very happy with this sandwich, while Dennis was hoping that it would have been better. The problem was that he let Lynn get this with no sauce, and no cheese, so I am sure it would have tasted better if they had all of the stuff on it. Let this be a lesson for you. Do not share a sandwich with someone that likes everything plain, you will just be disappointed. Of course if that person just happens to be your wife, and you want to avoid sleeping on the couch, just nod and and tell her the sandwich taste fine any way that she wants it. That is what very wise Dennis did here.

Kevin has been to Stadium Brewing countless times, and he always gets the Meat Lovers Pizza. This carnivore's pie includes bacon, pepperoni, ham and sausage. He always loves this pizza, but tonight it was not the best one he has had. He claimed that the crust was soggy. He still ate all of it, but the crust was not up to par. 

I had a very difficult time making my decision on what to eat here. I finally decided on the Steak La Choza. This layered dish combined marinated skirt steak, mashed potatoes, guacamole, onions, cilantro, peppers, tostada shells, and picante sauce. This plate had so much going on I will have to dissect it. The picante sauce was very spicy and really over powered the dish. The steak was average, the potatoes were lost here, and the  tostada chips, which the menu called, "crispy wontons", were just plain odd. Not so sure I would order this again.

This trip to Stadium Brewing Co. left me with more questions than answers. Did we just pick the wrong items off of their large menu? Not so sure. The problem with blogging about a restaurant is that they have one chance to make a great impression. They could be short staff, or not operating with the "A",  team in the kitchen on that particular night. This could have been the case this night, but the service was very good. Elisa, our waitress was very patient with us, and was very attentive to our needs.

I am not so sure I would go out of my way to eat here. If I were in the area, I would give it another try, but would definitely try another item on their menu. Like I said before, their menu is large. They have 27 entrees, and that does not even include their pizzas and sandwiches. I am sure with all of these choices I would be able to find something that I would like. For now though, I have to base my review on the food that we ate this night. 

Out of five ushers, (because of course you need ushers at stadiums, or there would be anarchy!), five being best to zero being worst, Stadium Brewing Co. gets 2.5 ushers. 

For more information about Stadium Brewing Co., click here: 

Stadium Brewing on Urbanspoon

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