So I’ve been a bit late on my weekly blog, partly due to vacation time, and work being more busy, but also partly because I’ve been dreading this stop on the long trek down East 14th.
While Sizzler’s address is technically not on East 14th (201 Davis Street to be exact), I felt that since it is directly on the corner it deserved a mention. Sizzler, as a company, has been around since the late 50s apparently. It was a staple of my childhood, where for $10 my parents could try and fill that hollow leg of mine, as a growing young man/teenager. Not to say we were regulars, by any means, but whenever there was an extended car trip to some remote corner of the Southwest, Sizzler was a terrific break from campground food and hot dusty climates. I distinctly remember the last time I was in a Sizzler, as it was such a relief from car camping in Arizona. My cousin and I decided that we needed to be inside this air-conditioned dream world for as long as we could, so we made a contest to see how much we could eat. You’ve never seen two 10 year olds eat so much in your life. With the restaurant right near the train tracks, we saw dozens of freight trains go by as we each went up to the all you can eat salad bar 10 times. Nice.
Twenty years later, I’ve ventured back.
I was dreading coming here for two reasons. One being that I think my palate has evolved a bit since I ate at a Sizzler last, and knew that I would find something at fault with the food. Second, I didn’t want to spoil a fond childhood memory with bad food.
I brought with me an army of buddies this time, to create new memories of Sizzler and to enjoy a Friday night out.
First off things have changed in the way that you order, you walk up to the register, order, pay, tip (if you tip on a credit card they give you the cash to leave on the table, which is weird), and then go find a seat somewhere. Fortunately a group was just leaving as we arrived, as the place was packed, definitely a good sign!
I ordered a steak, all you can eat fried shrimp, a baked potato, and one trip to the infamous salad bar. The whole meal was amazingly good to my surprise! I was expecting a microwaved steak product, and a handful of rubbery shrimp, but instead I’m almost 100% sure that my steak came from a cow, and that the fried shrimp were caught and breaded fairly recently. There were maybe 30 shrimp with the first order, and I am embarrassed that I couldn’t even finish what they brought me, let alone ask for more.
Others tried the grilled shrimp combo, or a burger, or shrimp and salad, and one person (who shall remain nameless) only got the salad bar.
The salad bar was smaller than I remember them usually being (maybe that’s just because I grew 2 feet since I was last in a Sizzler) but it was well stocked with yummy items. The taco bar was a bit sketchy, because it included spaghetti, but I still made myself a taco (no cheese sauce though please), got some onion rings, a chicken wing or two, potato salad, a cup of clam chowder and a Cesar salad.
Now do you see why I didn’t need more shrimp? My friend Emma asked for extra plates so we could gorge ourselves more, but when they came we found that we couldn’t possibly eat any more. Poor wasted plates…
Don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Nothing like a small dessert to top off the evening: soft serve ice cream with Oreo cookie crumbles, banana pudding with vanilla wafers, cantaloupe, and one chicken wing. Mmm…
Needless to say we ate all that we could eat, and possibly a few bites more than we really should have.
I can see why it’s so popular. A few years ago my 5 year old niece invited us all to Denny’s for Valentine’s Day because “it’s a really good restaurant.” There was also a long wait and one guy was on his phone: “Why am I at Denny’s? Cuz there’s hella people up in Sizzler!” Now I understand.
Be prepared to wait a bit to get inside, as it is a hopping place on a Friday night, and enjoy some decent food and discount prices.
Sizzler: 2.0 miles roundtrip
Total traveled so far: 19.9 miles