My husband and I recently visited the ESPN Club Restaurant on the Boardwalk during our anniversary trip and were really impressed! It was our first time down at the Boardwalk and we had a blast exploring! From the moment we walked in we were greeted with smiling faces and friendly staff. There is no denying you are in an ESPN themed restaurant with Sports memorabilia anywhere and everywhere you look. Here are five reasons we think you will love eating at ESPN Club!
Our waitress was extremely nice but not overbearing. She was relate-able and present when needed, but also gave us our space which we enjoyed after a long day at the parks. When I asked to see their allergen menu she was very accommodating and actually shared some of her favorites from the menu. She seemed very knowledgeable about what was on the menu and when we asked any questions she had a quick and confident answer. All of the staff have a smile on their face and you don’t get the vibe than anyone is just there to pay the bills or that you are inconveniencing them. It’s a fun atmosphere and you can tell the staff have fun with their jobs and enjoy each others company.
The menu for ESPN Club has a huge variety. Whether you want a classic Philly Cheesesteak, a hand crafted burger, or a crispy fried Florida Shrimp you are sure to find something you will like on this menu. I have an allergy to gluten and wheat and was very pleased with their Allergen menu. Normally I can find maybe one or two gluten free options on a menu but not so here! For the gluten/wheat allergy alone there were 16 entrees I could have, including burgers, and 6 appetizers! I also didn’t feel conspicuous or awkward which can happen easily if the staff is not confident in their allergen menu or has the chef come out to personally take your order. A lot of restaurants cannot guarantee that your food will not become cross-contaminated but they seem to take a lot of care here to makes sure to meet any of your allergen needs. Other allergen options on the menu included egg, fish, shellfish, milk, peanut and tree nut. I personally ordered a Philly Cheesesteak on a gluten free bun and was very happy with my meal. If you struggle with food allergies you know how hard it is to find good, tasty food when you venture out. I didn’t feel like I was settling at all! My husband does not have any food allergies and indulged in The Old World Bavarian burger that is topped with grilled sausage, potato latke, smoked bacon Kapusta and lager-infused Mustard Emulsion! Sounds delicious? It was! The kids menu serves guests under the age of nine and had a great selection as well. Their kids menu was included on the allergen menu as well which is not something you see often.
The menu for drinks was pretty extensive as well. They carry Coca-Cola products as well as freshly brewed Joffrey’s coffee. Their alcoholic beverage selection included beer by the glass or pitcher, wine by the glass or bottle and over ten speciality drinks! There is a draft beer list as well as a speciality beer list that includes drinks like ciders. I asked for something sweet and not too heavy and she suggested “The Espy” which was Absolut Mandarin, Peach Schnapps, Orange and Pineapple juices and Sprite served over ice. It was refreshing and light and not too heavy on the alcohol. My husband tried out Aces Pineapple Cider that had a semi-sweet taste and tart finish. Most of their speciality drinks range between $10-$12. The beers are in the $6-$8 range by glass and wine was anywhere from $8-$11 per glass.
From a bar and large seating area when you first enter to the expansive seating area on the left side of the restaurant that looks out onto the Boardwalk I can’t imagine how many people would have to be there to pack it out. The seating seemed endless and no matter where you sit you are sure to have a TV screen, or five, in your line of sight. The feeling in the main bar area and large circular area on the left side of the restaurant definitely have two different vibes. The bar area is a little darker and feels more like a pub while the circular seating area is surrounded by massive windows that let light in from the boardwalk. We personally liked sitting on the side with the windows so we could watch the activity happening on the boardwalk. We went at an off-peak time, but we heard the folks next to us saying that last time they came they weren’t able to get a table. Getting a reservation would be wise, even if you aren’t sure how busy it will be.
When I say there is a television everywhere you look I am not exaggerating. There are even televisions in the restroom, over the urinals, stalls and sinks! If you are watching a game you won’t miss one minute of it! The focus in the larger seating area is a giant projector screen above a sportscaster desk and several large televisions overhead that cater to the tables on the outer walls of the circular room. While you are surrounded by television and sports memorabilia lined walls the noise wasn’t deafening like some sports focused restaurants I have been in. I’m not sure if they have the TV’s up louder when there is a larger crowd but when we went it was very relaxing and not a sensory overload with blaring televisions playing multiple channels. You will love looking at all of the jerseys and sports memorabilia.
Tip: You should definitely get reservations. Without a reservation, you may also be forced to pay for valet parking at the Boardwalk which is a hefty $25 added to the price of your meal. They usually do not allow self parking for non-guests without a restaurant reservation.