: We walked out of the office into the warm humid heat. The very air laden so heavy that it was like walking through a thick fog. In the haze, I spotted my car; normally I ride with others, but today I have some business to attend to after lunch. I took a couple of riders with me. Upon opening the car doors, the oven like heat escaped slowly into the noontime. We embarked to Avon, my puny air conditioner trying its best to take us there in comfort. Isn't summer great!
We arrived in Avon in minutes (it's not far from our avocation). The Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill occupies a storefront built at the same time that a large discount grocer sparked the economic growth spurt in Avon. The grocer has long since went bust, but the rest of the strip mall struggles on. We climbed out of the car onto the parking lot and walked slowly into the bar. The first impression of the place was of darkness. As our eyes adjusted to the change in light, booths, pool tables, and a large bar in the back of the room appeared. Venetian blinds shielded the interior from the sunlight that managed to leak through the slats in places. The scents of tobacco smoke and stale beer wafted mildly in the air. Lights over the pool tables and the bar were the only artificial light sources in the room. Tire-shaped ceiling fans wobble as they turn and lightly wave the beer posters and flags that hang limply from the ceiling and walls. Except for our group, the bar was mostly empty.
An enthusiastic waitress seated us and took our drink orders. After bringing our drinks, she informs us they have the finest meatball sandwich and its equal can not be found. Despite her charm and persuasion, we each choose the Reuben instead. One of our group, in a moment of weakness, chooses the meatball sandwich. The waitress insists we will all be sorry. She leaves to set the order in motion. We chat and wait, and wait, and wait. Still waiting, we wonder (as eagerness breeds a vivid imagination) what could be taking so long. The waitress appears at our table to inform us, the cook doesn't have enough rye bread to make all of the sandwiches. Would one of us accept alternate bread? In a fit of hunger, another of the group decides on the meatball sandwich.
The food arrives several minutes later. At last! I ordered my sandwich with fries. They appeared to be hand cut. With a ketchup bottle close by, I settled into the work at hand. The bread was buttered and lightly toasted/grilled just right. The sandwich was cut diagonally with decorative toothpicks holding upper and lower slices together. The first bite revealed an excellent sandwich. The meat was sliced somewhat thicker than we normally encounter. It was grilled to just short of crispness and gave it a somewhat chewy texture. At last, enough sauerkraut to satisfy even my fussy tastes. In fact, the sauerkraut quite nearly masked the flavor of the cheese. I couldn't taste the Thousand Island dressing and remain convinced that it may have been left off mine. No matter however, it was still a good sandwich.
The heretics of the group (those eating the meatball sandwich) seemed to be satisfied with the waitress's suggestion, though not in a gloating manner. Each finished; we filed in order of height to the checkout. The cost of the meal was incredibly low. The waitress was still expounding on the excellent meatball sandwiches as we left the bar to reenter the summer heat, patiently waiting all along for our arrival.
: This is about the smokiest place I can remember visiting. After sitting at the table for a while (and we did sit for a long while), I caught a whiff of my hands and noticed that _they_ smelled like smoke. I wanted a shower after I left. The restroom didn't smell like smoke, but it didn't smell very clean either. Lots of obscene grafitti on the walls in there, and some gum. The racecar-shaped booth was amusing. They have lots of TVs (including a big screen) that mercifully were not turned up too loud. The ceiling fans are strangely shaped, like wheels, I think: despite the name of the establishment nothing looked like a frisbee. They serve Pepsi here, not Coke. Drinks are served in plastic glasses, but food arrived (finally) on china plates with metal utensils. Service was mixed: we were told that their computers had stopped working last night, but that couldn't fully explain the delays. Staff was friendly, and volunteered pitchers of tea and water. We were constantly encouraged to try their unique family recipe meatball sandwich, which according to the Fusons was extremely good, but that wasn't why we were there. The chips were generic ripple chips, nothing special. No pickle, but a lettuce leaf for garnish. The sandwich itself was surprisingly good. The beef was sliced unusually thick, and had good flavor. It blended nicely with good quantities of kraut and dressing, though the construction was somewhat haphazard and unevenly distributed. I couldn't really taste the cheese, but I think it added appropriately to the texture. Strangely, Chris and I both noticed that all of the rye flavor was concentrated in the last bite of the bread: I hadn't tasted it at all before that. It had a good grilled texture though, and though somewhat greasy was not at all soggy. I don't think I'd ever return to the Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill, but I might order a Reuben or one of those meatball sandwiches for carryout. I'd make sure to phone the order in a long time ahead, though. (2004-06-08)
: The waitress and the owner basically made us all feel ignorant for ordering the Reuben. "You can't get our meatball sandwich anywhere else, but you can get a Reuben anywhere. You'll be sorry!" The room was full of pool tables, dart boards, and a small stage. The bar was along the back wall of the room, and the tire-shaped ceiling fans and race car-shaped booths were amusing. The restaurant was very dark, but the light through the front windows blinded me so that I couldn't make out the faces of the people across the table from me. The only lights in the room that were on were over the pool tables. Our server brought out pitchers of tea and water. The meat on the Reuben was very thick and difficult to pull apart. I couldn't really taste the Swiss cheese. The bread was very deftly grilled, and somewhat crunchy. The thousand island dressing and sauerkraut proportions were excellent. This was a pretty good Reuben for a pub-style establishment. I would definitely get it again over the protests of the service staff. I thought the side of chips was somewhat small. Waiting over 30 minutes for our sandwiches when we were practically the only people in the dining room seemed excessive. Then we had to wait a while to pay. I think the computer system was down, because when our waitress rang us up, I only had to pay $5.25 for the $5.25 Reuben. She didn't charge anyone sales tax. I don't know whether it's built into the price, or whether they're too lazy to calculate it. If their sandwich weren't so good, I'd suggest the state Department of Revenue might want to investigate their receipts. I'm glad the restaurant was empty when we were there because otherwise the smoke smell would have been even worse than it was. I recommend the Reuben here, but I don't recommend actually going here to get it. (2004-06-08)
: The thing that really stood out about this Reuben experience was the waiting. There was really quite a lot of that. Almost record setting, in fact. The Reuben itself was pretty good, definitely above average. Every employee of the place kept trying to talk us out of ordering the Reuben. Strange... They made grandiose claims about their meatball sandwich which the easily influenced members of our group said were valid. So, maybe we'd have not had to wait as much if we'd have had the meatball sandwich. But then we wouldn't have had Reubens and I wouldn't be writing this review. (2004-06-08)