Restaurant Review: Club 185
Club 185 doesn’t need publicity. It’s rarely empty, the spot feeds the business crowd at lunch time, and morphs into a busy bar by happy hour. Getting a seat is often a matter of timing things right; that is, arriving at the moment a table is vacated.
But when you get a craving for a really good Fried Egg Sandwich ($6.25), none other will do — even if that means waiting for a bit, and jockeying for a table. At Club 185, the egg sandwich starts with thick cut texas toast, perfectly grilled. Inside is a fried egg in layers of firm yolk and white stacked with american cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce and mayo. It’s all there, crust to crust, piled up so the sandwich somehow sits perfectly level and delivers a classic combo bite after blessed bite.
Of course, egg sandwiches aren’t the only things on the menu. There are deli sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizza too. The Chicken Salad Sandwich ($7.50) is nicely done. It tastes like something from the days of fancy department store luncheonettes, an adventureland with grapes and walnuts mixing it up with the more traditional celery and onion additions. Plus, it comes on wheat, which adds a tinge of wheaty sweetness to the mix.
For the other Salad Crew (the lettuce fans), there is a rave-worthy Club 185 Salad ($6.50). The dish has all the likeable elemental features of a salad nicoise, only without the tuna (and the fish feature in the classic wasn’t a personal favorite anyway). The eatery serves a pile of greens dressed in a light Dijon vinaigrette; little sections of the dish are devoted to pockets of black olives, quartered red potato, boiled egg, cucumber, and perfectly poached green beans. Like any nicoise, it’s not all blended together, but arranged so thoughtful eaters can customize each forkful.
The 185 Burger ($4, with cheese) is a good go-to, and it’s bargain priced. You can add french fries ($2). They’re crisp on the outside and so fryer-fresh they shine a little.
Online reviewers rave about the Club 185 meatloaf. In that department, it’s different strokes for different folks. The Meatloaf Sandwich ($7.50) features the texas toast again -that’s a perk, and the meatloaf itself boasts a nice little grilled finish with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. That said, it’s the well-blended sort of meatloaf, with soft bites that melt away in the mouth. Personal preference is for a courser, meatier texture — viva la difference.
Club 185 also seems to be frequently and curiously describes as a “dive” bar. No. The staff, clientele, décor and maintenance are too refined for dive bar labeling. Of course, the menu prices might compete with some downscale joints, but it takes more than affordability to build a dive bar.
Perhaps neighborhood bar or pub would be a better term; it serves wine, cocktails, drafts and bottled beer with an affordable, fun menu of eats. Happy hour runs from 4pm until 7pm Mondays through Fridays.
As for the kitchen at Club 185, it serves the hungry from 11:30am until 1am Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, it serves from 5pm until 1am.
For more information, visit www.club185.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.