ARLINGTON — I can only imagine how loud this place got when the Seahawks’ Jason Myers nailed that 42-yard field goal Monday night.
The Centennial Bar & Grill, this city’s newest sports bar, has recently opened its doors. And the staff likely couldn’t have hoped for a better way to get the place buzzing than the Seahawks’ dramatic victory over previously undefeated San Francisco on Monday Night Football.
I’ve been a football agnostic since I tuned out the Hawks during the Tom Flores era, and my colleague Sara Bruestle is pretty much a football atheist. Nevertheless, we decided to give the Centennial a go when we found ourselves feeling peckish Monday afternoon — several hours before kickoff.
The Centennial, which is run by the same team that operates The Point Bar & Grill in Smokey Point, occupies a 5,000-square-foot space on Arlington’s attractive, vibrant downtown main street. Since its days as the Wild Rose Bistro, the room’s been opened up to accommodate all-ages dining, a 21-and-up cocktail bar area and a couple of pool tables.
No fewer than 26 video monitors, plus one big honkin’ projection unit, allow patrons to view the exploits of their favorite sporting franchise from anywhere in the room. With a spartan decor and echo-y acoustics, it’s won’t be mistaken for a chic restaurant — think community recreation center, albeit a very well-equipped one. But nobody cares about dining frou-frou on gameday, anyway.
Sara and I found the Arlington streetscape more appealing than whatever ESPN happened to be showing at the time, so we took a table by the window. As befitting a sports bar, the Centennial’s menu is really big on appetizers. There are no fewer than 15 of them, from chicken strips to “totchos” (nachos, with tater tots instead of chips). Think: Goes well with beer.
As for mains, there is a selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes and steaks. Sara perused the burger list because, as she put it, “It seemed like the obvious choice for a sports bar.”
She was tempted by the trail burger ($14.99), which is a cheeseburger garnished with pulled pork and an medium-cooked fried egg, before opting for a cheeseburger and fries. The Centennial says its burger meat is ground in-house and hand-formed into half-pound patties. The cheeseburger is topped with your choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and the house aioli and served on a very shiny brioche bun. You can add bacon for 99 cents.
Our friendly server didn’t ask for Sara’s choice of cheese, but the burger arrived with cheddar, which is what she would have asked for. The server did remember to ask Sara how she wanted her burger cooked. Sara requested well done; sadly, the burger showed up at our table with pink in the middle. The meat was much closer to well in the half of the burger Sara did eat.
The other half of the burger wasn’t so underdone that Gordon Ramsay would have bellowed “IT’S RAAAAAAWWWWW!”, but it wasn’t the way Sara wanted it. Sincere apologies were rendered by the server and cook, and the $12.99 charge was removed from our bill, even though she ate half the burger and took the other half home to eat later — after the patty was nuked for 30 seconds or so.
Even though the ground beef wasn’t cooked to Sara’s specifications, it was a tasty burger with quality ingredients — many steps above fast food fare. The fries also were cuts above, though they turned cold before Sara could eat very many.
I chose a steak sandwich ($12.99) — thin slices of marinated flank steak, red peppers, mushrooms and Swiss cheese on a French roll. Again, the ingredients were excellent — I was especially happy that the steak was tender and trimmed of gristle. The roll was appealingly flaky. For an additional 99 cents, I opted to upgrade to sweet potato fries, which were perfectly seasoned — not too salty.
We had to return to work, so we limited ourselves to soft drinks. But of course there’s a full bar and beer list. I’m positive everything would have gone very well indeed with a pint.
When we finished our lunch, kickoff was just a few hours away and the place was filling up. They were in for some tasty pub grub — and the best game of the season so far.
If you go
Centennial Bar & Grill, 318 N. Olympic Ave., Arlington, is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Happy hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Call 360-691-9198 or go to www.centennialbarandgrill.com for more information.