Sassy New Saloon Kicks Sports Bar up a Notch
My head clouded from world-famous Atlanta allergies, I reluctantly made my way into the drizzly day to meet my friend for a Thrashers game. Never wanting to pass up an opportunity to eat something good, I suggested we check out the new, super-chic sports bar, Stats, just a few blocks from the arena.
Miserably trudging down the street with tissues in hand, I was relying on Stats to lift my spirits, and it didn’t disappoint. The hostess and servers were especially chipper for such a dismal day, and the sleek, industrial interior of Stats was nothing short of energizing.
While I prefer cheap, no-frills restaurants to expensive, fancy digs, I must admit I’m pretty high-maintenance when it comes to bars. In order for me to enjoy them, they must have specialty drinks and clean bathrooms and cannot be too loud or smoky. Stats met and exceeded all of these requirements. Even with a group of guys right next to us mesmerized by some sort of game on one of the many screens, and a table of kids not too far away, the noise level never got to be too much.
Starting off with drinks, mine was more like dessert, which was just what I needed. A divine blend of raspberry and almond liqueur topped with almond cream, the pretty pink and white swirled beverage was happiness in a glass. Starting to feel comforted, I decided not to stop there. Still trying to shake my chill, I went for the warm cheese fondue, served with a delectable variety of tasty morsels like kielbasa, apples, broccolini and homemade croutons. For once I’m at a loss for words. Let me just say that anyone who does not like this spread is clinically insane and does not deserve to eat at Stats.
Continuing down the comfort food trail, I topped this winner of a meal off with the fork chili and jalapeno cornbread. The chili itself was good – nothing too out-of-this-world – but the generous pile of cilantro on top gave it a few extra points in my book. Cilantro is arguably one of the best things on earth. The bread, I’m sorry to say, was too dry to eat alone, and I didn’t taste even a hint of jalapeno. However, broken up and drowned in the chili, it gave the dish a nice hint of sweetness.
My friend enjoyed her fish tacos, though they were served in hard taco shells, which we both found a bit odd. The fries on the side were perfectly acceptable but nothing to write home about.
Okay, so Stats isn’t a five-star restaurant, but in my opinion it’s a darn fine place to hang out before a game – or just on a random evening. After all, the new establishment accomplished what it set out to do – kick the typical sports bar atmosphere up a notch. Everything from the funky setting to the tasty beverages and bites set this place apart. And the bathrooms…well, just check them out for yourself…I dare you not to be impressed.