Those in the know at Tracy's Bar & Grill in Long
Beach check out the blackboard specials before looking
at the games on TV.
A few are already munching on nachos or a hot dog that's
too messy to eat with your hands, but not the smart
ones. Those in the know are checking out
I don't give a hoot about sports. I don't
even care about how they play the game, yet I learned
long ago that the average sports bar serves American
food that is vastly superior to that of the typical
coffee shop or family restaurant.
That's not exactly true at Tracy's however. The
imaginative entrees, available at Tracy's after 5 p.m.
on Friday and Saturday night, are on a par with your
favorite upscale restaurant where the average dinner
The three special weekend entrees, along with two soups
and a dessert(sometimes there are two) are listed on
the blackboard, and my husband, Martin, and I decided
to share the chicken tortilla soup, $1.95.
Ever the pasta enthusiast, he chose the walnut chicken
over cheese ravioli, $7.50, while I picked the grilled
trout with fresh tomato dill sauce, served with fresh
green beans and rice pilaf, $7.95.
The third entree was a New York steak mrlot,$11.95
"this is my favorite soup in the whole world,"
confided our perky waitress as she set the bowl before
me, and she surely had an educated palate. This
soup was ambrosia! The broth was extraordinarily strong
and flavorful, and it was crowded with juicy strips
of grilled chicken breast, onion, celery, fresh tomatoes,
narrow ribbons of chewy tortillas, garlic and herbs.
I took my time before passing the bowl to
Martin, but as soon as he tasted it, he suggested that
we order a second bowl. I knew featly how
he felt, but I instantly vetoed the motion.
I knew that we'd eat every bit of this dinner (who could
resist?), and I was determined to save room for dessert.
Both my husband and son eat faster and more quietly
when they're served an entree that's particularly splendid.
Martin distinguished himself this time.
He didn't utter a word until over half of his ravioli
were gone, and then it was in response to question. I
asked him how he liked his meal, and all he could manage
was a blissful sigh and he handed over his plate.
The large ravioli were fully packed with a beautifully
seasoned, creamy ricotta filling, then sauced with a
luscious chicken and walnut sauce, lovely and thick.
I've cooked for years, yet I couldn't begin to list
the ingredients in this tasty, seamless sauce.
You might suppose that the richness of the walnuts might
be a case of gilding the lily, but that wasn't true. They
provided a welcome textural contrast, an opulent addition
that was the crowning touch.
My boneless grilled trout was spread open prettily in
the middle of my plate. This sauce was less
robust, an inspired pairing of fresh tomatoes and fresh
dill. There's no comparison between fresh
and dried herbs. There's such a difference
in flavor that I no longer fool around with the dried,
and neither does the gifted chef. Tomatoes
and dill are soul mates, and this was a delectable trout.
I ate every bite.
Needless to say, the prime green beans had been cooked
al dente. They had been sauteed, but only
until done, so their original flavor was still intact.
Everybody seems to be doing better with
vegetables lately, and that's a load off my mind.
The rice, too, had been sauteed with onions before being
steamed to perfection, and each grain was separate and
Nobody should miss the German chocolate cake, $3.25.
One glance is enough to tell you that it's really homemade.
It has three layers, moist and crumbly, and there are
both coconut and nuts in the frosting. When I told the
waitress how much we enjoyed it, she said, "There's
something different every week. Once she
even made cream puffs." I certainly regret missing
Don't be fooled by the fact that Tracy's is a sports
bar. Food such as this carne up anywhere.
For the last 15 years I've investigated the area's thrifty
restaurants, and only once before have I found American
food as outstanding as this. Make no mistake about
it. This cuisine is haute! - 121799
||Copyright ©2006 Tracy's Bar and Grill