Sports Center

Hamburgers | Hot Dog | Pool Hall | Tavern
Worth a detour

Sitting at the Sports Center is primal. Culinarily speaking, it’s primeval.

In back, there are pool tables. Up front is a long bar, where seats near the door afford a breathtaking view as well as a good whiff of a well-seasoned flat-top crowded with piles of onions, sizzling hamburgers, and hot dogs.

It can be a noisy place, especially at the height of lunch hour and on weekend evenings as 18-ounce draughts are going down the hatch and bar-room chatter bounces around the capacious space like a hard break shot. When a freight train rumbles across Broad Street just outside, the clackety-clack of the rails and the blast of its horn drown out all other sound within 100 yards.

Need I say that this is not the place you want to take your significant other for a romantic supper?

But if you are looking for a juice-dripping, half-pound hamburger, piled with sweet grilled onions and sided by utterly lascivious, hand-breaded onion rings, all presented in a setting that flips the bird to fashionable lifestyle nostrums, the Sports Center can’t be beat.

There are other items on the menu – hot dogs, corn dogs, wings, and a few square meal dinners during the week — but for most people, hamburgers are the main attraction (not counting adult beverages). The burger chef disobeys the rule that you shouldn’t press a hamburger patty while it’s cooking, but these half-pounders are fatty enough that that they remain succulent. Degree of doneness is not an issue: they’re all cooked medium. With beef this unctuous, that’s alright.

For people-watching, the Sports Center is a treasure. A large number of customers are regulars, greeted by name; some have been coming for decades. The family who work the grill and draw beers are enthusiastic pros who can be cooking eight things at once while carrying on a half-dozen conversations. One time, a few years back, when I asked the cook if anyone ever ordered anything other than hamburgers or hot dogs, she replied, “We serve more bullshit and lies than anything else.”

What to Eat
Sports Center, Onion Rings
Onion Rings
Crisp, sweet, utterly fresh onion rings
Sports Center, Cheese Hamburger
Cheese Hamburger
Cheese Hamburger, works: cooked through, but mighty juicy
Sports Center, Hot Dog
Hot Dog
Yes, there is a hot dog under "the works." Knife & fork provided!
Directions and Hours
open now
Wednesday11am - 9:15pm
Thursday11am - 9:15pm
Friday11am - 9:15pm
Saturday11am - 9:15pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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