Trophy’s a success on the food side and the sports side

The motto emblazoned on Trophy’s menu is “Good Food for Good Sports.” And this sports bar and restaurant across the street from the UTC Shopping Center manages to succeed on the culinary side, while making sports fans happy with conveniently placed TV screens showing several different sporting events.

The restaurant is a mini-museum with a wide variety of sports memorabilia on display. Folks like to check them out while they wait for the food to be prepared and delivered to their tables.

Unlike some sports bars, Trophy’s is kid-friendly, and the interior is attractive and comfortable. Youngsters even have a special child’s menu with food designed to appeal to little tastes. The dishes prepared for the small-fry set include chicken dinosaurs with fries, grilled cheese with fries, burger with fries, spaghetti with garlic bread, cheese pizza, hotdog with fries, and fish ‘n’ chips. The meals cost $2.99 each. Kids can get a chocolate sundae for $2.99, and a cola drink for $1.49.

Adults can do some serious eating at Trophy’s. In fact, if you look through the list of Trophy’s Favorites, you’ll find a daily fresh fish selection (available at Market Price), beef stroganoff with sauteed sirloin with mushrooms, onion, red wine and sour cream served over fettucine ($15.99), empanadas filled with spicy blackened chicken, cheese and chiles and served with a small green salad ($12.99), chicken picatta with lemon and capers ($12.99), and tequila lime shrimp ($14.99) among the many offerings. The chicken picatta is a new addition to the menu, and it’s an excellent dish.

The most popular entrees under the Favorites menu are the drunk steak, a 10-ounce top sirloin marinated in brandy, soy sauce and garlic accompanied by vegetables and fries ($17.49), and Trophy’s famous center-cut beef ribs with Bull’s-Eye sauce, slaw and fries ($18.99).

Sports bars usually have great appetizers, even if the rest of their food isn’t memorable. In Trophy’s case, the whole menu is very good, but the starters are still among the stars. Who wouldn’t want to share a stack of onion rings hand-battered, deep-fried and piled high ($5.99). A full pound of fries go into the cheesy fries ($7.99). They’re layered with jack and cheddar cheese, and they’re finger-lickin’ good.

You get four delicious potato skins on a platter (with your choice of dressings) for $7.99 at Trophy’s. The skins are flash-fried and topped with cheese, bacon bits and green onions. The Santa Fe quesadilla is another favorite with the local crowd. You get a 12-inch flour tortilla with jack and cheddar cheese, chicken, mild chiles and black beans for $9.99, or you can opt for just cheese for $5.99.

Every sports bar worth its salt has a selection of hearty burgers, and Trophy’s is certainly no exception. These juicy half-pounders are charbroiled and served with lettuce, tomato, pickle wedge, cole slaw and fries. You can have it your way, so check out the assortment. Included among the burger selections is a cheeseburger ($9.99), mushroom burger ($9.99), bacon burger with your choice of cheese ($10.99), and avocado burger ($10.99), just to name a few. We love to top our burgers off with blue cheese crumbles for that delightful tangy taste.

Thin-crust pizza is another staple of sports bars, and Trophy’s offers 14-inch hand-stretched gourmet pies starting at $12.99 for margherita pizza.

Trophy’s sports a fine selection of pastas. The most popular is Dave’s pasta ($14.99). This interesting dish features penne pasta with blackened chicken, artichoke hearts and a rich cream sauce. Seafood pasta with shrimp, salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic cream sauce ($16.99) is another winner.

Make room for dessert, because Trophy’s has several mouth-watering choices all made from scratch. They include the “cookie collision” ($4.99), mud pie ($5.99) and giant four-layer chocolate cake for two ($8.99).

Wines, beers, cocktails and other beverages are always available. On weekdays between 4 and 7 p.m., Trophy’s offers Happy Hour specials with low-priced drinks and $2.50 “bar baskets” including French dip sliders, fried zucchini sticks, and jalapeno-cheddar crab poppers.

Trophy’s is at 4282 Esplanade Court. Call (858) 540-1400.