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Bites Nearby: Scoreboard Restaurant Serves Good, Sports-Themed Food

'Major League Appetizers' include fantastic Stadium Fries.

The Scoreboard Restaurant & Lounge serves up good food with friendly, efficient service. The restaurant on Route 8 in Valencia is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily; breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Overview:  As its name implies, the Scoreboard Restaurant & Lounge is a sports-themed restaurant and bar. The bar allows smoking -- and was very smoky when we took a peek -- but is entirely separate from the restaurant portion of the building. Smoke does not permeate the eating area. It's a casual place, great for a quick, filling, well-prepared meal.

Décor: Lots of pictures of local sports teams, sports figures and framed baseball cards. Even the overhead fans have sports logos. One member of our party said it reminded her of a friend's sports-themed basement. It's also spotlessly clean and has a balanced mix of booths and tables. Big-screen televisions are on each end wall, with the sound muted.

The Drinks: We did not order alcohol, but there is a full bar and people around us ordered a variety of drinks, including mixed drinks, beers and wine. An alcohol menu was not offered, but the clientele seemed to know what they wanted. Again, the full bar, complete with several poker tables, is separated from the eating area by a lobby and a double set of glass doors.

Appetizers: The menu items all have a sport-related name, and the "Major League Appetizers" include Buffalo Chicken Dip ($6.95), Marinated Chicken Livers ($5.95) and the popular Stadium Fries ($6.95), which are topped with bacon and cheese. The restaurant also has soups, and we had to try the Scoreboard's Famous Turtle Soup ($4.95). Spicy and redolent with vegetables, it deserves its "famous" description. It seemed as if every patron in the restaurant ordered a bowl.

Entrees: While the restaurant does have dinner entrees, our party opted to order from the more casual menu. Under the "Sandwedge Board" section of the menu, I chose the Scoreboard's Famous Giant Fish Sandwich ($7.25), the best-selling item. It lived up to its top billing. Thick and flaky, with a light, crunchy crust, it was served on a dense roll that gave a nice balance of textures and made the sandwich (or is that sandwedge?) not too unwieldy.

From the "Best of the Burgh" section, my daughter ordered the Willie "Pops" Stargell ($6.75), which we all agreed was the best sandwich of the evening. It's roast beef, served Pittsburgh style with fries and slaw on the sandwich. As she pointed out, it was real roast beef, carved thin and with a wonderful flavor. The slaw was creamy rather than tangy, and there wasn't so much it overwhelmed the beef.

From "The Pro's" section, my burger-loving son chose the Michael Jordan ($7.95), topped with American Cheese and bacon. It was a big, flavorful burger, done to medium-well perfection and very good.

I must say a word here about the fries. They do not come with the sandwiches, but we ordered them on the side and we all agreed they were possibly the best fries we've ever had. They're hand-cut and fried to a perfect turn without being greasy.

They're listed on the menu as $1.50 for a small appetizer, but we were charged only 75 cents for each small order (which was not small, but actually a generous basket), we assume because we ordered them as a side dish. We felt as if we should have paid more; they were that good.

Dinner entrees, also known as "The Main Event," range from a Fried Chicken Dinner ($9.95) to Slow Roasted Pot Roast ($9.95) and Liver and Onions ($10.95). There are also veal, steak, chicken, pork, fish and seafood dishes. The guy at the table next to me ordered ribs, and they're on my list for my next visit. The Scoreboard also has pasta, fajitas, wings, pizza, salads and wraps -- definitely something for everyone.

Desserts: Desserts are not listed on the menu, but that didn't stop us from asking our waitress. From a choice of three -- Peanut Butter Pie, Chocolate Confusion Cake and Carrot Cake -- we split a Chocolate Confusion Cake ($4.95), with three layers of different kinds of chocolate, thick frosting, chocolate chips and whipped cream. It was a sweet ending to a very satisfying dinner.

Service: Our waitress was downright impressive. Working the room virtually by herself -- and it was fairly busy -- she managed to keep everything moving along very briskly and with a big smile on her face. Our food came quickly, she kept our drink glasses filled, and didn't allow us to feel neglected. We left her an extra large tip because she was amazing.

Signature Dish: The Famous Turtle Soup, Stadium Fries and the Giant Fish Sandwich.

Cost: $ to $$

The Scoreboard Restaurant & Lounge is located at 6179 William Flynn Highway, Valencia; 724-443-6522.

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