Well….it was that time of the month again and I experienced the typical symptoms as I always do. My mouth gets dry and parched…my stomach growls and lurches…and I break out in the sweats (this could just be the heat wave we went through last month but I’ll count it anyway). No….it’s not male menopause…it just time for the Food for Y’all gang to go on our monthly Happy Hour excursion! This month it was Pops (also known as Bud) turn to select the venue and he reached deep into his bag of chain restaurants and pulled out this month’s location. ISLANDS!
Pops is well known for choosing chain restaurants as his previous selections included the Lazy Dog Cafe, El Torito’s Taco Tuesday and The Black Angus. Previously frowned on….chain restaurants have been put back in play as it’s getting more and more difficult to find an independent restaurant that we haven’t already gone to. As usual…we departed Pops place at around 3:45PM and headed down Tustin Avenue towards our exotic destination in Orange. Except this time we brought along a visitor…The Angus Cup! Bud just won the Match Play Championship of the Angus Men’s Club last month so we thought if the Stanley Cup can go on tour….why not the Angus Cup?
The trip got off to a questionable start as our prime handicapped parking spot in front of the entrance got snaked just as we turned into the parking lot. Forced to park some 15 feet further away…we gathered up the Angus Cup and hiked to the front door. Just turning 4PM…it was like a deserted Island in there with only a few customers at the bar. We found a spot to sit and put the Angus Cup up on the table. Like bees to spilled Dr. Pepper…we got immediate attention. Several waitress’s stopped to inquire, “Hey..What’s that”? After explaining that they were in the presence of the Angus Match Play Champion…they all pretty much responded the same. “Oh…really? Wow”. Then they hurried off to another table to serve someone else.
Finally….we got a waitress who wasn’t too enamored with the Angus Cup and she took our drink order. The Happy Hour menu at Islands could pretty much be written on the back of a postcard so we didn’t need much time to decide. The only draft beer offered was Coors Light. Certainly not my first choice but a 16oz glass was only $2.95. Other drink options included a bottled IPA (yuck), a red and white wine selection and Mai Tai’s and Margaritas. Well Drinks were only $3.55.
We then turned our attention to the food options and once again the selections were minimal. After the waitress brought our Coors Light, we ordered Buffalo Hot Wings, Sliders and French Fries. I think this is the first happy hour spot on our tour that included regular French Fries on their appetizer menu. Actually…they’re a side dish. Might as well include a salad or cole slaw as an appetizer if your going to offer plain fries (at least try an Island version of Irish Nachos!). The Hot Wings and Sliders were OK…..but unremarkable. It seems Island’s management knows their appetizers are nothing special and tries to make up for this with larger quantities.
In short…Island’s Happy Hour is nothing to write home about. I’m a little ashamed we selected this venue to premier the Angus Cup’s North American Tour. It simply didn’t live up to the expected pomp and glory. Overall, I gave Islands two stars. Their food fell short on flavor, presentation and imagination. About the only positive mention was their well drinks were the cheapest we’ve encountered at $3.55 a pop. I guess if you have enough well drinks first….you won’t care about the food!
Until next month….y’all take care now….ya hear?