Stadia Sports Bar Town Center The Woodlands Review
Sports Bar & Grille at Market Street
Stadia Sports Bar The Woodlands is located on the back side of the Hyatt Hotel in the Market Street retail area of Town Center. Stadia might very well have the most televisions per square foot of any public facility in The Woodlands. Not only do they have dozens of nice-sized flat panel TVs that you can easily see from every seat in the house, many booths also have personal size TVs at the tables as well. Depending on your age and or travel experience, you might be familiar with older restaurants that offered a control unit for the juke box on each table. In what might be perceived as an add-on for the couch potato, Stadia has a TV at your table.
If you're going to go to a sports bar, it helps if you're a sports fan. To be perfectly honest, neither of us really are. The occasional football game or boxing match, sure, but not so much that we would hang out at any sports bar long enough to see an entire game or match. That said, it's probably a big factor in what tips the scales against Stadia being a place we'd return to on a regular basis. Because if you're not focusing on the televisions all around you, you're likely going to be paying more attention to the food. And therein lies the rub.
We started our meal with the plain nachos ($6.00) which, despite their less-than-appetizing appearance, were palatable for the first fifteen minutes or so. The "cheese" is nothing special, but if you're a fan of Velveeta and Ro-Tel (and who doesn't secretly harbor an affinity for that golden goo) then this is right up your alley. Not too spicy, but not bland. And since it's a sauce as opposed to actual melted cheese, it stays pliable and spreadable to the entire plate, should you choose to finish them off. We didn't.
The Stadia Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
While not my first choice, I sampled a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich ($10) from time to time and even used to grill them up myself in a previous job many years ago. This particular one I got at Stadia was supposed to come with mixed peppers but were either difficult to taste and/or see - or nonexistent. And as you can see in the photo, the Philly cheese steak wasn't very appetizing in appearance, either. The steak was very dark, almost black in color, and my initial thoughts were that it was charred - but happily, it was surprisingly tender. The small amount of chipotle mayo that had been added did little to add any flavor to what turned out to be a rather bland sandwich.
Stadia Grilled Chicken Wrap
The Stadia Grilled Chicken Wrap ($7, w/sweet potato fries $8) was perhaps the least disappointing item of our order. The chicken was tender and juicy, with just the right amount of grill char. It is also quite hefty - I don't carry a food scale around, but I'd venture a guess that all of that chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and chipotle mayo comes in at a good three quarters of a pound. After eating a sinful amount of nachos, I was only able to eat half the wrap. The sweet potato fries weren't half bad. It would have been nice to have a few more of them as the serving I had there was scant at best. True, I had enough to eat, but with an up-charge and all, you'd think you would get more than can be readily counted in the photo above.
Our server seemed to be distracted or bored or both, paying little attention to us while we dined and couldn't be bothered to smile even once. We don't think it was a physical impossibility - she seemed happy enough when chatting with a group of guys that apparently knew her at a nearby table. She also made a cardinal sin in assuming the substantial amount of change we were due from our check was intended as a tip. Most of it was, but not all of it. When she returned the check holder sans change, it was clear she'd decided for herself what her service was worth. This is a huge no-no in our book.
The Final Score
The Woodlands Stadia Sports Bar has a few good things going for it: there are a multitude of beers on tap, televisions galore, and a centralized location convenient for catching a game or grabbing a cold one after a concert at The Pavilion. But this wasn't the first time we'd eaten here, and between the two or three meals we've collectively sampled about a third of the menu - none of it very remarkable (hence our waiting so long to write up a review).