Boston Restaurant Blog -- November, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I've probably driven by The Varsity Club in Quincy several hundred times in my life, but have never actually been in there. One reason is because it looks like it may be a little, well, rough around the edges. But a recent visit to the place dispelled that theory, as it was clean and brightly lit inside and the folks who worked there were both friendly and funny. As for the food, it was about what I expected, with very good bar pizza, fair to middling food otherwise, and cheap beer.
The inside of The Varsity Club is dominated by a bar in the middle of the place that has seating around the entire perimeter. There are TVs everywhere that are set to different channels in case there's a specific game that folks want to see. Booths with window views line the outer edge of the place, but they almost seem like an afterthought, which is no surprise, since The Varsity Club really feels like a sports bar that is geared more toward drinking than eating.
The food that we had at The Varsity Club was mostly average with the exception of the bar pie. The pizza was your classic individual variety, with a cracker-like crust, a rich sauce that tasted like it came out of a can (which, ironically, is what most good bar pies have), and lots of greasy cheese on top that extended to the very edge of the pie. The one negative about the pizza at The Varsity Club was the fact that the crust was very greasy, which kept it from being a bar pie at the level of The Alumni across town or The Lynwood Cafe in nearby Randolph, which may be home to the best bar pizza in the entire Boston area. But it was certainly above average, and a lot tastier than some of the bar pizzas I've had in some neighboring cities and towns. Unfortunately, the rest of our food didn't match up to the pizza, as the buffalo chicken wrap was messy and swimming in bleu cheese dressing, while the pasta fagioli had a strong acid taste from the tomato base and the clam chowder was tasty enough but otherwise unremarkable. Beers were cheap, with a pint of Narragansett being ony $2.50 (at least one or two other beers were actually well under $2.00).
I love going to places where I can have some greasy food and a couple of beers while watching a game or two. And The Varsity Club certainly fits the bill for this kind of day or night out, especially if you go with the bar pizza there. I think I'd probably choose The Alumni over The Varsity Club (mainly because The Alumni has such good bar pie), but I'll certainly consider returning to this place at some point, perhaps on a rainy or snowy afternoon to catch a local game on TV.
If you want the address for The Varsity Club, here it is: The Varsity Club, 33 Independence Avenue, Quincy, MA, 02169. Phone: (617) 786-9053
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