After enjoying my first dripping-good Chattaburger at The Chattaway last week, this past Saturday night my fiancee Traci and I headed to El Cap which, like The Chattaway, is well-known for its burgers. El Cap, which is located on 4th St. in St. Pete, also regularly makes the list of best burger joints in Tampa Bay. I had eaten at the well-loved neighborhood sports pub once before for lunch and came away happy, but hadn't put one of their burgers to the test.
So naturally this time I went all out and ordered a cheeseburger with bacon and side order of fries to share. Traci went with a bowl of chili and crackers and the friends we were with ordered a burger, chili and a grouper sandwich. Like The Chattaway, my El Cap burger wasn't huge, but it was tasty and the fries were respectable.
The chili, though, which apparently is a favorite of allot of El Cap regulars, was bland and didn't do anything for more. We've made better chili at home. I did get a kick out of the 8oz draft beers in their "mini-glasses" for just $1.20 a piece. Can't beat that.
While our service was decent, we watched two other groups sit down at tables in the back near us, only to walk out a few minutes later after no one cleared their table or took their order. Granted the place was busy and there seemed to be only one server assigned to the room we were in, but this wasn't the "treat you like family" attitude I expected.
On an unrelated side note, El Cap looks like a cool place to watch a ball game (the Rays-Yankees was on) with its worn baseball memorabilia covering the walls (try as they might most new sports bars just can't recreate this authenticity).
Bottom-line: My Chattaburger was tastier, but my El Cap burger was still a winner- the same can't be said for the chili and the mediocre service. I'm sure I'll be back, but won't be in a rush.
Inspection Scorecard: Last inspection March 2006, violations- Critical (2), Non-Critical (4).