You’d never mistake Chubby Balboa’s for anything other than what it is. There are flat-screen TVs everywhere, and the bar offers everything from Coors Light to microbrews to martinis. But that’s where the similarities to your typical sports bar end.
Instead of battered high-tops, think sleek leather booths. Pendants and posters have got nothing on Balboa’s artful action photography. There are stadium-style lights overhead, two indoor waterfalls, and soaring columns and porticos designed to replicate an Italian coliseum within a two-story strip-mall space.
As for the food, there are some noteworthy deviations from standard pub fare. While traditionalists will find comfort in the buffalo wings, nachos and burgers, seafood fans can opt for crab legs or a bowl of steamers. Italian options include vodka penne and lobster-and-herb pizza, while heartier appetites might go for the 10-ounce pork chop.
The cheesesteak eggrolls we had were crisp and packed with a rich and satisfying filling, though they would’ve benefited from a spicy dipping sauce. The rolled fish tacos arrived looking a bit underwhelming, but the moist fish and mildly spicy salsa helped to shake things up.
A Chubby Balboa’s specialty, the hand-carved pork sandwich was a winner, the tender meat dressed sparingly with a vinegar-spiked jus. Though a touch overcooked, the burger was a satisfying specimen, perched on a fluffy Kaiser roll with lettuce and tomato.
With its airy space, a bevy of menu options and a TV for every set of eyes, Chubby Balboa’s has a fighting chance as a neighborhood game-and-meal destination that’s perfect for a round or two.
200 Town Centre Drive, Glen Mills; (610) 558-4130, chubbybalboas.com.