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May 2011

Tailgators on a Friday night

By Filiz Thayer

Filiz_thayer Formerly known as "Charlie's Bar & Grill" in Coralville, the long time area favorite sports bar now under new ownership and the name of "Tailgators" is, well, not what it used to be.

With our boys out doing their own thing with their friends on a Friday night, my husband and I had the evening to ourselves, and decided to give Tailgators a try.  We hadn't been there since the establishment changed hands.

It's not as good as we remembered. 

We arrived just after 8pm and the crowd was sparse, admittedly a bit early to expect a big crowd for a Friday night.  But we were hungry and in the mood for some sports bar food. 

While the burger I had was good, the sampler appetizer my husband and I shared left much to be desired.  With exception to the fried pickles (tasty), everything in that sampler was like, purchased from Sam's Club and placed on a platter for a quick buck.  The mozzarella sticks were OK, the potato skins OK.  You could tell those items were frozen and heated up.  The tortilla chips were stale, not warm like a well presented appetizer would be, and the salsa was so-so.  It didn't seem like much of the sampler was actually made in house.

Compounding the so-so experience was our waiter.  He was much more interested in hanging out with the other wait staff on a sparsely crowded night than he was in tending to his tables.  We had to ask for napkins, the condiment containers were sticky (eeewwww) and we had to ask for our check despite two empty beer bottles and plates being pushed aside with crumpled napkins atop in an obvious display of finality.

As we left a bit after 9pm, a DJ was starting to warm things up and a few more people were finding their way in.  Whatever their interest, I don't think it was the food.

On this night, Tailgators gets just two out of five stars. 

Tailgators is located at 450 1st Avenue in Coralville.