I really like to eat at locally-owned restaurants more than the larger chain restaurants, but sometimes you want something in particular from a chain, or it just happens to be the closest spot and you’re hungry *now*. Such was the case last weekend – we were out at Triangle Town Center shopping when we realized how hungry we were. We didn’t feel like food-court fare so we walked over to Champs. We were greeted and seated quickly and began searching the menu for the perfect lunch.
The atmosphere at Champs is always energetic, and this day was no exception. The FIFA World Cup was playing on several tvs, and the ceiling hosted flags from the nations represented at the games. Our server was fast and friendly but not overbearing. We ordered chips and salsa for our appetizer as seems to be our trend. I tried out their berry-lemonade (pricier than a soda with one free refill) which was very good and not too tart or acidic at all.
My super-cute date ordered a bacon cheeseburger and I settled on the Cuban grill. It wasn’t a traditional Cuban – which I’ve been craving lately – a pressed Cuban bread sandwich with ham and (usually) pork but sometimes turkey. Slap on some mustard, cheese and a sliced pickle and voila.
Champ’s Cuban grille takes a little different approach – their ham is paired with a sort of pork-bbq with chopped pickles mixed into the sauce. It certainly didn’t sound like what I wanted, but I was so hungry I figured it would do.
The sandwich didn’t just “do” – it was amazing and delicious. The pickle-bbq-whatever-else-is-in-it sauce was the perfect addition to the ham and the bread. It wasn’t your traditional Cuban obviously, but it sated my longing for one and I’ve been craving another ever since. The chips and salsa were equally delicious, and my date’s burger was also tasty.
The biggest complaint about Champs would probably be that it’s a little on the pricey side for lunch. We paid about $35-40 (after tip) for the burger, sandwich, chips and drinks, what I would have expected to pay for dinner of the same value.