Dinner is served at Shark's and Arnie's
It seems like almost every city of any size has a restaurant, or more, owned or at least named after a celebrity athlete.
When my wife and I lived in suburban Washington, D.C., we occasionally hung out at Langway's, a down-to-earth pub owned by Capitals' defenseman Rod Langway and frequented by a lot of NHL players – though, as Dallas Cowboys fans, we steered clear of Joe Theismann's restaurant. Back here in Austin, we've seen the recent opening of Vince Young's Steakhouse, which is very highly regarded, though we haven't made it there yet.
For the last two years, The Daily Meal has been evaluating the best athlete-owned restaurants in America, looking at eateries owned or invested in by boxers, golfers, skateboarders, hockey players, quarterbacks and basketball legends. They've finally unveiled their list of the top 20, and two of golf's greatest personalities made the cut.
Arnold Palmer's Restaurant in La Quinta, Calif., came in fourth. Here's the write-up:
"Taste the good life" is the tagline of Arnold Palmer's Restaurant in La Quinta, Calif. Makes sense. If anyone's living the good life, you'd think it would have to be Palmer. He won 92 national and international championships (61 of them on the regular PGA Tour), he's designed golf courses, and hey, he even invented a famous drink. Menu highlights include date and strawberry salad, honey-soy glazed Chilean sea bass, rack of lamb, and pan-seared sea scallops.
A few slots down but 3,000 miles away, at No. 7, is Greg Norman's Australian Grille in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Here's its write-up:
An Australian grille in South Carolina? It might not be the first thing that comes to mind for the Southern state's cuisine, but it's there, set along the Intracoastal Waterway in the golfer's paradise of North Myrtle Beach. From the open kitchen comes tuna sashimi crusted with sesame seeds served over a cucumber seaweed salad tossed in a plum vinaigrette, oven-roasted half duckling served with black-pepper fettuccine and garnished with asparagus tips and a cherry ginger sauce, and slow-roasted 28-day aged prime rib. The links legends' signature chardonnays, rieslings, and cabernets round out the Wine Spectator Award for Excellence-recognized list of spirits.
For what it's worth, the top three athlete-owned restaurants on the list are Elway's (steakhouse, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway) in Denver; Tresca (Italian, Boston Bruins star Ray Bourque) in Boston; and the Kingfish Cafe (southern, Seattle Sonics guard Gary Payton) in Seattle.
I've been to a handful of the 20 restaurants on the list, and have to say they're deserving of their spots – though I also can name a few others that ought to be included here as well. How many have you been to, and what did you think? Check out the complete list and let us know.
PGA of America Championships
Benton Harbor, Mich.
Sahalee Country Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Hazeltine National Golf Club