Larger than life sports heroes have long created a demand for pubs where a fan can knock down a couple of beers in the company of fellow sports fanatics.
At Sports Time Pizza, two big-screen televisions (each measuring five feet diagonally), in a relatively cozy pub setting make sports-watching a little like going to the movies. And while the big-screen experience falls short of being at the game, it sure beats watching a 21-inch television nailed to the top of the ceiling--an all too common failing of sports bars.
Rating a sports pub is not a demanding exercise. Atmosphere is important. A couple of sweaty uniforms hanging on the wall, autographed pictures and a few dozen die-hard fans who know their sports is generally enough for most people.
But if I had a baseball for every sports bar whose owners forgot that you have to see the game to enjoy it, I could easily supply the major leagues. No such problem at Sports Time, where their twin towers of television can be seen easily from any spot in the pub.
In addition to the big screens, the saloon management has set up two 27-inch models in the main lounge and they hook up another in a game room during football season. With the pub's two satellite dishes working overtime, Sunday football fans can see five different games at the same time.
A low-key sports atmosphere prevails at Sports Time. A long counter and the round four-seater tables that fill the room are classic pizza pub decor while large, painted sports murals on the walls make the interior look like a sports bar.
No hard drinks are sold here, but the beer is cold and they have a decent variety of domestic draft and imported bottled beer. Such American favorites as Budweiser, Michelob Dry, Miller Genuine Draft and Coors are on tap. The bottled import list holds such popular beers as Corona, Steinlager, Foster and Becks. A pitcher runs $4.50. During happy hour, between 4 and 6 p.m. every day, the pitcher price drops by $1.
The menu is basic, showing off a decent selection of pizzas and sandwiches. And surprisingly enough, the pizza is pretty good. Sports Time serves a crunchy, thin crust and doesn't skimp on the sauce or cheese. The price for a large pie averages about $12.
Sports Time Pizza, 34320 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (714) 496-0119.