Food at Magic Castle?
I'm going to the Magic Castle on Friday night and am wondering if there is any decent food there. or should I eat somewhere else before getting there?
It's not terrible, it's just totally what you expect from "banquet food" -- banquet beef-chicken-fish, potatoes or rice, and over-steamed vegetables. I wouldn't bother eating elsewhere, it's not THAT bad, but don't expect to have a revelatory chow experience either.
It's been about 3 years since I've actually eaten there, but I remember fairly bad food at fairly high prices. Not the worst or most expensive... but when you're at the Magic Castle, why waste time and money on kinda crappy food?
Every other time I've gone, I've eaten somewhere else before (or after) and just had drinks there. I much prefer to spend my time there at the bars, in the various theaters, or just poking around than eating boring, over-priced food.
On the other hand, I was with a group of people and we all kind of were digging the slightly bizarre service (very very nice, just a little... bizarre,) the boring but pricey menu, the bland food... I remember it being a very giggly meal. So if you can be amused by it all, go for it. And really, who goes to the Magic Castle and *isn't* ready to be amused by it all?
We recently ate there with a group and the Geek is right on. We went in with fairly low expectations and were still disappointed by the cost/quality ratio. The fried calimari was quite good. The Cobb salad was good but be sure to ask for avocado if you want it; they don't put it in. I was going to have the prime rib butwas glad I didn't because it was unbelievably fatty. The filet I had instead was very gristly. They pour good drinks.
I went in July and found the oysters, steak (NY) and drinks good. But service was iffy and prices high. If you can avoid it, eat elsewhere.
I go there a lot. And try to not eat there whenever possible.
Chili--I've only tasted it bc I don't eat beef, but it was pretty good, and the cheapest thing there. You can also get it at any of the bars.
Lobster bisque: tastes like a pound of melted butter.
Crispy artichoke hearts: chain restaurant type breading.
The fish I've had there was pretty good.
I was there on Monday but didn't want to waste good money on testing their paella.
In the Wings:
I don't think I've tried these, been meaning to try the mac and cheese.
The chicken was actually very good the time I had it, nice and moist, good flavor, crispy skin.
Cobb salad: large and dreadful
Seafood Louie: large and passable.
Seafood Linguini: large and not bad.
Like I said I don't eat beef, but all the steak dishes I've seen look pretty good and I'm told they're pretty good.
I've only had the chocolate soufle cake which tasted like duncan hines.
I've had an irish coffee at the bar downstairs (outside of the Palace), and the bartender made me a strong one!
The thing to do at the Castle is to drink a lot. Everyone else does, plus it's more magical that way. :)
Edit: btw there was a lot of underhanded money stuff that went on for years at the Castle, including food service arrangements. A couple of years ago, there were changes to the food service (food money matters went from underhanded to above-board) and so if you hear that the food has gotten better, this is why.
Further edit: be sure to try to catch Whit Haydn in the Parlour of Prestidigitation, he's the early performer at the Parlour this week; he is a true professional amongst the professional magicians, and just a joy to watch.