There's a new restaurant behind the University Mall Theaters. We were off to see Avatar a few weeks ago when we spotted a large building with this logo on it:
At first glance, it looked like somebody had misplaced their pirate logo on the outside of an old dollar theater. The exterior did nothing to impress. And by the looks of the logo, we wondered what could possibly involve pirates and CD's. It wasn't until we got a closer look that we realized that the object adjacent to the skull wasn't a CD at all, but a pizza cutter.
Pirates and pizza are two things sure to spark a man's curiosity, so we googled the place and learned that it was a themed restaurant similar to "The Mayan" in Sandy and "Casa Bonita" in Denver. This left us excited at the prospect of a pirate themed meal, but at the same time induced a heavy dose of skeptisicm. Would the interior match the exterior in the lack of theming? There was only one way to find out. It was decided that one day we would eat dinner at Pirate Island.
Tonight, my friends, we ate dinner at Pirate Island. My impressions:
1) It's definitely more along the lines of Chuck E. Cheese's and less along the lines of The Mayan. The atmosphere is mostly for little kids. We realized this immediately upon walking in but decided to rough it out despite feeling like most people were looking at us wondering why three grown men were in a pirate-themed kid's restaurant without children.
2) The theming inside is incredible when you first enter the building. There's a waterfall and an animatronic skeleton sitting amongst a pool of water and treasure. After that, you enter a surprisingly well-made cave with stalactites while you wait to be seated. Once through the cave, though, the theming goes from "nearly on par with Disneyland" to "this looks like something you'd have painted on your son's bedroom wall." The main room has fiberglass trees shrouded in moss, walls painted to look like a swamp, and a soundtrack of crickets and frogs playing in the background. In the corner of the room sits a small stage and against one wall there is a structure that you can tell is supposed to be a pirate ship, even though it doesn't really look like one. Imagine a guy wearing a wood panel on his chest with a few cannons protruding from it and a flag on his head. Now in that thought, replace the man with a wall and you can see what I'm saying.
3) The food was surprisingly good. Steve said the chicken was some of the best he's ever had. My pizza (barbecue chicken) was absolutely delicious. And Scott loved his fish and chips. This surprised me, considering the food at other themed restaurants always seems to be cafeteria grade.
4) The service was also surprisingly good. Our drinks were always full and the food came quickly. The downside was that our waitress spoke with a pirate accent. I always feel embarrassed for people that are forced to do something like that. I mean, for kids, that's totally fine. They need that to continue the illusion, ya know? But I'm pretty sure most adults are with me when I say that I'd rather not be spoken to in a pirate voice. You don't hear the employees at Olive Garden speaking with forced Italian accents do you? Or the people at Red Lobster speaking, begrudgingly, like they're underwater?
So that's Pirate Island. The food and service are good, but I won't be back till I have children of my own that beg me, every time we drive by, to eat there.