Game, set, match

Anyone for tennis? The Napa chicken salad sandwich from the Center Court Grill at the Lakeridge Tennis Club.

Anyone for tennis? The Napa chicken salad sandwich from the Center Court Grill at the Lakeridge Tennis Club.


Center Court Grill

6000 Plumas St.
Reno, NV 89519

(775) 829-5074

I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I walked into the Lakeridge Tennis Club. The parking lot doesn’t so much have potholes as bomb craters, and there’s a sign posted prominently alerting visitors to “PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Lakeridge Tennis Club is experiencing vandalism in the parking lot.” However, you can’t live your life in fear, and our bedraggled Toyota Corolla is probably a less likely target than any of the high-end SUVs and luxury sedans parked there.

The Lakeridge Tennis Club or the LTC, as I prefer to call it, has a large restaurant called the Center Court Grill with huge wall-sized windows overlooking the tennis courts. It feels kind of defeatist to eat a ton of food while watching people exercise, but to each their own. The dining area is a bit like a large banquet hall, high-ceilinged, and while it won’t ever be called cozy, it did have some relaxing chairs. I took my wife, Kat, there on a little Friday night date. There were a lot of people wearing ties, which made me think I was underdressed, but I could have worn shorts, sweatbands, tennis shoes, and tall white socks, and I’d have been just fine.

Overall, Center Court Grill exceeded my expectations. Our server was quick with everything and not the least bit chatty. He disappeared until the very moment he sensed we needed something—very impressive. And since I was both hungry and thirsty that night, I needed a lot from the man.

Kat and I started with the Yakatori chicken skewers with spicy mustard barbecue sauce ($8.50). This plate was most disappointing. There were only three chicken skewers, which, to their credit, were nicely grilled. What if Kat wanted a second or assumed I was willing to split the third? Further, it was not really a spicy mustard barbecue sauce, but two separate condiments served in the same cup for dipping. Really, $8.50?

My second appetizer was a cup of New England clam chowder ($4). Kat has since subtly hinted that my stomach is growing, so in the future I won’t be ordering multiple appetizers, especially decadent ones like Center Court Grill’s chowder. To counter, I must say the clam chowder wasn’t the richest I’ve ever had.

For entrees, Kat picked the chicken salad sandwich on a croissant with seasoned waffle fries ($10). This is comfort food approaching its best—a buttery croissant with a chunky chicken, celery and grape mixture. I would have liked it to have more grapes and a thicker consistency. As it was, Kat dripped it all over her coat sleeve. I can’t say I’ve ever had waffle fries before, but a seasoned potato in a waffle shape that offers that much surface area for hot oil comes out amazingly crispy.

Before arriving at the LTC, I had been drinking beer at a pizza place and wanted pizza, which the Center Court Grill has. I ordered their prosciutto, artichoke heart, basil leaf, and garlic pesto house pizza ($12). This pizza was a huge redeemer following the chicken skewers. Granted, I had eaten 1.66 appetizers and some of Kat’s sandwich, but I could barely clear my plate. This is because the pizza was topped with an incredible amount of cheese, which I adamantly support, but I can understand why those just out of a tennis match might not. It was also spread thickly with a garlic pesto sauce and other plentiful toppings.

At the Center Court Grill, game point goes to satisfaction. Kat and I shared a pretty good meal, I left stuffed, the service was generous, our car wasn’t vandalized, and I found about a half dozen abandoned tennis balls for our dog, Japhy.