Wednesday, March 2, 2011
By Coral Marshall - Journalist

Spring Training has officially started, and what better way to kick it off then by watching the first televised game of the season with my dad reviewing a sports bar for I couldn’t think of a better way either, so I woke up this past Sunday with a huge smile on my face as Dad and I headed off to Throwbacks to resume our search for the best sports bar in Orange County. This way, you'll know what options you have this upcoming baseball season, to ensure you can have the best baseball viewing experience next to being at the game.

As I got ready for our impending journey I tried calling Throwbacks, a self proclaimed baseball bar, to ensure that they would have the game on, but to no avail. I understand, it was early, so why would someone need to answer the phone, right? So anyhow, we set off with our newly equipped Android phones and Google maps for guidance. Google wasn't much help, as we got lost several times on our way there, though we finally found Throwbacks amongst a bunch of rollback doors.

As you walk up to the bar you can’t help but notice their shuttle bus used to transport fans to and from games. According to their website “Shuttle leaves 30 minutes before game starts, and will pick you up 20 minutes after game ends”- this seems like a perfect situation, especially since the Stadium stops serving in the seventh. Throwbacks definitely gets a plus for providing a way for fans to get to and from games safely.

As we walked in I couldn’t help but notice that this definitely had more of a bar feel, and less of a grill feel to it than other sports bars I have visited, which is ironic considering they have a beer and wine license and do not have a fully stocked bar. Once we sat down we were pleasantly surprised by the choice of decor. Angels’ bobbleheads are mingled in between beer bottle displays, pool tables and a place for live music are set behind the primary seating area, and most importantly to me as -- a sports history fanatic -- there were key jerseys and photos documenting the progression of professional sports (some of my favorites included a photo of the Miracle on Ice, Percy clenching his fists after winning the World Series and a hidden gem of Pele).

As soon as we sat down the only server greeted us and asked what we would like to drink and if we were hungry. While the place wasn’t too busy, I was impressed by his promptness. The only thing lacking (as multiple sports were on the TV screens, ranging from golf, basketball to NASCAR, was that the Angels game wasn't on.  I mean, this is a self proclaimed Angels bar right?  Well, as soon as I mentioned it our server, he quickly found the game and put it on the two TVs closest to us. While this seems something that should be expected, I was pleasantly surprised as I can’t recall how many kickoffs I’ve missed because bar tenders or owners were too careless or slow to find my games. For this I commend Throwbacks.

My Dad and I each ordered a Bud Light on tap (yes, I am old enough to drink), though Throwbacks currently features 18 different beers on tap. Our beer was brought to us in frosty mugs that left rings of ice around the top, along with menus. After perusing the menu for a short amount of time we decided to go with the sampler platter which promised chicken strips, chicken wings, chips, and a quesadilla. In addition to appetizers, Throwbacks also features hamburgers, hot dogs and salads. You can also substitute any hamburger patty for a chicken breast for approximately a dollar more.


Our food came out quickly and our beer was still frosty. To be honest, the food was average, but we were at a bar and not expecting much. The chips came out of a bag, the cheese quesadilla was just that, the chicken strips were good, but nothing to write home about. The wings, however, were very good and if I am to recommend one item on this menu, this would be it. They were cooked the appropriate amount of time so they were not simply fried pieces of chicken, covered in a sauce, but Wings with  a lot of meat on the bones and some heat to it, though not too spicy. Throwbacks has a number of specials and on Wednesday  it is .25 cent wing night. If you were going to pick a night to go to Throwbacks for the first time,  I would recommend going on this night, having a few wings, take in an Angels game or other sporting event on the screens and enjoying a very cold beer.

My dad’s beer mug stayed full for our stay, and after my first beer, I switched to water, but my glass was never empty. The few baseball fans that had filtered into the bar were not only friendly, but extremely knowledgeable, which of course made for a pleasant experience - even if they were Dodgers’ fans.

Throwbacks was clean, which I must commend them for as well. While it was definitely a bar, it was not a hole in the wall or rough looking elbow, nor would it make you feel uncomfortable if you ladies want to go out and watch a ball game at a pub. My only qualm with Throwbacks was their use of disposable plates and cups, but while this isn’t “eco-friendly” it is “bar friendly,” so I understand the reasoning behind it. 

The cold beer, the wings, the fans, the poster that is near the door, and the prompt service leave me with nothing but pleasant things to say, as my Dad put it “if that place was close to home, I would go there.” The shuttle makes this an ideal spot for pregame drinks and fun (pool, darts, beer pong and other games), and their .25 cent wing night can’t be beat. If I were going to hold a live fantasy baseball draft, this would be my top choice to hold it as the quarters are close and quiet enough to facilitate this, not to mention when I asked, the server said that people do drafts there rather frequently.

Overall Throwbacks is a place I would recommend to friends who want to watch an away Angels game or have a few beers and bar food before heading over to Angel Stadium for home games on their shuttle. I also hear it's a killer place to take in a UFC fight on a Saturday night, hold an event (see the Blog post about their St. Baldricks event this Saturday) or do some Karaoke. Plus, if dad says he'd come often if he lived closer, well, dad knows best and that's good enough for me.

Throwbacks is located at 1759 Claudina Way, Anaheim, California.


Stay tuned for my next review as I plan on visiting Danny K's Billiards in Orange, CA. 

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