Eat: Heroes

21 Feb

This week I read on the Internets that Heroes, formerly Austin’s, formerly Hero’s, had opened (re-opened?), so yesterday I headed downtown to give it a shot.

I was pretty vocal about both Hero’s and Austin’s when they were open — I’d had some serious problems with the service there — so I was curious to see what changes had been made.

Despite the updated spelling change in the name, the sign out front appears to be the old “Hero’s” sign. Inside, the place looks about the same. The TVs seemed to have moved from the right side of the restaurant to the left, and there is still some signage promoting Austin’s, but these are insignificant details.

The menu itself doesn’t hold many big surprises; it’s pretty much chicken wings, pizza, sandwiches, salads — the stuff you expect to see in a restaurant like this. It’s comfortable, familiar food for families checking in before a ball game, or a group of co-workers meeting up for a beer after work: sports bar food.

For a starter, my companion and I ordered the parmesan potato wedges. They were … okay. Not super amazing. Kind of overcooked, actually. But not terrible. I enjoyed the sriracha aioli.

For my main course, I decided to order the blackened chicken wrap. It came with a choice of sweet potato fries or regular fries, or soup for $1.50 more, or, the waiter told me, salad for 75 cents more. None of this (the choice of sides) was actually on the menu. I ordered the side salad which, it turned out, was actually $1.50, and not 75 cents. Our waiter seemed a little confused, but since the place had been open for less than a week, I didn’t fault him at all.

I really, really liked the chicken wrap. It was basically chicken, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and spinach in a tortilla. I ate half at the restaurant and took half home, and it was equally delicious reheated later.

My side salad was okay. It was topped with raisins and cranberries, which I hate, so I wish that had been listed on the menu, but I also probably should have asked while ordering. (Seriously — when did raisins become such a popular salad topping? I thought we all agreed, after childhood, to collectively to hate raisins.) I got the balsamic vinaigrette on the side, and it was very tasty.

Unfortunately, my companion didn’t fare as nicely as I. He ordered the sliders — chicken, pulled pork and ground beef. You can choose from those three options in any combination, or order all three, which is what he did. He wasn’t terribly impressed with them, giving them all a rating of “okay.”

Where things really went wrong for him was the side. He wasn’t given the same choice of sides I was given, and as I mentioned above, they aren’t listed on the menu. So when his meal arrived with a side of sweet potato fries, which he hates, he was very disappointed. Being too nice a guy, he didn’t say anything until later when he asked the waiter if there had been a choice of sides, or if sweet potato fries was it. There was a choice. Now we know.

So, obviously there are some bugs that still need to be worked out. But overall, I was okay with the Heroes experience. We went at a really off-time — 2:30 p.m. — and were the only people in the restaurant for awhile. Unlike my previous experiences going at off-times, the service this time was quick and friendly. When it came time to pay the bill, the waiter was happy to split it for us, and everything seemed to be in order.

I can’t say that I’d drive across town specifically to eat at Heroes, but if I find myself in the area, I will definitely consider it — especially considering how good the chicken wrap was.

Below I’ve posted some shots of the menu. I encourage you to visit Heroes and judge for yourself.


6 Responses to “Eat: Heroes”

  1. james February 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Thanks for clearing the way, Heather. I’m excited to have another option downtown, and hope they’ll compete with others on hours. And service. And consistency.

    On that note, I’m glad to see a more simplified menu.

    • heatherinfresno February 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Right now, I’d say they’re on the right track, though I didn’t check into their hours. That might make or break them.

      Here’s hoping Heroes much success.

  2. hilary February 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    i was there about an hour before you guys and i ordered the same thing! the sriracha aoli did not come with my parmesan potato wedges which i didn’t realize until i read this post but it was the reason i ordered the wedges so now i’m really sad. my server gave me a choice of sides for my sliders and i chose regular fries but they were a bit overdone. i really liked the slaw on the pulled pork and the ground beef was really good as well but the chicken parmesan was too salty for me. couldn’t finish it. the service was quick and attentive. i also ate at both Hero’s and Austin’s on multiple occasions and while i never had a major complaint about service with the previous iterations, the service on Saturday was top notch. i will go again to see what the sriracha aoli is all about!

    • heatherinfresno February 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      Oh man. Those wedges would have been awfully dry if not for the aioli.

      It sounds like Heroes is still trying to find its way, but that the issues are pretty easily solved. I’m sure they’ll be running smoothly in no time.

  3. ed February 24, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    nice review. did you apply to be the next j.obra? you should.

    • heatherinfresno February 24, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Thanks. But no … I could never be Joan.

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