Offering the only miniature golf course in town, Urban Putt opened to major fanfare three weeks ago. With owner Steve Fox at the helm and chef Dane Boryta overseeing the kitchen, Urban Putt combines the miniature golf experience with a restaurant and two different bars. We recently visited this establishment to gauge the quality of its miniature golf course and how well it was fused into the restaurant and bar experiences. Did the Urban Putt make par? Let’s find out.
Ambiance / Exterior / Service
[maxgallery name=”urban-putt-exterior-interior”]The entrance, both large and inviting, leads to the hostess desk where patrons can purchase play for a round of miniature golf. To the left of the entrance lies stairs leading up to the second floor restaurant and bar. Straight ahead, a hallway leads to a small game room, restrooms, and to the back of the course. Towards the right lies another bar and the course’s first hole. There is no need to hunt for the next hole, as subsequent holes are located in a clockwise pattern that encircle the floor with the last hole adjacent to the first hole. On a Tuesday night the atmosphere, filled with a 20 and 30 something crowd, was both energetic and social. Their was an interesting room mix, as patrons from the bar spilled into the course and conversed with players. The hostess, wait staff, ground keepers were both courteous and friendly.
Miniature Golf Course [usr 4.0]
[maxgallery name=”urban-putt-golf-course”]The course occupies a larger part of the ground floor and also shares the space with the hostess desk and ground level bar. Comprised of 14 holes, each hole offers a unique theme and style of play that helps keep players interested throughout the entire game. For example, a level of detail and local appreciation is found on the 5th hole where players putt their balls past detailed scale models of notable San Francisco towers, down sloped roadways and past miniature trolleys. A dark lit underwater scene greets patrons on the 7th hole complete with the gnarly tentacles of an octopus and a rocky ocean bottom. The 6th hole doesn’t require a putter as players navigate their balls through a tilting table labyrinth. With their intricate ball tracks, spinning roulette style wheels, and moving parts, many other holes showed a high level of engineering that would satisfy the most ardent Rube Goldberg fans.
Food [usr 1.0]
[maxgallery name=”urban-putt-food”]Although we intended to thoroughly review each cocktail and dish, based on our high level of dissatisfaction with the food, we decided to give a general review summary and recommendations to improve quality. We wanted to be fair to the establishment as it opened only three weeks ago and its focus is more towards the miniature golf experience. Our unfavorable dining impressions were solely based on food quality, as the service and ambiance were generally satisfactory. The Fillmore Slim cocktail, Fried Olives, Grilled Scottish Salmon, and Ribs and Beans were the dining samples. Overall, many of the ingredients tasted canned, prepackaged, over salted, and of low quality. The beef ribs were deemed inedible as they were unacceptably dry and tasted frozen burned. To improve quality and encourage repeat business, we recommend the kitchen to focus on fresh ingredients, better cooking oils such as olive oil, and avoid frozen meats and canned foods.
Urban Putt’s miniature golf course, which is both intelligent and creatively designed, gives a fun and social way to spend a night with colleagues and friends. However, the restaurant and bars did not receive the same level of effort and attention as the menus were somewhat dull and the food quality was unsatisfactory. As the novelty of the miniature golf course fades, the establishment needs a higher quality restaurant to sustain its popularity and maintain its viability. We’ll be back with friends who haven’t yet played the miniature golf course, but we’ll satisfy our appetites elsewhere first.