Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Sandbar Cantina revamps menu with avocado fries and bacon jam
The bar will get an in-ground pool by the end of spring.
DEEP ELLUM It’s been a long winter for the folks at Sandbar Cantina, whose six outdoor sand volleyball courts have remained largely vacant the last few months. But spring is the time for rebirth, and the restaurant is embracing that theme wholeheartedly with a freshly built bar and draft beer system, a new menu, and additional league sports to draw in additional customers.
“We want to be an entertainment mecca,” said Zack Neel, co-executive chef of Sandbar. “We’re not just a volleyball bar anymore.”
Sandbar currently offers Ping-Pong, darts, and corn hole; poker is on Thursday nights. Construction on an outdoor in-ground pool would be completed by the end of spring. Sandbar is working on establishing sand soccer and dodge ball leagues as well, he said.
As patrons burn off calories, Sandbar aims to replenish them with a new menu focused on gourmet burgers. From the Big Tex BBQ burger adorned with a fried onion ring, to the pineapple and teriyaki Island burger, the new menu is hearty -- not for the weak of stomach.
“We wanted to take bar food to a whole new level with things people are comfortable with but have never seen before,” Neel said.
On a recent visit, I dined on two of those new items: The Bacon Jam burger and the avocado fries. The Bacon Jam burger is a beef patty topped with lettuce, blue cheese, and homemade bacon jam. Yes, bacon jam — a decadent blend of bacon bits, caramelized onions, ginger, and spices, slapped on the bun warm and gooey. The sweetness tempers the pungent taste of blue cheese, and the two marry perfectly.
The avocado fries are a different beast entirely. Cut into inch-thick slices, the avocado is deep fried and served with ranch dressing and a dash of paprika. My batch was slightly over battered, which led me to peel off the fried outer layer of half the slices, but I enjoyed the creativity just the same. The recipe could be improved by a more equal ratio of batter to avo.
Other menu items include salads, chicken sandwiches, wings, quesadillas, and chips and salsa.
Sandbar is currently gearing up for Parade of Flesh’s SXSW Spillover fest, and the revamped menu is there for the tasting. Sunday, March 17, the bar will host more than 15 bands including Ducktails, Parenthetical Girls, and The Coathangers.
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