With the responsibilities of school, work, the little one, the girlfriend, the ex-wife, and the various other activities that consume my life, trying new restaurants is something that is somewhat of a luxury for me. After a day of debauchery of the legal kind, the GF and I decided to try a place that I have been pining over for quite a while – Sammy’s Wild Game Grill.
I first heard of it because a friend of mine liked it on Facebook, and since I love game meat I was intrigued. The menu seemed to be on par with the name of the establishment, with fare for those less than adventurous eaters. Our opportunity to try this place out came as a result of my spring break, the fact that I have been working my tail off, and my checking account is not as dust-filled as usual.
We drove up to Sammy’s and were shocked by the size of the establishment. It is in a high volume night life part of the city, Washington Avenue, and we thought it would be bigger. Then we noticed the drive-thru and figured that it was a grab and go type of place before heavy drinking ensued. Undeterred by the size, we went in. Remember that size does not always matter.
When we went in there were two other patrons visiting and seeming to have a good time. I had already decided what I was having before we even arrived. I wanted the slider sampler (my name, not theirs). The GF had a hard time deciding and finally went with the lamb burger. I will say this is where my first critique of the business come in. I asked if any sides came with the order, and I was politely told no.The sides were strictly to be ordered a-la-cart. The GF went ahead and ordered the cilantro Cole Slaw and the fried pickles.
We sat at our table noticing the pleasant decor, and then our food came. It was one of the best food experiences of my life. The GF had earlier asked “How will you know what meat is in what slider.” I arrogantly said “Oh, I will know!” The burgers arrived with flags in them to differentiate between the different meats, and then I saw what I was not expecting – the fried pickles.
Now, I have had fried pickles before, and they are usually breaded pickles with a little salt and pepper on them. These were different. I was not impressed at first, not until I let the breading linger on my palette. I took a bite and said, I am stopping the quotes, these are good. Then 3 seconds later, it hit me. There was a warm and savory taste reminiscent of a great curry lingering on the back of my tongue. I could not resist eating more and more. They had a fabulous crunch, with a soft, but not mushy center. The best part was that there was not a pool of grease in the bottom of the basket.The slaw, however, failed to make an impact in my mind. While it had great flavor, the amount of dressing was a bit much for my liking.
Now my sliders were all that I expected and more. They were served on pretzel buns, that I was a bit leery of, but that worked. I had Buffalo, Venison, and Antelope. I eat Buffalo on a consistent basis, and I was unimpressed by this slider. It was a bit overcooked, but somehow still juicy, and it had a good flavor. The antelope was different. It had the texture of tartare and was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was perfectly seasoned and did not have any sense of gaminess. Then I ate the venison burger. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare. I tasted of the essence of meat. I loved each bite of it and wanted more. I have eaten my fair share of venison in my life, and this stood out as one of the best examples.
There were really only three flaws – the slaw, a bit of over cooked bison slider, and the lack of sides with the burgers, aside from at lunch time. Beyond that, our visit to Sammy’s Wild Game Grill was a success. It is hard to impress a foodie like me, but when I am impressed, I am impressed. Will I come back here? Absolutely. Will I try more things than burgers? Probably. I just know that this is a good place to grab healthy fast food before you attempt to destroy your liver.
P.S. I can not comment on the GF’s lamb burger since I got merely a small taste and have not real frame of reference. She loved it, though. So did the front of her shirt, apparently.