With the license plates, framed photos, random transportation objects and police badges hanging on the walls, not to mention the giant neon globe suspended above the main dining area, Sanford’s is a feast for the eyes as well as the digestive system.
The small chain restaurant, started by a few college grads, will leave you full to the brim and most likely in need of a fat flush.
With 44 beers on tap, a huge assortment of personalized mixed drinks, and a menu so big that it requires a table of contents on the cover, chances are no one will be unable to find an item to their liking.
Our server, who is to be commended for his extensive knowledge of the Tuesday issue of the Collegian, exemplified attentiveness, a friendly attitude and was equipped with both excellent food and drink recommendations from the overwhelming menu.
The four-member review board with which I dined tried to select items from across the board, but still missed much of what Sanford’s had to offer.
We all started with The Sampler, a traditional array of appetizer foods comprised of jalape/o poppers, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, hot wings and, for a twist, deep-fried pickles.
The selection was good and the fried pickles were something fun to try, but the wings failed to impress.
Sanford’s seems like a burger place when you walk in the door, and it certainly lives up to that presupposition. Reviewer Scott Bondy ordered the Cardiac Arrest Burger: a Cajun hand-patty burger with pepper jack cheese, layered with pickle spears, onion rings and ranch dressing.
“My heart probably would have stopped if I had finished it,” Bondy said after only being able to stomach about three bites (big bites… I don’t want to offend the sports managing editor’s machismo).
Another reviewer and myself selected items along the sandwich line. The Bahama Mama is a unique chicken patty sandwich topped with ham, pineapple and cream cheese. Filling and delicious, the sandwich makes for a tropical experience with a brilliant twist on a popular fast-food favorite.
The Waldren Wall Banger, an open-face sub filled with sirloin tips, mushrooms and pepper jack cheese, was pleasing to the pallet but could have used more meat to bulk the sandwich up. The Banger was definitely the only thing lacking in a certain portion.
Not only does Sanford’s offer the regular pub-type food, but it attempts to up-class the menu for the guest willing to pay a little extra.
Burgers and sandwiches range from about $8 to $10, but you can expect to shovel out around $14 for pasta. While you may have to dig deeper in your wallet, the Angel Hair Pasta is well worth the money spent. Consisting of an entire pound of pasta, the dish is topped with your choice of a large selection of meats, assorted veggies and sauce. It is accompanied with salad or soup and garlic toast.
The restaurant also offers a long line of desserts ranging from milkshakes to fried Oreo sundaes, but by the end of our meal there was absolutely no room in the stomach for even a tasting of the sweet treats.
The atmosphere is fun and full of visual stimuli. It’s very casual considering your napkins are rolls of paper towels on a metal rod at the end of your table. Sanford’s is not the type of place where you would get embarrassed if you left looking like you just polished off an entire buffet at a NASCAR race – barbeque sauce on your shirt and all.
If you haven’t already tried out Sanford’s, make sure to go on an empty stomach and expect to bring home a doggy bag full of tasty, but oh-so-unhealthy, treats.
No meal is complete without the appropriate drinks. So, upon review of the menu, we decided on a Hurricane and a “Belushi”.
The Hurricane, known as the drink of choice in New Orleans, was tasty but lacked enough alcohol content. It also didn’t resemble much of a Hurricane because it was too thick and obviously too weak. For $5.95, it contains two types of rum, raspberry liqueur, orange juice and grenadine.
The “Belushi” was ordered because of its name. The Belushi brothers are legendary actors, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong. We were.
If mixed drinks are your thing, you might want to give them a try, but be sure to ask for a strong one. The specialty drinks are served in half-liter and liter portions. On the plus side, the beer menu was pretty extensive. Sanford’s seems to offer a big menu all the way around. With 44 beers on tap, you’re likely to find one that will suit you.
Food: A –