Spacious seating, drink specials and plenty of large televisions with the sound of a game on rather than music make up a good sports bar, but there’s still a piece missing. This was the case for the West side’s Tortuga Lounge, until they added a kitchen and full menu recently.
You’ll find fries, onion rings and nachos on the menu, but there is also poutine, fried gizzards and sticky rice balls served with an Asian dipping sauce. Wings (boneless or traditional) can be served as hot, BBQ, lemon pepper, chipotle, Asian or apple bourbon (think spicy, spiked cider). Fried pickles are ginormous spears breaded in a waffle batter that is slightly sweet, but crisp and airy.
Hot dogs are as simple as a brat with sauerkraut and mustard, or as indulgent as the Chihuahua (bacon-wrapped with pico) and The George (battered and fried brat). Burgers and sandwiches are served with crispy, seasoned house chips, and are difficult to choose from with waffles on the line. The waffle burger comes with pepper jack and rocket sauce (house pear vinaigrette), the chicken waffle comes with breaded chicken, American cheese and brown sugar sauce and lastly, the waffle sandwich comes with ham, egg, cheddar and rocket sauce. The other burgers have fun names like Drunk Turtle (bourbon onions, bacon), Shell Shock (pepper jack, chorizo, fried egg) and La Sucia (ground beef with pico, cheddar, sauteed onions). Less indulgent options include salads and a veggie burger served with a thick eggplant slice in place of a patty, along with grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and cucumber.
They even have your sweet tooth covered with turtle cheesecake or turtle eggs (sticky rice balls with dulce de leche and seasonal fruit). This sports bar also offers karaoke on Wednesdays, live bands on Fridays, DJs on Thursdays and Saturdays and menudo on Sundays.
126 Shadow Mountain; 915-307-4296; Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (bar until 2 am), Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (bar until 2 a.m.). Kitchen may stay open later on Fridays and Saturdays. Vegetarian friendly; $2.75-10.49; tortugasep.com