Jorge Porras" />
side bar
Saturday, September 30, 2023


Good meat is the name of the game

Whether it walks on four hoofed legs, has wings or slithers on the ground, I will probably try it at least once — and I am nothing short of a true carnivore.

When I come across places like Sammy’s Wild Game Grill that serves up wild game and other non-traditional sources of protein, I have to check it out.

The restaurant is headed up by chef Sammy Ballarin, a self-taught Spanish chef who turned his passion for food into a thriving bar and grill that takes ingredients most people would never think of eating and puts them into familiar settings like burgers or chili cheese fries.

Stacking his menu with meats ranging from antelope to rattlesnake, this is clearly not your average burger joint.

I had to go for the rattlesnake chili fries, a pile of fries doused in a blanket of saucy beans and rattlesnake chili which is then topped with melted cheddar cheese.

To my surprise, there was no distinct texture or flavor that makes the snake meat seem negative — if anything, it was very tender and light.

Dishes like this are great, because they show people that there are alternative options for making your favorite dishes without having to sacrifice quality.

I moved onto the trio of game sliders — buffalo, antelope and venison — all of which were built the same way. The defining aspect would have to be the consistency and juiciness of the patties themselves.

The buffalo is essentially beef’s second cousin. There’s a slight difference in taste, but all the same bite and consistency. The antelope and venison are much leaner meats, but they still refuse to disappoint when it comes to flavor.

A word of caution — do not order these burgers without getting all of the sauces they make in-house. Some of these sauces are cilantro aioli, Cajun remoulade, habañero ketchup and Ahi mayonnaise.

It’s almost like asking a parent to choose their favorite child when it comes to singling out the sauces — each one brings their own distinct flavor profile to the pallet.

The ketchup gives you an extra kick of spice and sweetness, the remoulade goes great on just about anything that is fried and the aioli gives you a burst of fresh cilantro and garlic and the mayonnaise gives you a hint of heat and tangy creaminess.

Pick any of these sauces and you will be scraping the sides to get every last drop.

For those who like spice, you must try Sammy’s Ghost Chili Pepper Sauce. Made in-house, the pepper sauce uses a mix of dried ghost chilis and a special blend of seasonings that give it a delicious kick in the mouth. In fact, the sauce has become such a hit with locals, Sammy is planning to start selling it by the bottle.

Sammy’s is open until 10 p.m. on Sunday and Monday nights. During the week they close at 11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday nights, they close at 3 a.m.

For those of you bar hopping near Washington and Yale, be sure to stop by for some tasty game eats.

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