WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT SUNSHINE TAVERN
As a fan of Chef Jenn Louis’ restaurant Lincoln, I was excited to hear about the opening of her new establishment that is similar in design, but with a neighborhood joint kind of feel. It is warm, inviting and not at all stuffy or pretentious. With a shuffleboard game, Ms. Pac-man, and Donkey Kong, how could it be. All of the games are free, by the way.
The menu is smallish… with sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and a single burger with additions. There are some appetizers, and a sausage gravy soaked fries dish that caught my eye. It was hard to decide what to choose as all the options had something appealing in them. We settled on the following.
Fried Chicken: Two boneless chicken thighs with a thick, extra crispy style crust. The yardbird comes on top of a semolina yeast waffle. Both components comes drizzled in local honey and were quite tasty. The chicken was not so spicy as to take away from the flavor of the juicy meat or the waffle, which had a particularly lovely crunch due to the semolina.
Monte Cristo: I call this a Monte Cristo with a twist. This monster of a sandwich started with eggy bread surrounding thin slices of smoky ham, cheese and beschemel sauce. It arrives at the table in a robe of light crunchy batter and perched on top is a perfect sunny side egg. If you don’t use the marion berry jam that comes with it to pour on top of this lovely concoction, you’re not doing right. All the sandwiches on the menu, which includes a pork belly number that is next on my try it list, come with fresh cut fries that have just the right snap to creamy ratio.
Drinks: Eight beers on tap at five bucks a pint in varieties from pilsner to porter. There are twelve more brews in bottles ranging in price from two to eight bucks a pop. An original touch is the house made soda in two flavors, ginger and citrus at two clams a piece. With a dozen wine choices, about equal numbers of reds and whites, a prosecco, and a special they call a slushy margarita, you won’t be left wanting for a bit of cheer to go with your meal, or as a stand alone.
There are a few house cocktails and at seven and eight bucks they are nearly the most expensive things on the menu. Being the whiskey drinker that I am, I chose the Buster Brown: a mixture of bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters.
Dessert: Only one choice. Soft serve ice cream. Honey flavored with two types of topping at an additional charge. I chose the hazelnut crunch topping, a mix of nuts and meringue. You can also get it covered in Magic Shell, which I never did like…. I was always more of a Hershey’s Syrup kind of kid.
All in all, this new addition to the burgeoning Division Street food scene is worth the trip no matter where you live in the metro area. The only drawback I can find is that they are only open in the evenings. I would love that Monte Cristo, or the sausage gravy fries for brunch on the weekend.