‘Watts for Dinner’: Sand Bar a hidden, yet very popular, gem

Will Watts

Nestled in the back streets of Marco Island is our next dining destination, Sand Bar. And not being located on a main throughfare doesn’t in any way keep folks from finding it. When we visited, it was not lunch time, nor dinner time and it wasn’t a weekend. Yet, the parking lot was packed. We literally took the last spot.

Things got off to an appetizing start with “Fingers & Toes” ($13). It’s beer-battered fish fingers served with thinly sliced fries. Both were absolutely amazing and cooked to perfection. The fingers were thick and meaty, and the fries were some of the best I’ve ever had.

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I also had a bowl of the chili. So good! Why don’t more restaurants serve chili? Love it! My partner-in-dine had the onion soup. Unlike many, this one stands out by having croutons instead of bread (nice swap) in the soup and there’s no cheese (not nearly as nice).  

For my main dish, I selected the cheeseburger sliders ($7). These three beefy little bites are served with tomatoes and pickles, along with more of those delicious fries. I could eat these all day every day.

My dining companion picked the “Penne A La Vodka” ($25). This pasta dish features sauteed shrimp, broccoli, mushrooms finished in a pink vodka sauce. The sauce was a little more orange than pink and a bit cheesier than vodka-like, but the taste was unmistakably great!

We also took home a meat lovers pizza ($18). This 12-inch pizza features pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon and ground beef. The crust is amazingly thin, and the toppings are piled on. An unexpectedly great pie.   

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Our last visit to Saad Bar was October 2020. During that visit we sampled the fried calamari ($9.99) and mozzarella sticks ($8.99). The star of both was the marinara sauce. So good. The dishes themselves were exactly what you’d expect, no points deducted for execution; no bonus points for creativity.

For my entrée, I had the miso glazed salmon ($23.99); grilled and topped with mango salsa, served with mixed veggies and a side of rice. This meal was a hearty winner. I highly recommend it.

My partner in dine had the grouper Veracruz ($25.99); sautéed with garlic and featuring capers, green olives and served with spaghetti tossed in a light tomato sauce. Also, a winning dish. Lots of pasta served with this one and it makes a great dish on its own.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Sand Bar is obviously a bar and does a great job with “bar food.” It also has several dishes that elevate it beyond a bar menu. If you dine with a significant other who needs his/her wing fix, but you’re not that into it, then Sand Bar is perfect and has something for you too!

Great service and an island atmosphere reign. Happy eating!

More:Hey Marco Island, looking for a place to eat?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Sand Bar

  • 826 E Elkcam Cir, Marco Island
  • 239-642-3625
  • sandbarmarco.com