Where to begin when reviewing The Salty Dog Bar and Grill? There are some definite positives like the well-developed and comfortable outdoor seating simulating a festive cabana Baja style bar. There is the large open indoor space with reasonably well-situated televisions on the wall and two large bars on either end of the room. Of course there is cold beer offered at a reasonable price which is always a must for a island themed bar. But this is where The Salty Dog begins to stray from its home. The aesthetics alone will not save this mutt.
No beer on tap? Really. Three bars and no beer on tap. How hard is it to offer a cold assortment of beers on tap? When you do order a bottled beer don't be surprised if you find yourself frustrated throughout the evening. The service at The Salty Dog is spotty at best. Servers are apparently more interested in wandering around the establishment appearing to be busy rather than actually taking and serving orders. On three different occasions during my last visit to The Salty Dog I had to track our assigned server and ask her to come visit our table when she wanders through the outdoor cabana area on her next pilgrimage. When my party and i decided to move indoors to try a different server's area we soon discovered that avoiding customers must have been a part of the SOP for this staff's routine. On two incidents after orders for beers were taken indoors the server had to be reminded that there were beers waiting for us somewhere. Once again, The Salty Dog has a great facility and environment to promote a welcoming comfortable escape for patrons. The problem is that one doesn't get the opportunity to enjoy "the escape" while doing so much work attempting to attract servers to stop over on their next fly-by.
The other drinks that were eventually served were margaritas. A word to the management, upgrade your margarita mix. Sugary cheap mixers don't hide the low shelf tequila barely splashed in the glass. Sadly, as previously noted the already weak and sugary margarita soon became tepid and watery as the ice melted with no rescue from the three unengsged servers in sight to bring an extra ice cube or two.
As for the food at The Salty Dog, it too is hit and miss. The appetizer called "Salty Balls" is a variation of white wings consisting of a chicken breast filled with cheese and jalapeño and wrapped in bacon. Hey, it's bacon wrapped chicken what could go wrong? The chips and salsa are mediocre and as previously noted regarding service, the so-called "bottomless chips and salsa bowl" will stay more bottomed out than topped off since getting a reasonably regular refill will be difficult at best.
While the party I was with would have liked to have tried the other food offered at The Salty Dog we decided to escape the kennel and make our way to another establishment where we knew that the service, drinks, and food are consistently top notch. The Salty Dog needs to learn some old tricks that are the foundation to a successful bar/grille venue. Basic attentive service and beer on tap are always crowd pleasures.
To turn a phrase on The Salty Dog, this dog don't hunt. I'll give it another chance but the dog is definitely on a short leash.