Sports Bar & Grille
Although my principal professional interest is, of course, the pursuit of comestibles and the field of gastronomy in general, like almost anyone, I also have various other areas of interest, ongoing lines of research, guilty pleasures and outright quirks.
It is to the penultimate of these, that is, guilty pleasures, that I must now turn your attention as I recount to you my latest excursion into local eateries, The 19th Hole Sports Bar and Grille at Salt Creek Golf Course.
It’s football, you see. I know and accept that it is bad and wrong, horribly violent, and outright dangerous. It absolutely should be banned. It must go. However, nevertheless, I love it and must insist upon watching it.
Mrs. Sampler is not a fan and is not particularly supportive of my somewhat dualistic position on violent contact sports.
Accordingly, when there is a major sporting event of local interest, Colts football, Hoosier basketball, or sometimes just some particular game of interest, I take myself down to The 19th Hole, a place where there’s plenty of cold libations and what not, several large flat screens filled with action, and where no one will be surprised if, oblivious to whatever else might be going on, one jumps up and yells
“Are you kidding me with that call?!?…”
After a couple of frosty samples from their copious selection of domestic and imported beers, I like to take a little tip-toe through the 19th Hole’s appetizer menu, which features fried mozzarella sticks, onion strips, chicken quesadilla, and chicken or beef nachos—warm tortilla chips topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos and drizzled with BBQ sauce or hot nacho cheese, featuring your favored meat.
Or, there are “Hoosier Fries,” which are waffle fries, topped with cheese sauce, bacon, onions, and jalapenos.
But my true appetizer objective is the hot wings, offered at the 19th Hole traditional style or “boneless.” Not to offend, but what kind of spineless sports fan eats boneless wings?
No, give me jumbo, bone-in, leaves-your-lips-numb spicy wings with a side of celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. There are certain traditions in sport which should be honored. If we start messing with the wings, the whole thing might start to unravel.
The wings were plump, spicy, and satisfying, very tasty and filling.
For the healthier-minded, there is a selection of salads, including a small house salad, a chef salad, a grilled chicken salad, and—here it is again—boneless wing salad.
The 19th Hole has an outstanding sandwich menu, with lots of excellent choices including a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, the Salt Creek tenderloin, “The Golf Club,” a BLT, chicken salad or even a grilled chicken taco.
But I just can’t resist the half-pound “Sports Burger,” which bills itself as “The best burger in Brown County” and if there’s one thing I know about golf it is that it is a gentlemen’s game, where one never embellishes or engages in fudgification.
I say hamburger, but I order it of course, with cheddar cheese, bacon, and everything else they’re willing to throw at it: lettuce, onion, tomato, and those big sideways cut pickle slices.
Because, somehow, a loaded bacon cheese half pounder gives one courage to face the foe and salves the despair of even the most humiliating defeat.
I finish the appetizer course and sip on another cold pint until the Sports Burger arrives. It is truly magnificent, a work of art suspended in time and space.
Now it is, now it is no more—perfection and perfection.
A little tip: the burger comes with a small bag of chips. But you’re going to want hot yummy French fries with that, so just go ahead and order those when you put in for the burger. Then, stick the bag of chips in your coat pocket, where you will be delighted to discover them several days later, still fresh and crisp, if a little beat up.
If you’re not there to eat, the 19th Hole has a really nice bar area with a wide selection of cocktails and flanked by windows with a view out on the handsome links.
The 19th Hole is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and late night, and the service is friendly and efficient. There’s a kid’s menu, because kids are always welcome at The 19th Hole until 9 p.m.
The 19th Hole is located on the lower level of the clubhouse facility at Salt Creek Golf Course, 2359 State Road 46 East.
If you’ve never been to The 19th Hole, here’s another little tip: the entrance is around the back and down the stairs, but be careful not to drive down the golf cart path, although,believe me, you wouldn’t be the first one to make that mistake!
There’s a little stage and dance floor, and usually some live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
I watch my game, I gnaw on the resplendent sandwich, I throw back a few cold ones—life is good, and no one on the homefront need be in the least bit put out.
That is why I usually leave The 19th Hole profoundly satisfied.