What a mess! We just walked out of MUGS Sports Grill, and we’re still licking our fingers from the incredible BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich served with onion straws (that should be sold as a separate menu item). Like all great pork barbecue, this one was dripping with taste and was an eight-napkin slop fest of flavor. ($9.95)
MUGS is known around the burg as the “Sports Bar with a Chef.” And for a very good reason. This is no simple burger joint with the usual assortment of screaming sports fans and mounds of peanuts in galvanized buckets on a bar sticky with yesterday’s margarita mix. The moment you walk into Mugs, located in a strip mall just east of Target, on East Oakland Park Boulevard, you know you’re in a special place.
First, it’s impeccably clean. The light wood floors are as scrubbed as the tables and chairs that are positioned across a large open room surrounded by 15 flat screen TVs the size of St. Louis and peppered about the place like so many poppy seeds on a muffin.
As you enter on the left, there is a crowded bar where everyone, even strangers, seem to know one another. The bartenders are friendly and keep up with the flow of orders as if working the assembly line at a Ford plant—all the while keeping up conversation on a dozen different subjects.
The menu is a varied one, thanks to the previously mentioned Chef. There are the usual burgers, of which our favorite is definitely Boosh Burger, a juicy patty of beef layered with bacon, sautéed onions, mushrooms and provolone cheese. ($12.95). The buns are locally baked and perfectly toasted and comes with fries. You can, of course, customize the plate with onion rings, tator tots, sautéed onions, mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon and avocado for an additional $1.
The sports-fans appetizers included the usual Wings that come as Buffalo, Asian Trifecta, or Barbeque. On Monday night, they go on special for 40¢ each in groups of six. The Coconut Shrimp are perfectly crisp and moist with a heaping portion serving two priced at $11.95.
The sandwich menu is an assortment of unique specialties that include Crabcake BLT (a thick cake made from jumbo lump crab, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a superb housemade romoulde for $12.95). The crabcakes are also available as an entrée served over a bed of sautéed garlic spinach and a loaded baked potato ($16.95). Mugs also serves a surprising tender and flavorful Chicken Marsala with chicken breast, sautéed with mushrooms in a perfectly succulent Marsala sauce (for once not too salty), served with penne and broccoli. Clean your plate excellent ($14.95).
At lunch, this convenient grill offers $6.50 combination specials that can’t be beat for price or flavor. Choose from Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Blackened Chicken Sandwich, a Cheese Burger, the Pulled Pork Sandwich (a second yum), Chicken Quesadilla, or Caesar Salad with fries.
Weekly offerings include the aforementioned Monday night wings; Tuesday night $3.00 tacos in 10 flavors—our favorite was seared tuna but rumor has it that it’s been taken off the menu; and, of course, Happy Hour 4-8 p.m., take your pick of the day.
Marc Brandt is the man in charge and runs a top-flight staff and establishment that had managed to remain a hidden secret despite years in the business. It’s time for the LGBT community to swing out of your comfort zone and give this place a try. And, as always, remember to tell them, Guy Magazine sent you.