The Shack lives a double life. By night, it's a bustling bar and grill, with great happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers starting as early as 3 p.m. every day of the week. By day, however, there's a very different ambiance at The Shack, especially on the spacious front patio that overlooks La Jolla Boulevard.
The Shack offers breakfast and lunch in a family-friendly atmosphere, and the menu is much more extensive than you might expect from a casual eatery.
The breakfast menu features a hearty steak and egg combo with two eggs any style paired up with a breakfast steak and Shack fries. Warm tortillas on the side are included for $6.95. A breakfast sandwich and a burrito is also on tap for the breakfast crowd.
Lunch items include an array of sandwiches with whimsical names like Old Man's Little Point, Northbird and Devil's. Burgers are very big and very popular at The Shack, and there's always a burger special among the daily blackboard offerings.
There were three different soups on the board during our visit, including a delicious meatball soup with plenty of meatballs swimming in tasty broth. The soups sell for $3 per cup and $3.95 per bowl. You can substitute soup or salad for the fries that come with all the sandwich orders as well, although most regulars love the fries at The Shack.
You know a place like this would go overboard on appetizers. We counted more than a dozen on the regular menu, including Boomers, six jalapeno poppers packed with cream cheese and served with a ranch-style dipping sauce ($6.50), P.B. Point, nachos smothered in beans, salsa and melted cheese ($6.50), Sandy Point, one fish taco, made with beer battered white fish and Shack's special sauce ($3.95), Rockpiles, fried cheese sticks with a homemade marinara sauce for dunking, ($6.50), and Southbird, fresh chicken tenders fried in a beer batter and served with The Shack's own honey mustard sauce ($7.25).
When the appetizers go for half price - 3 to 7 p.m. daily - they're a terrific buy. No wonder happy hours at The Shack are so popular.
Try one of the unusual sandwiches for lunch, such as the grilled barbecued chicken breast slices with jack cheese, green chiles and other ingredients all stuffed into a pita bread ($8.50). This might be the messiest pita sandwich in town.
The Shack is a jumpin' joint from happy hour until closing. You can relax on the patio with a satisfying breakfast or lunch during the day, and you won't have to fret about parking. There's a private lot right out back.
The Shack Bar & Grill is at 6941 La Jolla Blvd. Call 454-5280.