Back in the day, when Alyssa used to live in San Diego, she moved to a little part of town called South Park. I still think of the cartoon to this day when I initially think of South Park and I’m not quite sure I’ll ever get over that. She lived there with a fellow high school classmate and her apartment was within walking distance of a few eateries and bars, such as the Whistle Stop and the now defunct Snippy’s Tavern. We went to Snippy’s a lot. It was about a block away. It was a small hole-in-the-wall bar with a smaller-than-normal pool table with red felt on it. We took over the jukebox on many occasions and had many drinks there. One day the place closed down for renovations. They told us they would be making it into a burger place and we were excited about it (even though we kind of missed Snippy’s). Eventually the years went by; Alyssa moved away and I didn’t spend much time in South Park anymore. But on a drive through South Park recently clued me on the fact that the former Snippy’s Tavern is now Station Tavern & Burgers and I knew I had to drop by for a visit to our old haunt.
The nice thing about Station Tavern is that there’s a big outdoor area with long picnic tables for seating. Inside there’s a regular restaurant vibe with a bar, but outdoors dogs and kids are welcome, which is good since Jake and I took the kid’s here for lunch last weekend.
See, there’s a play area for the kids! It’s got a little trolley/train looking place, some chalkboards in the back and a few buckets in the sand.
The menu is pretty simple. They’ve got a few kinds of burgers (beef, chicken, turkey, veggie, black bean) and sandwiches, a kid’s menu, some side dishes, and a bar menu. That’s it.
Since it’s also a bar, it’s pretty much a great place for kids and adults to converge. Jake and I shared a Dark & Stormy which is made with rum and ginger beer. It was really good – smooth, good quality rum and the ginger beer gave it a nice flavor (but not a super strong ginger flavor, either).
We asked our waitress if the sides were a pretty good portion – she told us it was a pie plate full of fries and we wrongly assumed this would be enough for all of us to share and ending up ordering a second helping of these Garlic Fries ($4 for a full serving, and I think $2.50 for half). The garlic fries had fried garlic on them with a sprinkling of parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. The fries had a really crispy exterior to them – kind of akin to the ones at Burger King, but better. I liked the usage of the grated Parmesan since it seemed to stick better to the fries.
We also got an order of these Tater Tots ($4 for a full order). I’m usually wary about ordering tater tots – but these were super good. Perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside with a hint of seasonings on them (Jake thought he detected sage in them but turns out the secret spice was cumin). I was surprised by how good these were!
Jake and the kids all got Hot Dogs for their lunch ($3). We actually spied someone getting the grilled cheese sandwich and it looked really awesome. I didn’t try the hot dogs, but Jake and the kids enjoyed them well enough.
As for me, I got a Station Burger ($6). I added cheddar cheese ($1) and applewood smoked bacon ($2) to my burger. It should have been $9 but I was only charged $8.50 for whatever reason. They don’t ask you how you want the burger cooked here, but I thought it came out just fine. The burger was juicy and flavorful – really good. The cheese melted just right and the bacon was super, super crispy, which is how I like it.
Here’s a full image of my cheeseburger with it all stacked together. I really liked the bun of this, too. Slightly grilled and just right. Not just a plain old seeded burger bun from the grocery store, either, which is what I like!
I enjoyed our experience at Station Tavern. Inside the walled in area there’s a little homage to it’s former glory with a painted sign that says “Snippy’s Tavern” on it. My photo’s totally blurry but I’ll post it here anyway.
The Station Tavern is a nice, kick back place for kids, adults, and the furry four-legged kind!
Station Tavern and Burgers
2204 Fern Street
San Diego, CA
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 12PM-12AM (Closed Mondays)