6877 State Road
Saline, MI 48176
Hours: Mon-Wed: 11am – 11pm;
Thurs-Sat: 11am – midnight;
Sunday: 11:30am – 9pm
THE SHORT COURSE
To avoid wait: Go early for dinner on weekends or try lunchtime.
Noise level: High
Bathroom amenities: A changing table is located in the women’s restroom, but not the men’s
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? White or chocolate, plus lemonade and soda pop
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? There are salads and items like carrot and celery sticks.
Food allergy concerns? As soon as you sit down, tell your server about any allergies. The kitchen can prepare food in a separate location from other meals with separate utensils.
Enter as strangers, leave as friends. So says the sign you see upon entering Oscar’s Sports & Grill on State Road in Saline. On a busy Friday night when my kids and I arrived for dinner, it looked like Oscar’s was making lots of friends.
The casual restaurant was packed. Albeit loud, the din from multiple TVs and chatting patrons was not unpleasant. People seemed to be enjoying friends and family, food and libations, and sports on any of the 9 TVs we saw.
Nod to Mexican heritage
The restaurant has a dedicated bar area and numerous tables and booths for dining. The décor is classic sports bar: memorabilia hangs from the red walls and exposed ceiling. The owners, Oscar and Maria Cotero, rebranded Oscar’s late last year from its previous incarnation as a Wings-Pizza-N-Things franchise.
Perhaps as a nod to the Coteros’ Mexican heritage, the menu is peppered with authentic Mexican dishes, like the chicken enchilada platter and Maria’s homemade roasted pepper salsa. A variety of salads, sandwiches, entrees, burgers and pizzas are offered as well. Choices from the kids’ menu include a cheeseburger, mac and cheese, cheese quesadilla, grilled cheese, chicken tenders or cheese pizza. All are served with fries and a drink for $4.99-5.99. Milk is a dollar extra.
My kids, ages 11 and 7, wanted to start with chicken wings, but couldn’t agree on a sauce. We moved on to a unanimous crowd-pleaser, cheesy fries with bacon. Next, my son, 11, ordered a bacon cheddar cheeseburger ($8.99) sans lettuce, tomato and onions. My daughter, 7, ordered the kids’ mac and cheese. I debated between the “El Gordo” burrito and the carne asada platter before our server enthusiastically recommended the burrito.
The cheesy fries arrived hot and doused in bacon chunks. I was impressed by the lack of fat on the bacon. The oily, salty goodness of the fries was heavenly with the melted cheese and meaty bacon. For the first time that day, we were glad my husband was on a business trip so we didn’t have to share!
Exploding with Flavor
Our entrees did not disappoint either. My burrito exploded with flavor. I liked the tangy heat of jalapeños I tasted in the red and green enchilada sauce. The marinated flank steak was savory and the black beans bright, not soggy. I alternated bites topped with pico de gallo and guacamole before I could eat no more.
I could tell my son liked his burger, a half-pound of Knight’s meat topped with cheddar and bacon. He stopped commenting on the game he was watching and simply chewed contentedly. Meanwhile, I inquired about my daughter’s mac and cheese, made with tubular rather than elbow pasta.
“How is it?” I asked.
“What do you think?” she replied smiling.
“Ding, ding, ding!”
After our cheesy fries and entrees, we were too stuffed to try dessert. Oscar’s offers selections like the Cookie Monster (chocolate chip cookies with ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce) and Cinnamon Tortilla Vanilla Chilla (cinnamon sugar sprinkled tortillas, ice cream, warm apple pie filling, caramel, and whipped cream).
“It’s actually pretty cool in here,” my eleven-year-old stated. “We should come back.”