I have to hand it to Jason Martin, the owner of Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill in Roanoke. He always seems to be brainstorming clever ways to get customers in the doors down there. One idea, the half-price burgers from 4 to 10 p.m. every Monday, has been a raging success.
In addition to rib nights on Tuesdays and 50-cent wings on Wednesdays, Martin’s is now offering specials for “3-Buck Thursdays,” including a variety of “gourmet gringo tacos.” The tacos are $3 each between 4 and 11 p.m. each Thursday and can be paired with a $3 16-oz. draft beer or a $3 house liquor drink between 4 and 9 p.m.
Here’s a sampling of some of the gourmet tacos, which are all served on a 6-inch soft flour tortilla:
Big Kahuna — blackened ahi tuna, pineapple, cabbage, green onions, spicy remoulade
Thai Juan — grilled chicken, peanut curry sauce, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, tomato, scallions
Shogun — grilled chicken, teriyaki glaze, red cabbage, carrots, pineapple, sesame seeds, green onions
The Cuban Defector — Slow-roasted pork loin with Cuban spices, grilled ham, Swiss, pickles, spicy mustard, field greens
Baja Fish — Beer-battered haddock, cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, spicy remoulade
Bubba Gump — Tiger shrimp, ghost sauce, red cabbage, pico de gallo and carrots
Pork and Dreams — Pulled pork, Memphis BBQ sauce, fried dill pickles, cole slaw
They also have a buffalo chicken taco, a Philly steak taco, a breakfast taco with fried egg, and an “old school” taco with ground beef.
I’ve tried the Thai Juan and the Bubba Gump, although at the warning of a fellow bar patron I subbed the spicy remoulade for the ghost sauce. I was told the ghost sauce would light me on fire. Howard has tried The Cuban Defector and the Pork and Dreams (you can tell he likes pork, huh?).
We enjoyed all of the tacos. I think the shrimp taco, which was topped with three large shrimp, was my favorite. These tacos are a great snack to go with a beer after work before you head home to figure out what’s really for dinner. You could also get two or three different ones and make a meal of it (dine-in only, no gift certificates).
Do you have a favorite happy hour drink or food special around town?