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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Brand New Bargains at Bahama Billy's

Meatloaf sliders and neatly stacked baby back ribs zoom from the kitchen. The heated patio, even on an overcast day, is well-populated. Both dining rooms bring a little buzz. In one, Gino administers a lively bar where empty stools are hard to come by.

It's 5pm Thursday, and Bahama Billy's (626-0430) is bumping. I came down to talk to owner Anthony Momo about the rumored sale of the Barnyard standby, but found much of my attention attracted by the brand-spankety new "Island Time" happy hour menu and the "Locals Sunset Menu," both 3-6pm daily and both introduced just yesterday. I tapped the crab cake from the happy hour menu, which also slaps down the loaf sliders with guava gravy ($5), sesame crusted rare tuna ($6), sweet potato fries with mango chutney and habaƱero aioli ($3), fried coconut prawns with pineapple salsa and island tartar ($5) among nine choices. At $3.50, the cake, which comes with a little baby arugula salad and a zing of lemon aioli, is a steal.

I also reeled in a surprisingly sizeable bahama fish taco with cilantro slaw, habaƱero aioli, jack cheese and a nice piece of fried Alaskan pollock for $4.

The Island Time lineup also rallies some libations, including draft Fat Tire, Pilsner Urquell and Blue Moon for $2.50, a range of reds and whites by the glass for $3-$6 and tall mojitos (like the one pictured above), margaritas, bahama mamas (with coconut rum, banana, pineapple and orange juices and dark rum) and miserable bastards (spiced rum, 151, pineapple and OJ) for $5.

The Sunset Menu, meanwhile, delivers three courses and calypso bread for $15.95. Round 1: crab mango bisque or bahama green salad. Round 2: meatloaf, fish and chips with island slaw, Billy's rib rack with garlic fries, a Hawaiian pulled pork plate with sticky rice, chipotle chicken pasta with applewood bacon, a jerk chicken rice boel, hoisin salmon with sticky rice or blackened mahi mahi. Round 3: an "Arctic sundae" with kona coffee chips, chocolate sauce and fresh cream.

Momo acknowleged a potential sale has been discussed, but that everybody "is putting the carriage before the horse" and stressed that any shifts wouldn't happen for more than a month and a half at the very, very least.

You could say the sale's on island time.