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In Sackets, sandwiches, pizza, shakes

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SACKETS HARBOR —There’s a new restaurant in Sackets Harbor, right on the main drag in the space last occupied by Sackets Cantina. For many years it was home to 1812 Steak & Seafood Co.

Now it’s called Sackets Harbor Anchor, or just the Anchor. It’s got the same footprint as the previous restaurants. In fact, some of the walls are still painted those bright colors associated with Mexican eateries. But since the Anchor opened a month ago on the brink of the busy summer season, there probably wasn’t a lot of time to do any extensive remodeling.

Unlike most of the other restaurants in Sackets, it’s quite casual and family-friendly, with a twist of modern pub fare. It offers specialty pizzas and calzones, upscale sandwiches, wings, salads, yummy milkshakes, and that’s about it. But there are lots to choose from in each category — more than 15 pizzas with choices like chicken Alfredo, white clam, cheeseburger, chicken pesto and barbecue chicken. Sandwiches, nearly two dozen of ’em, include jive turkey (turkey, Havarti, stuffing and cranberry spread), porky’s revenge (pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheddar and cole slaw), tree hugger (yeah, you guessed it — zucchini, avocado, tomatoes, peppers, Havarti) and anchors aweigh (fried haddock, cole slaw, tartar sauce).

Oh, and there’s a bar. Which is where we started.

Mary was our friendly and experienced bartender. She was good. We had all intentions of heading to the dining room after a round, but Mary’s spirit and spirits convinced us to stay right there for dinner. Plus, I peeked into the large dining room and there were a couple of families with squealing kids slobbering pizza down their fronts, and that wasn’t my idea of a fun night out. Especially for four guys.

Magic Hat Circus Boy, a craft beer from Burlington, was on tap, served at the perfect temperature — cold enough to quench a summer’s thirst but not too cold to hide its wheat character and the hint of lemon and pepper. A very nice vanilla vodka blended well with high-test Coke.

We fired our food orders at Mary at will. To start, two small pizzas: the pulled pork ($12.99) and the Reuben ($12.99).

The pulled pork was presented on a crisp, medium-thick crust with a barbecue sauce base, pork, red onion, cheddar cheese and cole slaw. Same great crust for the Reuben, loaded up with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

The pizzas were a pleasant surprise. The crusts held up well with all the quality ingredients piled on top. They were tasty as heck and made for great bar food — or a great dinner. Large versions are also available, priced at $18.29.

A nice summer salad to cleanse the palate was next. The California ($9.95 for the large) was served in a big bowl with a nice mix of baby greens, red onion, crispy bacon, avocado and cucumber with a refreshing pesto ranch dressing.

It was difficult to choose just a couple of sandwiches from the extensive list. But another round of drinks, and we entered our order for a Cubano Americano, Sausage Festival and Nam’s Favorite, all priced at $12.58 with chips or fries.

Actually, they’re not really sandwiches — more like subs, served on a 10-inch artisan roll created for the restaurant by the noted Alteri’s Bakery in Watertown.

A very impressive roll, in fact — crusty on the outside, soft and tasty inside. Definitely fresh.

I got the Cubano Americano. I’ve gotten to love Cuban sandwiches lately after some trips to Florida. In a traditional Cuban you’ll find roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, spicy mustard and sliced pickle (it’s gotta have the pickle).

The Anchor got it mostly right, using a chicken fingerlike deep-fried piece of pork (I guess you could call it a pig finger), Black Forest ham, the Swiss and the pickle. They used a garlic butter spread rather than mustard. Again, the roll was outstanding.

Sausage Festival was made for summertime, a grilled homemade sausage patty with sautéed onions and peppers. One of my friends at the table who makes his own sausage said, “This sausage is excellent — perfect seasoning, love the fennel. And the roll couldn’t be better.”

Nam’s Favorite was a grilled chicken breast sub/sandwich prepared bulgogi style with Asian slaw and Sriracha, a fiery Asian sauce. Bulgogi is a Korean style of barbecue consisting of thin slices of meat marinated in a mix of soy, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper, all of which were presented in the sandwich. The slaw offset the saltiness of the bulgogi and cut back some of the heat of the Sriracha. Of course, what were we thinking when we ordered extra Sriracha? Must have been the Circus Boy talking.

Our sandwiches came with commercial battered, seasoned fries that were crispy and tasty.

Finally, we ordered a calzone — a Philly cheesesteak calzone ($8.99), shaved beef, peppers and onions encased in a pizza shell, oozing gooey-good cheese as we cut into it. This was an amorphous blob on a plate that lacked visual appeal but made up for it with great taste.

Desserts? Simple — 24-ounce custom-made milkshakes.

We tried a strawberry shake and an orange-pineapple shake. These were thick and rich and creamy, bringing back fond childhood memories of afternoons at the local soda fountain.

An evening out for four cost $97.69 for food. Gratuity, beer and cocktails were an additional expense.

I wouldn’t necessary call the food gourmet or the sandwiches overstuffed, but the Anchor is certainly creative and fills a niche in the Sackets Harbor food scene.

Maury Peters, owner of Mariano’s Pizza in Watertown, is responsible for creating the specialty pizzas and calzones, as well as the homemade Italian sausage.

The Anchor is owned by Tom Scozzafava, whose corporation, Seaway Valley Capital, also owns the brewpub in Sackets and Alteri’s in Watertown.

TIDBITS

Traveling through the Adirondacks this summer? You may want to veer off Route 28 and explore the little village of North Creek. Some neat bistros and pubs have popped up in recent years.

We enjoyed a stop at Trapper’s Pub at the Copperfield Inn. It has a great Adirondack feel. Be sure to try their signature mac and cheese, which you can customize by adding things like sundried tomatoes, prosciutto and smoked shrimp.

Copperfield’s upscale Italian restaurant, Lorenzo’s, is open Fridays and Saturdays for the summer: www.copperfieldinn.com

Also be sure to visit the Thirsty Moose in the hamlet of Childwold on Route 3.

Hosts Mickey and Jan offer some great homemade lunches and dinners in an Adirondack-rustic atmosphere. You can’t beat their honest, down-home hospitality.

Correction

The web address given in last Sunday’s review of the Watertown Golf Club was incorrect. It should have been: http://watertowngolfclubinc.com

You can contact restaurant reviewer Walter Siebel via email: wsiebel@wdt.net.

Sackets Harbor Anchor

213 W. Main St.

Sackets Harbor, N.Y.

646-2040



A new eatery in the popular restaurant town of Sackets Harbor offering specialty pizzas and calzones, upscale sandwiches, wings, salads and milkshakes.



HOURS: Open year-round, noon to10 p.m. Monday through Sunday except for Tuesdays when the restaurant opens at 4 p.m.



We enjoyed the pulled pork pizza as well as their Reuben pizza.



The sandwiches/subs we tried were excellent: Cubano Americano, Sausage Festival and Nam’s Favorite.



Best milkshakes we’ve had in years.



RATING: 3½ FORKS

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