1206 19th St, Galveston, TX | Directions 7755029.299262 -94.786710
Last of it's Kind! Old and Authentic!!! Tasty Experience! – It might be the coolest place you will ever go to! It's old and authentic and you really can't find places like this anymore. The owners are really nice people. You do have to put up with a few local characters, but that comes with a place like this. Some really old guy kept bothering us about the Elks Lodge, but other than that, the place is fantastic. The food is ...."memorable"! The best gumbo I have ever had. It is kid friendly....actually it is friendly to everyone....it seems to be a melting pot of diversity. There is something for all at this place. They even have a bullet hole in the bar from an old historic gun fight. In some ways, I felt like I had traveled back in time. It was a really fun and tasty experience.
fun place / weird crowd – This appears to be an institution on Galveston Island. Opened in 1944 and the same family still owns and operates it. This place is way beyond "Cheers". They claim to be the oldest bar & restaurant (family tavern) on the island. You are treated like family the moment you come in. Don't be surprised if they throw you a rag to wipe your own table or tell you to get your own beer. So, ...the service isn't great, but the food and atmosphere are. The only weird part was that we were getting badgered to leave and go to the local Elks Lodge. "Harassed" would be a better word. We were enjoying ourselves and we were accosted twice at our own table by two different couples. Then we tried to play pool and some other bozo kept telling us how great the local Elks lodge was and that we should leave Sonny's and go there. I finally complained to the owners son, Larry, and he said it happens all the time and there was nothing he could do about it. Larry said his brother tried to stop them and the Elks persuaded my father to fire my brother. Talk about dirty tactics. It is a shame a hard working family business is having to go through that. Larry is a character himself. He squirted us with fake mustard that made us all jump. He tied a knot in a young woman's straw, so when she tried to drink her soda, nothing came out. He reeks of alcohol and cigarette smoke, but he is a funny guy. I don't think you can pay attention to the prices on the menu either. Our bill should have been well over $100. We had a party of 8 and when I went up to the cash register to pay, my bill was only $45. I questioned this and he smiled and winked and then shook the tip jar at me. I wasn't really sure what to think about all that, but ....he is the owners son? One of the reasons we went to Sonny's was to see the old historic pictures that we were told were all over the place, but unfortunately , Hurricane Ike destroyed almost all of them. Larry elaborated, that they saved some, but his sister won't let them put the rest of the pictures back up on the walls. How weird is that. We did get to see the bullet hole in the bar from an old west style hold-up. The building is really old and the bar is sort of in the basement. Despite the weird Elks lodge members, the atmosphere and the food is well worth the trip. We enjoyed the shrimp gumbo which was dark and rich with flavor, a fried shrimp sandwich that is out of this world, the Cheeseburger was outstanding, the spaghetti and meat sauce was "heavenly", and some unique items called Tex-Mex pasta, a "grilled" Muffuletta, and a shrimp melt. We asked Larry how they came up with those items and he just said my brother did all that. It was really busy in there and I briefly got to talk to the patriarch of the family. Everyone calls him Jr. I told him how much I liked the burger and he proudly said that he grinds his own meat and makes his own hamburger patty's. He was very proud of that. I was impressed because he looks to be somewhere close to 90 years old. He says he does all of that work himself. WOW! I can't wait to go back.
Greatest Burgers Anywhere – Absolutely the best Chili-Cheseburgers I have ever eaten. Fast friendly service and a great atmosphere, too. Cold beer on tap. Can't wait to return.
Best gumbo – Their shrimp gumbo (only served on Fridays) is the best on the island. Good burgers too. The place is a dive, but that's part of the experience.
REAL ! – I had heard of this place for years and what a delight. These are real folks serving real burgers and even Shiner drat beer. If you are sick and tired of being left numb by the watseland of franchise design, check this place out.
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