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A SUPER LITTLE SHACK

Another in tb-two*s occasional series about long-standing restaurants around Tampa Bay, ones with history but that you may not know about.

The trailer that appears to be transformed into a shack will likely surprise you, and this little eatery's Caribbean atmosphere, and inspired foods, will satisfy your cravings for an affordable Florida-style meal.

For about 15 years, the Sandbar Grill has been serving beachgoers an impressive selection of meals to choose from. First impressions are definitely deceiving, as I have passed this establishment by more times than I can remember on my way to Honeymoon Island. The restaurant, located on the side of the road, pays homage to old fishing shacks. Decorated nicely with surrounding palm trees and strings of festive party lights, it's a perfect location for a night out and a great place just to stop by on your way to or from the beach.

The Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Apricot Sauce ($7.50) appetizer is a must, leaving a tingling in your taste buds. The fried coconut covering gives the shrimp a slightly sweet taste, and combined with the spicy apricot sauce starts a flavor party. Just make sure you don't put too much sauce on, or it will become overwhelmingly spicy.

The Mahi Mahi Sandwich ($6.95), with your choice of grilled, blackened or lemon pepper, is two large slabs of fish slathered with tartar sauce in between a soft bun with lettuce and tomato. Fortunately, the tartar sauce does not overpower the taste of the mahi mahi, which is a bit dry on its own but combined with the other contents of the sandwich leaves a pleasant taste.

A traditional BBQ Pork Sandwich ($6.75) is a hefty serving of pulled pork and barbecue sauce. This savory meal is thick and moist, no greasy pork dripping off the bun, making a great go-to meal for the not-so-daring.

For some people, the Sandbar Grill will be out of the way, but if you happen to take a trip to Honeymoon Island, it's worth putting on your itinerary. One thing to be aware of is that smoking is allowed, but the restaurant has many large fans that surround the patio and screened porch dining areas, so any smoke is quickly dispersed and rarely bothers.

With live music from 5-9 p.m., it is ideal for a quick get-together with friends, with the Caribbean-style music ranging from tunes from the '80s to modern songs such as Bruno Mars' The Lazy Song. The Sandbar Grill has a great atmosphere with quick and polite service (you can order at an outside window or at the table) and a large variety on its menu, not to mention desserts provided by J.J. Gandy's. Definitely a great setting for some laid-back eating and socializing.

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Sandbar Grill

2602 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin

(727) 734-1962

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-midnight

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