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“Good bar and beer list but marginal burgers”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of American Ale

American Ale
Ranked #255 of 528 Restaurants in Santa Barbara
Cuisines: American, Bar, Mexican, Pub
Dining options: Dinner, Seating
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Seating
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Level Contributor
288 reviews
204 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
“Good bar and beer list but marginal burgers”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014

Apparently this used to be a Mexican restaurant -- no longer. It's a place with a serious bar, an excellent list of ever-changing draft beers and a burger-oriented menu. The room is hard-surfaced and noisy and most of the seating is metal chairs at communal tables of six or more. Crowd on this Thursday night was primarily 20's and 30's, which made the Sinatra-style soundtrack rather incongruous.

Service was friendly, perhaps because they'd never seen anyone that old in the place, and the bartender was happy to let us sample the beers prior to ordering. The drinking side gets three or four stars, but overall the rating goes down for the noise and the very disappointing burger. We both had the Makin Bacon burger, a hefty patty of pork and beef served on a bare bun with no mayo, lettuce, tomato or anything else. And there was no Dijon-type mustard in the house. I suppose all that is a conscious choice, but to me a dry burger with no accompaniments is inadequate. The regular fries were passable, if not particularly fresh-tasting, but the garlic fries reeked of garlic powder and left an aftertaste that was most displeasing to me and to my sleeping partner of the evening (who happens to be my sleeping partner of every evening). Good place to drop in for a drink and a young, noisy vibe. Look elsewhere for your burger fix.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Burgers, Bourbon, and Beer, oh my!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2013 via mobile

OK, American Ale has been here for much of 2013, but my wife and I only just tried it. A liquor associate at Trader Joes recommended the place when she saw me buying Bulleit, my favorite inexpensive bourbon. I'll keep this simple:
Delicious, creative burgers, an excellent chopped salad, and wonderful mixed drinks, that's what we had and it was all excellent!
Th atmosphere is ultra casual and 40s music was playing overhead. Good service, good food!

Try American Ale!

Thank Philip W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing tacos. Unique drinks. Great service.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2012 via mobile

Walked into this place not knowing how they were gonna pull off such great food with all these wall decorations but to my surprise some tacos were even exotic. Armadillo alligator and crocodile tacos were some of the wild food they had. Our bartender Mario was the best and waited on us hand and foot. Will visit again soon.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bryn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing Tacos and Nice Patio”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2012

We stopped here for our first lunch after a long drive from LA and it was perfect. Highly recommend the tacos pastor. Get a seat on the small patio out back (like three tables small) and get some tacos and cerveza. You won' regret it.

Visited July 2012
Thank FlyingBurritoGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“It's All About the Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2012

Having just come up from a stay in Mexico, we were really getting into Mexican food when we found this little spot off State street. It's small and plain but that's ok. The food is outstanding! We had chorizo and spiced pork tacos and they were delicious. My wife said they were the best she's had. The owner, a nice young lady, is personable and a great help with the quite extensive menu for a place this small. If you're in Santa Barbara give this place a try.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank APS-Global
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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