Food & Drink

Swoop in to Eagle Island for laid-back fare

Ahi tuna tacos, which come with crinkle-cut fries and house-made Sweet Fire Sauce and salsa, at Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar & Grill in Long Beach.
Ahi tuna tacos, which come with crinkle-cut fries and house-made Sweet Fire Sauce and salsa, at Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar & Grill in Long Beach.

Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar & Grill is on Jeff Davis Avenue, Long Beach’s main thoroughfare and the street to be on for this small city’s night life.

It’s a comfortable place to saddle up to the bar or a table and order a drink, try one of the several flavors of daiquiris or order from the menu. Or all three. I was in the mood for fish tacos (it was, after all, a Tuesday), so I looked with fondness upon the ahi tuna tacos (market price; $11.95 that evening) and paired them with a Dreamsicle daiquiri; at $6, it was the special that night ($1 off). I ordered the tuna medium rare.

My table was by the window, so I was able to look out and watch passers-by as they strolled. Eagle Island also has outside seating, but it was a little too chilly that evening.

Pretty soon, my daiquiri arrived. The Dreamsicle is more mango than orange flavored; I knew it would be a good pairing with the tacos. Speaking of, they arrived not long after my drink. The shell is a lightly fried flour version, similar to the larger ones that often hold taco salads at other restaurants. The almost-flaky shells worked beautifully with the tuna, which was indeed medium rare. The three tacos came with an order of crinkle-cut fries, lettuce on the side, house-made Sweet Fire Sauce and salsa. OK, let me just say, that Sweet Fire Sauce is addictive. It’s indeed somewhat sweet, somewhat fiery, and creamy. I put it on my tacos. I dipped my fries in it. I mulled the possibilities of other combinations.

I told owner Anthony Portera how good that stuff was.

“Oh, that’s a family recipe,” he said. “We sell it by the pint, too.” Good idea.

“You want some homemade cheesecake?” he asked as I ate my last bite. That was tempting, but I couldn’t eat another morsel.

In the past, Portera had run Ziggy’s restaurant in the same location. Eventually he decided he wanted to open a daiquiri bar and serve food, so Eagle Island opened in November 2014. There’s a walk-up window for daiquiri orders. Flavors available could include pina colada, Emergency Room, Miami Vice, hurricane, raspberry Margarita, Mangorita, Dublin mango, fuzzy navel or Bushwhacker.

“Oh, the Bushwhacker is one of our big sellers,” Portera said of the drink that could be described as an adult chocolate and coffee milkshake.

As for the menu, it offers several burgers, a BLT sandwich, a club sandwich, hot dogs, loaded fries, chicken quesadillas, chicken tenders and wings. The burgers include traditional ($7.95), becoming more exotic with the Aloha Burger, the BBQ Burger, the Desperado Burger, the Paradise Burger, the Hangover Burger and the Smurfette Burger ($8.95 to $10.95), each served with fries. You’re likely to find Cade Hibbard in the kitchen.

You will find Eagle Island open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. By the way, Portera’s love of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Golden Eagles was the inspiration for the name.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1

Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar & Grill

Where: 100 Jeff Davis Ave., Long Beach

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday

Menu: Variety of daiquiris, hamburgers, fish tacos, chicken tenders and wings, sandwiches and hot dogs

Phone: 228-284-2624