It’s a beautiful fall day, perfect for chilling on the beach.
The sun is warm, but not oppressively hot, and you’d like to dig your toes in the sand and enjoy a cold one, but a good burger or hot dog would make it perfect, wouldn’t it?
There are a variety of eateries beachside tto choose from these days, but if you want a place with a certain authenticity, a little bit out of the way, just a tad funky, where the music is Jimmy Buffett and reggae, then there is only one place for you: Sea Level.
I can’t tell you how refreshing my visit to Sea Level was. There is no hype, no waiter pushing craft cocktails, no menu bloated with pizza, tacos, sushi and pasta.
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Sea Level is just a little family-run business with plenty of picnic tables and awnings, and acres of sandy beach where you can sit, enjoy life and listen to the sea.
The menu is on a chalkboard. Its simplicity is a thing of beauty: burgers, dogs, tacos, really good hand-cut fries and a few sides. You can count the drinks on one hand, but if you take my advice, the hand-squeezed lemonade is the way to go.
If you know me at all, you know I had to go for a hot dog. Owner Dana Barrett suggested the classic beach dog ($4.79). It was loaded with onions, chili, and melted Monterey Jack cheese.
The chili ran down my arm, while the dog snapped when I bit into it (just the way a good dog should). I sat in the warm sun and all was right with the world. I got a side of fries, with extra ketchup, and made a of mess dipping them in the little cardboard boat hot dogs are supposed to come in.
I could go on and on about the Sea Level burger (double patty, double cheese for just $6.99), the spinach and artichoke spring rolls ($2.89), potato salad ($2.69) and nachos ($4.49). But did I tell you about that hot dog and fries?
Sublime is not an adjective I use very often. Some words must be saved for special occasions. But Sea Level makes the cut. This place is sublime.
In a world of hustle and bustle, when U.S. 90 is more often than not a mess, when the world seems to race witlessly by and no one has the time to pause and admire the wonder of the beautiful place we live, Sea Level is the place to do it.
Dana Barrett told me that the dolphins play in the water just off the beach. The seagulls float by, the shrimp and oyster boats chug in and out of the harbor, the sun is warm, the breeze is refreshing, and I, my friend, sat there as content as I could be, and did serious justice to that dog and fries.
Where: 3 Hiern Ave, Pass Christian
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday