LONE STAR STAPLE The Texas barbecue burger at Driggsy's arrives with a smile. Photograph by Aaron Carnes
Opening a sports bar in north San Jose near Brokaw Road and 880 seemed like a good idea to Steve Driggs because there really wasn’t much like it in the area. Indeed, after only two months, sports fans in the area have already claimed Driggsy’s as their neighborhood hangout. The bar occupies the former Carlos Goldstein’s Mexican restaurant, but Driggs and his wife changed the layout a bit by knocking out the interior walls. Now it’s a wide-open space with several tables, a bar, a couple dart boards and about eight different TVs broadcasting sports.
Driggs didn’t just want to run a neighborhood bar. He also wanted to serve food—a more-upscale version of the typical sport bar edibles at a slightly higher price point. The menu focuses on seafood, burgers and appetizers with some atypical selections, such as the seafood linguini ($16), which is served with white wine pescatore sauce, clams, scallops and shrimp; and the steamed mussels ($14), which comes in a white wine sauce with shaved fennel.
The dish that people are talking about is the 50/50 Burger, which has a patty made of a quarter-pound of ground beef and a quarter-pound ground pork, and it’s served on a pretzel bun (all their burgers are served on pretzel buns). The 50/50 meat combo and the pretzel bun idea came to Driggs after a trip to the East Coast, where both options are somewhat more common than they are here.
The 50/50 burger also comes with cheese, a spicy garlic sauce and grilled onions. The pretzel bun is very tasty, though I am admittedly a sucker for soft pretzels. The mixture of pork and beef has an interesting flavor. The sharpness of the pork dominates, yet it’s accented by the juiciness of the beef. It’s a great burger, well worth the $12 price. It comes with fries or a salad, or for $2 more, onions rings, which are recommended because they are beer-battered.
Another favorite is the pork tinga quesadilla appetizer, which runs $10 at lunch, $9 at dinner or $5 during happy hour, which is between 4pm and 7pm. The meat is slow-braised pork shoulder, cooked for about six hours. The pork tastes great, although the quesadilla was loaded with too much cheese.
I ordered the salmon special ($18). The salmon was very tender and not overcooked—plus it’s fresh, not frozen. My order was supposed to come with asparagus, but instead I got carrots. Later, the sever noticed the mistake and immediately offered to correct it. For $14, I also ordered the fish and chips, which seemed a bit overpriced, since they weren’t all that different from what one can get for less at other seafood places.
Driggsy’s Seafood Sports Bar and Grill
1150 Murphy Ave., San Jose; 408.437.1986