Tri-Tip Terrific: Grab a Meal at the Sandpiper Grill, Where Steak and Views Highlight the Experience
When you walk off the 18 green at Sandpiper GC, almost all of your senses are in heaven. The view is spectacular, possibly one of the best in Southern California. The weather is typically a perfect 75 degrees or so, depending on the time of year. And if it’s anywhere close to lunchtime, and the Sandpiper Grill has the outdoor grill fired up, wafting towards you is the smell of tri-tip being freshly cooked just yards away.
There’s not much pomp and circumstance to the Sandpiper Grill. The restaurant has a pretty small interior with five or six tables, but the large outdoor patio is the place to be. With a perfect view of the 18 green and the Pacific Ocean, it’s one of the most serene spots to sit and eat a meal in the Santa Barbara area.
So, what to order? The Sandpiper Grill has a pretty typical golf course menu, but certainly specializes in its tri-tip, which is served in a variety of ways. The meat, which is marinated in a secret combination of spices, is cooked on the large, outdoor, wood-fired grill adjacent to the outdoor patio, on wood procured from the nearby Rancho San Marcos GC (a sister course).
The menu highlight has to be the Sandpiper Tacos, and while they come with either chicken, tri-tip or carnitas, we strongly suggest the tri-tip, which is some of the most tender and flavorful meat you’ll ever taste. Served on corn tortillas, which have been perfectly heated and toasted on the large grill, with fresh cilantro and onions, the tacos also come with chips and homemade salsa, another can’t-miss item.
But if Southwestern flavors aren’t your thing, the delicious tri-tip can also be found in the tri-tip wrap, which hits a different flavor palette and is doused with BBQ sauce inside of a large flour tortilla with lettuce, tomato and onion. You can also get the same combination of items on a hoagie roll as a sandwich instead, and might we suggest throwing some cheese on there as well.
Before we move on from the tri-tip (are we sounding fixated yet?), we implore you to order a side of the tri-tip chili. With optional fixings like shredded cheese and onion, you can top the wonderfully warm and flavorful chili to perfection.
Once inside Sandpiper Grill, you can step up and order at the window, which is highlighted by a large, colorful menu board above. On it, you’ll see a number of golf course classics, including a club sandwich, pulled pork sandwich, cobb salad and a burger, which you can get topped with slices of fresh avocado. They also have an above average all beef hotdog.
And if you are lucky enough to have a tee time that allows you to eat both breakfast and lunch at Sandpiper Grill, be sure and arrive early enough to indulge. While the view of the Pacific may be fogged in, grab a table inside and feast on the breakfast burrito, which comes with a side of the aforementioned homemade salsa. Or, yes, go for the Huevos Rancheros, two eggs on corn tortillas with cheese and salsa that comes with, you guessed it, slices of trip-tip steak.
Breakfast may be topped off with a mimosa, but for the lunch crowd, please note the two local Santa Barbara beers on tap: the 805 Firestone and the Easy Jack Firestone DBA. While Sandpiper Grill has a full bar, a number of specialty cocktails, and all the domestic beers you’d expect, it’s hard not to turn to an 805 to satisfy your taste buds and compliment your tri-tip tacos after a round that had you searching for golf balls along the Pacific.