Get your own stein at the bar or enjoy a beer under a marlin.Before there was Cheeseburger in Paradise there was St. Maarten Café. Tucked away on the dark side of the Corner, backed up against the railroad tracks, St. Maarten’s has been inconspicuously serving up juicy burgers, solid wings, and beachy cocktails for almost twenty-five years. It won’t win any prizes for popularity, but it’s not for lack of things to like.

The entrance is as drab and non-descript as a speak-easy, but the interior is festive, draped with enough ocean-faring paraphernalia to make Captain Quint feel at home. There are fish tanks, giant marlins on the walls, shark fins, pirate flags, and more. Booths are arranged around the perimeter at a height one or two steps above the bar that dominates the center of the room, so you can have a better view of the bar scene* as you eat.

Black magic voodoo onions -- ridiculously good.The food is a mixed bag of sometimes creative takes on pub staples. The wings are standard quality, but spun in some unusually tasty sauces — there’s Sweet and Spicy Thai, Chipotle BBQ, and Honey Habanero. But if you like ‘em hot you have to go straight to the top and get the “Voodoo” sauce. Speaking of which, the prize-winning dish would have to be the Black Magic Onions and Jalapeños, which are thin red onions and jalapeño slices drenched in voodoo sauce, dredged in seasoned flour, and fried, served with ranch on the side. Dynamite! The burger is also above average, though you might as well pop over to Boylan Heights if your only goal is to have a good burger on the Corner.

* We have yet to go when there is much of a bar scene to observe, but there must be one, if only based on the number of party shots listed on the wall and the number pewter steins hanging from the bar with names of frequent customers engraved on them. You too can get one if you go often enough and drink beer enough.

Erin says: “Besides the waffle fries, my favorite thing about this place is they serve sea scallops on their late night menu. I want to see the person who orders sea scallops at 2 am.”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Black magic onions rings, personality, never crowded.

thumb_down 16 iconCons: No windows, feels a little empty much of the time.

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Burgers $8-9, entrées $8-12

car famfam 16 iconParking: Limited street parking, but there’s a garage across the street on Wertland.

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