Happy Hour Spotlight: Bahama Breeze Island Grille
Bahama Breeze | 3900 Orange Place | Beachwood, OH
Do you have any restaurants you take for granted? For me, the answer is Bahama Breeze. I always see it on the highway. I always see it when I visit Pinecrest. But the truth is, until recently, I hadn’t been there in 10 years. So, how can a restaurant chain bring back a lapsed customer? It’s easy … happy hour!
Bahama Breeze sits near Hampton Inn & Suites in Beachwood, at Interstate 271 and Harvard Road. Owned by Darden restaurant group, Bahama Breeze is a national chain with locations in 15 states. They specialize in Caribbean-themed food and drinks.
My mom and I recently visited the restaurant during its week-long celebration of National Rum Day (Friday, Aug.16). Specials included $4 painkillers, $3 Bahama mamas and $2 Captain Morgan and coke. We delightfully partook in the Bahama mamas and were thoroughly impressed. The drink was on par with anything I’ve sipped in the Bahamas—fresh juice and real sugar cane make a big difference.
Bahama Breeze’s happy hour has a variety of drink specials. Four dollars will net 20-ounce drafts, bottled beers and classic cocktails that feature vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila or gin; $5 brings a mojito, a margarita, a piña colada, a pineapple-coconut martini and a frozen Bahamarita® (fruit, tequila and cactus juice schnapps); $6 gets the cocktail of the month and six-ounce pours of select wines.
There’s a lot to like about the happy hour food offerings. For starters, there are 14 dishes from which to choose, with prices ranging from $5 to $8. The list includes beef empanadas, coconut shrimp, calamari, chorizo meatballs, Jamaican chicken wings and buttermilk chicken jibaritos (a sandwich made with fried green plantains).
My mom had the coconut shrimp while I chose the beef empanadas. Both were equally delicious and employed freshness, harmonious flavors and crisp, flaky coatings. The shrimp were accompanied by an appetizing citrus-mustard sauce; the empanadas came with tasty pineapple chutney and seasoned sour cream.
Bahama Breeze has two happy hours, available anywhere in the restaurant: Monday through Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. – close. Parking isn’t an issue, as a large lot surrounds the building. Outside of a semi-snarky hostess who was just ending a long shift, the service was solid—our bartender was knowledgeable and attentive.
Rating Scale & Verdict
🍷 🍷=Average 🍷🍷🍷=Good 🍷🍷🍷🍷=Excellent
🍷🍷🍷🍷 Bahama Breeze gets four wine glasses. When factoring in taste and number of dishes available, they’re in an elite class. Throw in a late night happy hour and this is a no-brainer. See you on the island (aka Beachwood). Cheers!