Remember those signs on the way out into the desert: “Last Chance for Gas”?
Well, Roundin’ Third Sports Bar, tucked behind a 7-Eleven, is the proverbial “Last Chance for Booze” until Buellton.
Let us switch that around, though, and suggest all you Santa Barbarans got it wrong. For all the blue-collar workers in Gaviota, for all the locals in Ellwood, for all the retirees in Winchester Canyon? REPRESENT! This sports bar in a strip mall is actually your first chance for booze. And here you may stay.
The Roundin’ Third used to be Dalton’s, and that used to be The Falls, that most dive-iest of dive bars, where some of us on the mixologist tip used to have fond memories of an old cigarette machine (the one with the pull-out knobs), smoke-stained ceilings and clientele cashing in their disability checks. But that was several owners ago, and now Randy Johnston and his wife have turned Roundin’ Third into a small sports bar that likes to think big.
We’re not so crazy about the 11 (yes, 11!) plasma screen TVs in the place, providing, on an average night, about one per capita. (Of course, it didn’t stop us from getting sucked into a show on extreme wakeboarding.) Anyway, serving this night was Lacey Couchot, who has been here for one year. She may be petite, but she assures us she can handle this sometimes rowdy lot.
While the mixed drink of choice is a beer and a shot of either Jaeger, Hornitos or Jack Daniel’s, Couchot does have some other classics.
Her Bloody Mary is dark, moody and full of Worcestershire sauce. That’s spicy enough, but she uses Absolut Peppar as the vodka of choice, horseradish and Tabasco. This one will cure your hangover, mostly because it removes your head. The pearl onion, olive and green beans make a nice salad, which is always our favorite part of a Bloody Mary.
Couchot also promises a mean margarita, and yes, it does come in a pint glass. Her tequila of choice is Sol de Mexico Blanco. A tiny snifter of this says, “yes, this is one smooth beast.” In fact, the addition of triple sec, sweet-and-sour (Roundin’ Third’s homemade version) and Grand Marnier disguises the flavor a little. Our tip: Ask Couchot to hold off on at least one of these when she makes you one.
But she couldn’t let us leave without a shot, so we were introduced to her Mind Eraser. With brand new Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka and some Apple Pucker, we were told to drink this down in one go, through a straw, from the bottom to the top. So we did. It was like eating a caramel apple from the inside out. And because we didn’t lose our entire memory, we are here to make this our Drink of the Week.
3 counts Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
1 count Apple Pucker
1 count soda
1 count Sprite
In a lowball glass over ice, pour in Apple Pucker first, then slowly pour in vodka and top with soda and Sprite. Drink through a straw, bottom top.
ROUNDIN’ THIRD SPORTS BAR
7398 Calle Real at Ellwood Station Road, in Goleta