Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dropping Into the Shwack

The Shwack Beach Grill
24502 Del Prado
Dana Point, CA 92629

My boss has been talking almost non-stop about The Shwack. He has told me his wife had been and really liked it, so he wanted to know my take on it. I think he just really likes saying the name of this restaurant. It kind of rolls off of the tongue. Shwack.

The Shwack is a brand new burger spot in Dana Point. Opened this summer, they feature burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads. The vibe here is definitely beach casual, with a very heavy surfer influence. Owner Max Fisher, a local surfer has opened his first restaurant in a building that formerly housed a Starbucks. The coffee is all gone, and in its place are surfboards hanging on the walls and Bob Marley wailing over the speakers. Let's see if the food is going to make us hang ten, or wipe out.

After ordering at the counter, we sat down at the wooden tables inside. They have about ten tables inside, and more out on the patio in front. Just in case you missed the numerous surfing items here, they have a copy of various surfing magazines on each table.

I had looked at the menu before coming here, so I was all set to order the Big Al's Bacon Burger. This bacon cheese burger comes with crispy onions and BBQ sauce. I liked the bun and it stood up to the burger, but it was a little too bready for me. The patty was seasoned well, but I would have liked a little more barbecue sauce on this. For some reason the bacon did not really stand out for me here. I would equate this to a decent backyard burger.

As I was eating my burger, Katie could not stop going on about her Good Vibes Veggie Burger. Calling it, "the best veggie burger I have ever had". Even now, two weeks later she tells me that she still thinks about this burger. The veggie burger here is made with mushrooms, onion, zucchini, potato, and quinoa. Then it is topped with Shwack sauce, tomato, arugula, and Swiss cheese. Just in case she did not get enough vegetables, she also added avocado to this burger. We were told that this burger takes 7 hours to make from start to table. Katie did not feel this was trying to be meat, but could stand on its own.  I tried this and thought it was okay, but I am more a fan of beef.

Instead of fries, they offer Shwack Spuds here. The half moon potatoes are baked, and then fried in a canola oil. You can definitely tell that these are freshly made, but I would have liked these a little more crisp. Also, the seasoning was a little bland for my taste. What did help these out a bit was the Jalapeno Bacon Ranch dressing that was served with these. Good consistency and a decent flavor. Very good ranch dressing.

I can say I am not in love with The Shwack, but it does have a lot of good things going for it. The energetic, good looking staff really brought the place to life. The prices here are very good as well. No hamburger goes for more than $6. The menu is limited, but I have heard good things about the Ahi Tuna Burger, as well as the breakfast that has started being served last week. Not in the mood for a hamburger? They also offer four different salads.

I hope they will expand their side items to include some onion rings, or zucchini. I will definitely ask for more BBQ sauce next time I am here, and maybe a side of the Shwack sauce to make the burger pop with more flavor. I would definitely come by the Shwack again. The burger was good enough, and I know that Katie will want to have the veggie burger again soon. Anything to keep her happy.

So out of five kook's, (in surfing lingo a kook is a surfer of limited skill, and I definitely qualify as that), five being best to zero being worst,  The Shwack Beach Grill gets 2.5 kooks.

For more information on The Shwack, click here:

The Shwack Beach Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. I think you are totally off on your rating scale. I give it a 5 as five being the best.

  2. Anonymous - I am looking forward to trying Shwack again. We drove by there the other night, and it looks like it is really taking off. Every time we go by there Katie always droll's over that veggie burger. We will try it again soon. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Someone just emailed me about this place and said it's been a favorite of their family's since it opened three years ago. Looked to see if you reviewed it and by golly, you have - thanks for writing it up. Willing to go back again to see what's up? I'm thinking of swinging by some time this summer since I've never been!

  4. Minerva - For sure. We would love to try it with you guys. Katie's in love with the veggie burger here, and I of course can always be persuaded to have a burger. We will definitely set it up. Thanks for taking the time to comment.