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Make Bonita's new All-Stars Sports Bar your destination for Super Bowl Sunday Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 31 2014 03:11 PM

Have you found a place to watch Sunday’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVIII? It might be frosty in the New Jersey/New York metro area when the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks, but you’ll be sure to find a warm, casual fun-filled atmosphere at Bonita’s All-Stars Sports Bar.

The establishment, located at 4076 Bonita Road, recently underwent a name change to reflect more of what embodied the concept, according to co-owner Elias Maroki.

“Not many places in the South Bay have what we have,” said Maroki, who owns the venture with his brother Tarik. “It’s more than just a sports bar. We have good food and good wine, but our forte is really our beer. We have 30 on tap and about 20 to 30 different brands in bottles.”

The owners are passionate about fun, sports, dining and food, and the new concept restaurant is perfect for a casual gathering with friends. It even has a private hookah bar.

 Appetizers are a must for any Super Bowl viewing party, and they are a real steal here, along with the specialty subs and sandwiches, especially the Philly cheese steak sub ($7.95) and the mesquite chicken panini ($8.95).

The sub is topped with mushrooms, peppers, onions and provolone cheese. The thin-sliced grilled beef is very tender and savory.

The panini includes pepper jack cheese, homemade chipotle aioli, fresh spinach and tomatoes. “You’ve got to be really hungry to finish our panini,” Elias Maroki said with a smile.

The pulled pork sandwich ($6.95) or pulled pork nachos ($8.95) also come highly recommended.

All sandwiches are served with fries, though customers may substitute a salad or onion rings for an additional $1.50.

Appetizers are $2 off during happy hour, which is pretty much all the time here. There are 20 TV monitors in the building (which can play eight different programs simultaneously). Any time there is a live sporting event being aired, the policy is to hold happy hour.

“With all the college and NFL games on Saturdays and Sundays, it was pretty much happy hour all day long,” Maroki said, smiling.

But beer and burgers aren’t the only appeal here.

The eatery offers a nice selection of gourmet wines to go with an all-star entrée line-up. Among the tasty dinner options are a 12 oz. New York steak, grilled salmon drizzled with lemon caper sauce, smoked barbecue ribs, fish and chips, seafood jambalaya and pasta.

“We want to be a family-oriented restaurant,” said Maroki, who pointed out that on Saturday and Sunday children 12 and under can eat for free at the restaurant with an accompanying adult.

The daily specials are what really captures the attention, however. Hamburgers (regularly $6.95) go for $5 on Monday (with fries) while customers can order a choice of chicken, beef, carne asada or fish tacos for $1 each on Taco Tuesday.

Wednesday features a $6.95 all-you-can-eat pasta dinner special while the $5 pulled pork sandwich takes the spotlight on Thursday.
Three-course dinner specials are $9.95 on Friday.

The $5 lunch menu (Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) may be the best deal in town. Specials include a half-pound of chicken on a Caesar salad, meatballs and marina spaghetti, ham or turkey panini or soup and salad.

The two homemade soups include clam chowder and chicken tortilla. The latter, with its chunky salsa broth, will warm up anyone on a cold winter or rainy day.

Besides American football broadcasts, Maroki said European and Mexican soccer matches also will be spotlighted, especially leading up to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Live music is offered on selected nights.

“So far, it’s been successful,” Maroki said. “We’re on the right track.”

Business hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Call 470-8000 or visit www.allstarsrestaurantandbar.com.

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