Meet Bob and Liz Sarras. A brother sister team, living out their dreams at Bates Bar & Grill.
“Bates Bar & Grill is my and my brother dreams come true. Most of the time it’s great working with her but there’s been occasions where I want to throw things at her. We’re just two kids living our dream in a restaurant.”
Located in Braintree, Bates Bar & Grill is a casual spot serving elevated pub grub, pizzas and Greek specialties. Since the Sarras siblings grew up working in their parents’ Greek pizza place, they’ve always had a passion for hospitality.
“From a child, my dad was always in the restaurant industry and I remember going into kitchen to see my dad and I would see all these chefs and it would always wow me.”
So the two set up a space that’s cozy yet classy.
“It’s a nice comfortable atmosphere open, inviting. We want you to be able to come in for a good bite, a drink, a laugh or two and just hang out with your friends.”
And their menu is lined with all of the good stuff.
“It’s comfort food. It’s finger food that you want to eat with a fork but then you just dig right in with your hands”
And while French Fries usually are a finger food, you’ll probabl want to use a fork on these sidewinder spuds- especially if you order the Chowder Fries.
“What is New England known for besides clam chowder? Homemade clam chowder that we put on top of our crispy fries again, top them with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, some crispy fresh cut bacon. Bake them in the oven, and when they come out we just drizzle a little bit of greenery on top, make it look pretty for you.”
There’s this pile up of Pulled Pork- slathered with caramelized onions, melted mozzarella and cheddar.
And these ones loaded up with housemade chili.
“It takes us a couple of hours to make our chili with some shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese on top. Top them with jalapenos, tomatoes. Like I said, you want to eat them with a fork and knife but at the end of the day you just pick them up with your fingers and devour them.”
Other hand held ways to kick off your meal include Bates’ chicken wings- available with the bone and boneless.
And their handmade Cheesesteak egg rolls served with sriracha ketchup.
“We start off with shredded shaved steak mixed in our mozzarella cheddar cheese and then we take the shells of fresh egg rolls, and we put the steak in and hand roll our egg rolls and deep-fry them for you.
The shell is a little crunchy for you and then the interior is a nice gooey cheesy steak.”
And given their family’s pizzeria background, you know their pie is gonna be on point.
“We’ve had this recipe for quite some time. We make our own dough in-house and it’s kind of a mix between a Greek style pizza and a pub pizza.”
And while the dough is a classic, the topping combinations are most definitely modern. There’s the Clam Chowder pizza which uses their creamy chowder in place of marinara and this pie which has all the flavor of a burger on top of a pizza.
“It’s a burger on top of a pizza. It’s ground up hamburger meat topped with bacon, baked in the oven and then when it comes out we top it with your traditional cheeseburger toppings: lettuce, diced pickles, red onion, ketchup, and mustard. It tastes like a pizza and a burger. You can have both in one world.”
But if you ask these two Greeks what their favorite is, they’ll direct you to the Grecian.
“Well, the Grecian is one of my favorite because eating pizza you always feel guilty, but with our Grecian pizza, it’s topped with pretty much a Greek salad.”
“You’re getting that delicious piece of chicken, the greasiness of a pizza, a Greek style pizza, but with a little bit of healthiness on top with the salad. I can’t even explain to you in words how good that pizza is.”
Other traditional specialties include their Greek Pita- stuffed with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and feta and something called Souvlaki Sticks- tender pork skewers marinated, grilled and drizzled with fresh lemon.
“It’s fresh, it’s tasty, we give you a couple of skewers. It’s exactly how you get it in Greece.”
And the BBQ Steak Tips are exactly how you remember them if you visited the Sarras’ old restaurant.
“Our steak tips are actually pretty, pretty famous. We’ve had our recipe for over 20 years. We have people from all over the place driving in just to get them. Super tender. We marinate them for a minimum of two days before we serve them. So the flavor’s there, the tenderness is there, you just can’t get enough of them.”
When it comes to sandwiches, the Bates kitchen really shines, whether you go for the Sweet n Sticky Burger topped with bacon, grilled pineapple and Swiss or try their crispy Buttermilk Chicken sandwich topped with spicy slaw.
“When you first bite in you get that chicken flavor and then the sweetness and the spiciness of this coleslaw just comes in. It all blends together and there’s not one word that can really describe it. It’s just amazing.”
And for an open faced option you’ve got to try order the Pulled Pork.
“We oven roast our pulled pork for about 10 hours and then…top it with our own homemade sauce. Top it with some caramelized onions and our spicy coleslaw right on top of that. It comes open-faced for you, but a lot of people just take the two pieces of bread and just smoosh them together for a mountain of a meat and coleslaw.”
And whether you slam back a sandwich.
Go for some Greek or wolf down some wings, you’re going to have a lotta clean plates…when you eat at Bates.
Bates Bar & Grill
2 Commercial Street
Braintree, MA 02184