A seemingly simple burger counter, Princess Cruises' Salty Dog Grill offers rich flavors (think Gruyere, Gouda, and sweet potato-green chili) you wouldn't expect to find on a cruise ship pool deck.
Princess Cruises' second at-sea dining venue as part of its partnership with Los Angeles-based chef Ernesto Uchimura, the Salty Dog Grill is a casual, bathing suits-welcome poolside burger counter with gourmet ambitions. On first glance, Salty Dog Grill doesn't look like much, and an experienced cruiser cannot be blamed for expecting the average lineup of hamburgers and hot dogs. There's a plain-looking counter and a line of people waiting to place their order -- all just steps away from the pool. But unlike other poolside burger spots, and like Uchimura's other Princess eatery, Salty Dog Gastropub, the Grill has hidden depths -- of flavor, that is.
The star of the Salty Dog show is the "Ernesto" burger, which was created by Chef Uchimura for Princess Cruises (originally for the Salty Dog Gastropub). It features a fresh ground rib eye and short rib patty with grilled pork belly, aged Gruyere, caramelized kimchi, beer-battered jalapeno, and charred onion aioli. But it's certainly not the only option at the grill. Other burgers on offer are the triple smoked burger with hickory-smoked bacon jam, smoked Gouda and barbecue onion sauce; and the "Princess Classic" burger with tomato, lettuce and red onion, plus a choice of Swiss, cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese.
There is no turkey burger option, but cruisers can choose a grilled chicken sandwich featuring rosemary and extra virgin olive oil-infused grilled chicken breast, with dill and lemon aioli, cucumber and tomato.
Other menu options are the two "street tacos": grilled chipotle-lime chicken with corn and black bean salsa and cilantro lime avocado cream; and sweet potato-green chili with black beans, cheddar cheese and maple syrup. You get two tacos with each order.
Also on offer is the "Salty Dog," an all-beef hot dog that's more sausage like than frankfurter, with your choice of toppings, and the "Salty" chili cheese dog, as well as loaded fries with either chili cheese or bacon and cheese.
Salty Dog Grill does not offer veggie burgers, but the sweet potato-green chili taco is vegetarian.
Note: This is a sample menu only. Items are subject to change based on ship and itinerary.
All food items are free at Salty Dog Grill, except the "Ernesto" burger, which costs $5 for just the burger or $8 for the burger and a beer (seven choices, all normally priced between $6 and $6.25).
A pop-up restaurant dubbed the Salty Dog Gastropub, which features a slightly different menu and is only offered at night, also can be found on other Princess ships.