Last month we ventured out on a gorgeous Saturday evening for a double date on the Square. On the agenda: dinner and drinks at Sugarbacon followed by a show at the Comedy Arena. Insider tip: on weekends, at the bottom of the Sugarbacon receipt you'll find a 15% off coupon for tickets at the Comedy Arena for that evening.*
Eat, Drink: Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen
It had been a while since we had visited Sugarbacon and we were all excited to be back. If you haven't been, Sugarbacon serves New American cuisine with a southern flair. They also make some mean craft cocktails (try the Bee Sting), and have an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is cozy and it's one of those place where you could come dressed up or in jeans and a t-shirt and either way would be fine. When we arrived around 6:30pm, there was a wait for the main seating area but there were seats available at the bar and at hightop tables which are between the bar and the main dining section. As the live acoustic musician warmed up with his guitar, we grabbed a hightop and our server arrived promptly to greet us.
Our server also happened to be the sommelier; that night he was offering specials on certain bottles of wine and we grabbed a bold Tempranillo. If you end up at Sugarbacon and would like to order a bottle, ask for the sommelier - he can help you with your decision and who knows, maybe he will offer a deal as well! We started off with 2 appetizers for the table: Spaghetti Squash Hush Puppies with Green Chile Harissa and their classic, Sugarbacon (house-smoked pork belly with ancho bbq and pickles). The sugarbacon was good, but inconsistent; some pieces were tender and meaty while others had too much non-rendered fat. The hushpuppies were amazing - full of flavor and the chile harissa sauce was perfectly spicy.
On to the entrées: Prime Double Double Burger, Scottish Salmon, Caramelized Sea Scallops, and Baja-style Fish Tacos. Everyone was pleased with their meals and each plate left the table empty! The scallops came with a delectable poblano creamed corn which really made the dish. And the sides for the fish tacos were delicious - especially the black beans! All too often the sides for a Mexican dish are lacking in flavor, but not here. The black beans were super smoky, flavorful, and memorable. All in all, our meal at Sugarbacon was excellent and we will certainly be back. It took a while to get our bill after the meal, which normally we wouldn't mind so much, but we had a show to catch...
Be: The Comedy Arena
The beauty of a date night on the Square is that you can walk to all of your destinations! We strolled down Virginia to the Comedy Arena and arrived just in time for the 8:00 show. A few things we learned that we didn't know before: 1. The 8:00 show is a family-friendly show. No crude jokes, and no cursing allowed. If you prefer comedy that pushes the envelope, try the late night show instead! 2. The Comedy Arena is BYOB. (Upon learning this our husbands quickly walked to the Shell station across the street for a 6 pack).
The Comedy Arena is a great location for an entertainment venue, because it's a quick walk from the bars and restaurants on the Square. It's just at the end of Virginia, where it meets Route 5 (McDonald). When you check in you have the option to purchase "voting sticks" which you can use throughout the show to vote for either Team Red or Team Blue. The basic concept of ComedySportz is that there are 2 teams which compete in a variety of different improv sketches to win the most points by the end of the show. There is a "referee" who serves as an emcee; his role is to keep the show moving, penalize any corny jokes, place a *clean* toilet seat over the head of anyone with a "potty mouth", and determine winners (when the audience isn't voting). The venue is small, which means so is the crowd, which makes audience participation high. If you want to get on stage (and even if you don't) you have a high chance of that happening!
The Comedy Arena hosts ComedySportz improv shows, offers improv classes for any aspiring comedians in the
area, and they bring their show on the road for corporate training / team building sessions. If you're looking for stand up or edgy comedy, this probably wouldn't be the right show for you. It's good for a new experience in McKinney, and for those who like to keep it clean. Although we did enjoy ourselves, it is probably not a show we would return to . Maybe next time we'll give the late night show a try!
We are looking forward to our next Date Night in McKinney, and would love to hear your suggestions! Is there a place you'd like us to try out? We'll report back with our honest opinions on the experience. Let us know in the comments below which McKinney restaurant, bar, or event you'd like to read about next and we will add it to our list!
*Check with Sugarbacon or Comedy Arena for promo dates.