Back on the Right Track
Words and photos by Steven Hicks
Over the past few years, Downtown Melbourne has become quite the destination for shopping, events and food. What was once a street with Meg O’Malley’s, Matt’s Casbah and Main Street Pub as its primary offerings, New Haven Avenue is now alive with new and interesting eateries. You could eat three meals a day downtown for a week and not visit at the same place twice!
Back on the Right Track
But one of these “new” places has been there all along. Through thick and thin, or maybe feast and famine, Off the Traxx has weathered the storm that was the old downtown Melbourne and is now poised to reap in the ongoing renaissance. In many ways, the old Off the Traxx faced the same problems as Downtown Melbourne, trying to be everything to everybody, but under a new partnership group led by Billy Puzino, as well as Keith Johnson (GM), Keith Dawson (Night Manager), Linda Lentini (Bar Manager) and Kevin Reardigan (Kitchen Manager), Off the Traxx has surely found its way.
Off the Traxx still offers food for any appetite, and is still a great place to go in the evening for wings and beers with friends, but the place has been revived. The food is better, the bar is better. The outside deck in the back is one of downtown’s hidden gems and features live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. It is still a sports bar; the perfect place to watch your favorite college or NFL football game (and maybe win $1000 every week!), but shoppers love the inviting tables looking over the street, and friends now find it ideal for a lunch after golf. If Melbourne has one thing in regards to restaurants, it is a discerning eye and palate, and Off the Traxx has raised their game to satisfy it, preparing some of the best food in the city in a modern, fun atmosphere. They’ve even improved the facilities and WiFi service.
Bigger is Better
At Off the Traxx, bigger is better and that is seen in the portions and flavors. They try to exceed anyone’s expectation of quality by purchasing only the very best fresh ingredients. All their salads and veggies are cut fresh for entrée salads and pizza toppings. The menu features fresh dishes, all made from scratch. Try their signature French Onion soup, also made fresh. We suggest you try their Traxx Bruschetta, with chunks of vine ripe tomatoes, fire roasted red peppers, Vidalia onions, garlic and fresh basil tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. It is served with fresh baked garlic baguette slices.
Go for Happy Hour, Stay for Dinner
Certainly, you can count on Off the Traxx for Happy Hour specials, and we love that the domestic beers and imports are divided into “Home Team Beers” and “Away Team Beers,” but don’t be surprised if that after a beer and maybe some wings, you decide to stay for dinner. You’ll choose from pastas, seafood and signature dishes including their famous Boom-Boom Shrimp. Off the Traxx Pizzeria also serves the best pizza in Melbourne 7 days a week until 2:00 a.m.
We’d said earlier that you could eat three meals a day downtown and never visit the same place twice, but you could also do very well to eat here three times a day and never order the same thing twice.
Be sure to put Off the Traxx on your trick-or-treat list this year as their third annual “Terror on the Traxx” attracts hundreds of costumed partiers along with food trucks, drinks and live music by Shwayze well past the bewitching hour on Halloween night. Follow Off the Traxx on Facebook for more details on this famous downtown event.