Monday, May 27, 2013

B. Merry Gastropub – Stuart, FL

I popped down to Orlando to visit some friends and family. I hadn’t seen Coach’s brother LBJ in a while and decided to exploit him for a place to sleep for the night and have some hang-out time. It was a blast. We headed out to dinner with his girlfriend ChristiNA, and hit up a casual restaurant in a hallway called B.Merry. The restaurant is situated behind some clothing shops and you have to walk between the shops (inside) to get to the restaurant. There are tables and a courtyard that the restaurant has setup in the hallway and courtyard for its guests. It was also the local high school’s prom, so we had plenty of comments about many of the hoary outfits we saw, including one girl who couldn’t commit all the way and was wearing what appeared to be a white t-shirt underneath her really revealing dress.

The menu has lots of sandwiches and burgers, along with some seafood and salads. There is also a thorough hand-written beer list that changes daily/weekly. The server recommended a few things from the beer list and gave us very good descriptions of many of them. I got a black cherry beer – like kriek or framboise – really quite good. Then I got an Elder Betty (from Magic Hat) that was pretty darn good – good enough I’d order it again or even buy some.

The deep fried mac and cheese fritters sounded really intriguing to us, especially since it came with sriracha ranch to dip. The server offered to wrap them in bacon, but we thought that would be unnecessary and overkill – just standard presentation would be fine. And it WAS just fine. LBJ, who doesn’t even care for mac and cheese that much really liked these. They were cheesy macaroni spirals deep fried into balls. Nothing out of a box here – all hand done. Pretty impressive and delicious. I’m glad we got these.

We all had a tough time deciding on food, but I was in the mood for a good burger with creative ingredients. I had it narrowed down to two and asked the server which I should get. He helped me decide by saying I should get the Purple Haze but also order a fried egg on top. A wonderful idea.

The Purple Haze had roasted purple beets, goat cheese, cucumbers on it, and then with the fried egg, it worked its magic into every bite. The meat was really quality stuff – the server said they use some rib meat, ground in with the chuck for better flavor. I wish there were more beets on there – but, I realize not everyone likes beets. They were on there, but I wish they were more of a powerhouse flavor. The goat cheese was also awesome. But like I said, the fried egg was the champion of the day – oozing into all the crevices. Be warned they cook their meat a couple notches more than requested. LBJ told me he ordered his well done once and it came out REALLY well done. So I ordered mine medium and it came out well done – no pink at all (still delicious, though). I’d recommend ordering medium rare if you like any pink at all. The hand-cut fries were better than average. I’m not a fry connoisseur, but they are better than a lot of fries I’ve had.

ChristiNA ordered a Mother Earth – sort of a vegetarian sandwich. It looked good and she said it was good, but after the monstrosities that LBJ and I ate, I feel like it would not have been able to stand up to scrutiny. LBJ got a sandwich called The Dip – it’s a pot roast sandwich with a bowl of French onion soup to dip the sandwich into. He said it was really good and didn’t have any trouble eating it all faster than anyone else at the table.

Overall, this non-chain restaurant was exactly what I needed. The server made sure all our questions were answered and was pretty frank about some of our questions – he’s a full disclosure with humor sort of guy. Plus, we got to go surprise Coach and LBJ’s mother after dinner, since she didn’t know I was in the area. Wonderful night!

Top 5 things about B.Merry
1. Purple Haze burger with a fried egg on top
2. Deep fried mac and cheese fritters
3. Betty
4. Hilarious server
5. Really good approachable but not snooty combinations of ingredients on many menu items

Bottom 5 things
1. Meat was cooked a notch or two more than requested
2. It would be easy to walk past this place if you didn’t know it was behind the shops
3. Menu and beer list had way too many delicious-sounding items to make a decision easy
4. The food isn’t cheap, but frankly, it was worth the $13 I paid for the burger. Just be ready
5. The musician in the courtyard was more distracting than attracting

No comments: