A group of friends has a dinner club, and though we’re not official members (bureaucracy!), Terry and I have been invited pretty consistently over the past year or so. Their selection last month was Maribelle’s Tavern in the East End.
Ted, whose month it was to pick, insists I suggested Maribelle’s. I’ve never eaten there before. I think we discussed cake (Maribelle Cakery, the best in the city for my money) and burgers in the East End (you know, Terry’s Turf Club) and somehow he got the idea that I loved Maribelle’s. He also thinks I’m crazy. I think we just talk about a lot of food.
Anyway, about twelve of us ventured there a couple of Saturdays ago. It’s sort of easy to miss– Terry and I drove right past it the first time. It has a laid-back atmosphere, and two levels. They (wisely) put our loud group on the second floor.
We started off with appetizers:
Terry and I had the crab cake. Though it was chock full of good sized bits of crab, it was really, really peppery– to the point where all I could taste was black pepper. The garlic mayonnaise had an odd texture– as if it had an emulsifier in it besides egg.
Drew and Wendy got the Broccoli and Gruyere soup. Strangely, it was topped with cheddar. It wasn’t bad– creamy with tons of broccoli.
Sorry about the blurry picture. Jay got the flatbread with four cheeses, which was the best of the appetizer. I’m also a sucker for balsamic and cheese. Good flavors.
We went for burgers for dinner– which is what they are known for. I got the chipotle burger, which had onions, asian slaw, chipotle barbecue sauce and swiss cheese. The flavors were nice, and inspired us to change the chipotle ketchup in the Bon Appetit burger recipe to chipotle barbecue sauce, but the burger was very overdone and not juicy at all. I did like the waffle fries, which were seasoned and crispy.
Terry got the All American burger. Same story– overdone, but he didn’t have the benefit of the barbecue sauce, cheese and slaw to balance out the overdoneness.
Jay, like he did at Arnold’s, got the fish sandwich with cheese. He liked it (and the pickle).
The produce was very fresh with all of the sandwiches– nice ripe tomatoes, as you can see.
Kristy was a fan of the pork chops with apple chutney. The portion was huge– she had enough for another meal!
At the other end of the table, Ted and Tracy got burgers and really enjoyed them. I’d say that we’d return to try the food again, but they have to work on consistency. One end of the table shouldn’t have overdone burgers while the other’s is done properly. I’d also cut back on the pepper in several of the dishes– they used a little too heavy a hand in seasoning.
Our service was very good– I always give servers credit for handling this particular crowd, and our server did a great job. We ended up moving downstairs for a few beers during the torrential rainstorm that occured right as we were leaving.
Have you guys been here? Was the mediocre food a one-off situation?