Review: Maribelle’s Tavern

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:

Maribelle-- crab cake with garlic mayonnaise

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.

Maribelle-- broccoli and gruyere soup

Drew and Wendy got the Broccoli and Gruyere soup. Strangely, it was topped with cheddar. It wasn’t bad– creamy with tons of broccoli.

Maribelle-- flatbread with four cheeses

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.

Maribelle-- chipotle burger

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.

Maribelle-- burger

Jay, like he did at Arnold’s, got the fish sandwich with cheese. He liked it (and the pickle).

Maribelle-- fish sandwich

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!

Maribelle-- pork chop

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?

Maribelle's Tavern on Urbanspoon

  • Dan

    On Tuesdays I meet friends for drinks and dinner after work. We go to Maribelle’s probably once every two months or so. We like it as ‘Burger Jackpot’ is on Tuesday and a burger and side is only like $6. We also like their service which keeps us coming back. Sometimes someone will not have a good meal but when you have like 10 people in a group, I just expect that. It has a nice interior and to put up with us all . . that’s why we like it!

  • Drew Vogel

    Define “bureaucracy”.

  • Julie

    Just a joke, Drew. :)

  • Drew Vogel

    Ah. I see.

  • Julie

    I mean, Ron tells me that there’s an FBI background check, ten references, a physical (!), an obstacle course, a quiz on MST3K that you have to get an 80% or above to pass.. I mean, if THAT’S what we have to do, guest status is just fine with me.

  • Drew Vogel

    It’s actually _much more_ complicated than that.

  • Julie

    Does it involve those boxing gloves at chin-and-crotch level that you have to run through?

  • Rebecca

    Went there for Saturday brunch a few months back, the burger (if I recall!) was pretty tasty… a little above average at best. Our server raved about the mac & cheese, so my friend and I ordered a side to share… like the burger, just kinda average. I do have to say the delicious bloody mary made up for the so-so meal!

  • Julie

    Rebecca– I had an (unpictured) pomegranate martini that I really liked– a well balanced, not-too-sweet, not-too-overbearingly-alcohol-tasting beverage that I’d totally go back and get again.

  • Jaime

    We tried it and pretty much felt the same way. We had the cheesy flatbread appetizer and it was great. Husband had a burger and I had the salmon club. Both were good but not awesome. The service was great though. I would go back and give it another try, we weren’t disappointed by any means, it just wasn’t absolutely off the hook delicious, but it was good. We ate on the patio which was nice, you can see the river thru the houses and there was a nice breeze.

  • Cin Twin1

    Better bring your pepper spray next time you go…the east end is DANGEROUS now! Hee Hee, I like saying stuff like that when all of the focus is usually downtown.

  • Julie

    Cin Twin– we ate there the night that lawyer’s body was dumped, actually. Then a week later that guy got held up at gunpoint!