Back in the fall, I won a drawing for a $100 gift card for dinner…
Well, it’s been quite a while since I commented on our experiences with local restaurants. While I don’t focus on restaurant reviews, I do share my experiences. Be sure to check out my friend at Huntsville Eats for full restaurant reviews. Over the last couple of months, Lori and I have visited a number of places, so here goes.
I enjoy a great burger and like trying them in different spots. My first experience at Farm Burger was a lunch meeting of a number of the Rocket City Bloggers. Bo Williams was one of them and wrote about the experience (You can read his review here.) I thought the burger was very good. The fries were also very good and on the lunch special, I got quite a few. I had to eat a fair number of fries before I could get a hold of the burger. The structure of Farm Burger is you stand in line to order, then sit down with a number and they bring it to you. When we went the line was long, but moved quickly. Another HUGE plus for Farm Burger is that they have Abita Root Beer on tap (Along with a lot of craft brews). I’m a huge fan of the root beer and there are very few places in town that serve it. Better yet, it was included with the lunch special. The biggest downside was the noise. Sitting at a table in the middle of the restaurant, we were trying to carry on a conversation and I could barely hear the people on either side of me.
A few weeks ago, Lori and I went back on a Friday night for dinner. When we arrived the line was quite short and we moved through rather quickly. We ordered our burgers, a fry to share and of course I had to get the root beer (Oh yeah – did I mention FREE REFILLS). Again, the burger was very tasty, cooked the way we asked and we both enjoyed it. However, with many of the options costing extra, paying for the burger, the fries, drink, etc., it ended up being quite an expensive dinner. The noise was slightly less than the last time we were there, but we could also make out the bass thump from the fitness outift on the second floor.
My take – the burger is very good and I would not hesitate to go at lunch with the lunch special, however, I would probably pass on dinner. I think some of the other burgers in town are just as tasty and a lot less expensive (but no root beer).
Bandito Burrito Madison
Bandito Burrito opened a new location in Madison just west of the University/Jeff Rd. Intersection. While many restaurants have been in this location, I’m hoping Bandito Burrito will outlast the others. Most recently, Jefferson’s was in the space. We always enjoy going to BB, but heading down to the Governor’s Drive location has to be when we are heading somewhere else. One weekend night, we decided to try it out. The space has more inside seating than the Governor’s location. The process is very similar – go up and order, then sit down and they bring it to you. This location has a good selection of craft and other beers both on tap and in the bottle. (No root beer yet though….seeing a theme….) We ordered and our food was delivered quickly. As always, everything was great and the pricing is very fair. With a plethora of similar places, I still think BB has some of the best Mexican food in town. My take: We will certainly visit more since it is now much more convenient to our house.
BJ’s Brewhouse – Bridge Street
Another outing to Bridge Street and Lori wanted to try BJ’s Restaurant. Luckily, she called and asked and while they don’t take reservations, they do take call ahead seating. We were already on “the list” when we arrived. I’m still not sure exactly how this works, but we were seated about 20 minutes or so after we arrived. BJ’s bills itself as a Brewhouse so you would expect a good selection of beers. They delivered on a wide selection including their own house brews as well as a variety of local craft brews and the usual suspects. I tried one of their lagers and it was good, but I probably would go back to something I know the next time. As far as the food, the menu is quite varied. Lori ordered the ribs and I had the Deep Dish Ziti pasta dish. I really wanted to try their meatballs and Italian sausage which are included in the ziti. The sausage was good, but the meatballs weren’t entirely to my liking. I’m very picky when it comes to meatballs. The dish includes 5 different cheeses in the sauce. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was one flavor in the sauce that was a bit overwhelming and I felt the sauce was out of balance. I wasn’t sure about ordering BBQ ribs here, but they were surprisingly good. The price difference between a half rack and a full rack was only a few dollars, so I had Lori order the full rack. The meat was very tender, well-flavored and came right off the bone. I’m glad I talked her into the full rack because I had planned on having a fair number left for lunch the next day, but we just about cleaned them up. This was certainly the better of the two dishes we ordered.
My take: I would go back, but I wouldn’t go out-of-the-way to do it. And if the wait is too long, not worth it.
Hildegard’s German Cuisine
On a recent Friday night, after visiting the Wine Cellar for their Friday night tasting, Lori wanted to get some German food for dinner. My heritage is German and I certainly enjoy eating German food, but for some reason, we just don’t eat it that often. Previously, we would go from the Wine Cellar to the Hildegards at the corner of Whitesburg and Bob Wallace. However, a new location, Hildegard’s Biergarten, had opened in 2015 much closer to our house and I suggested that we try that one instead. I had planned on visiting for lunch and scheduled a lunch meeting there one Monday – before looking to see that they are closed on Mondays. The location is just east of Old Monrovia Road and University, behind the Casa Blanca. We arrived and it was still early and was not too busy. We discovered that Friday nights they feature a Dinner Buffet for $12.95 which let you have a little of the most popular dishes along with the red cabbage and fried German potatoes. Since most of the entrees were about the same price, we opted for the buffet. All the usual suspects were there including Schnitzel (two types), sausages, cucumber salad, and other entrees and sides. The only thing is that the dessert section was a bit lacking, but with what I had already eaten, that was actually a good thing. You could of course opt to order some of their fabulous desserts, but we passed that night. They also have a very good selection of beers as you would expect including German and domestic. Pricing is very reasonable.
My take: Surprisingly, Huntsville has quite the selection of German restaurants and Hildegard’s Biergarten is right up there with the rest of them. Now that I know they have the buffet on Fridays, I will be back to have a little bit of all of my favorites, instead of having to make a choice.
So there you have it – catching up on a lot of the places we’ve been. The opinions expressed are mine (with Lori’s mixed in) and I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
Sorry for the lack of pictures – I often forget that I’m supposed to take them when the food arrives. By the time I remember, I’m well into eating them!