Waiting For The Next Trip…

Posted September 19, 2009 by nestertg
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We haven’t been to Mick’s in a while, but will be returning soon.  We’ve just been busy, and haven’t had time.  I plan to eat there for lunch one day this week, so check back for an update!


Trip #4 – Working Lunch

Posted September 10, 2009 by nestertg
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I joined a few of my colleagues for lunch at Mick’s today; a good excuse to continue my quest and it wasn’t even my idea!  I’m sure my constant raving to anyone who will listen helped plant the idea in someone’s head, since you can only hear about how good something is for so long before you have to try it for yourself.  I’m only reviewing my meal for today, as no one was willing to share for the sake of the blog – not even Jennifer!

Guests: Me, Jenn, Multiple colleagues from work, and one USMC Captain who is going to have to run about 10 miles to pay for the Big Mick Burger he ate
Table: 33, several tables pushed together in the middle for our large lunch group
Server: Brittany (there was another server for our party, but I didn’t catch her name)
Appetizer: Fried Pickles, Chips w/salsa/queso/guacamole
Jenn: Grilled Chicken, but I didn’t try it
Me: Patty Melt w/fries, Diet Dr Pepper
Dessert: None – C’mon – it’s only lunch!

We ordered the fried pickles, with a disclaimer that they were still trying to perfect the recipe.  The pickles are sliced into chips instead of the typical fried spears I’ve had elsewhere;  they had a good flavor, but need to be sliced thinner and cooked a bit longer.  I would also prefer more breading, but that’s just a personal “fried food” preference of mine; most patrons would be fine with the light breading.  The chips were normal restaurant style chips with guacamole, salsa, and queso.  I didn’t try the salsa and I don’t like guacamole, so the queso was the winner.  It could use some spice; it was good, but needs something else.  Habanero, perhaps?

I had previously stated that the Big Mick Burger was almost a patty-melt style sandwich; well, almost.  Having now experienced the actual Patty Melt, I can see the difference between the two and recognize the error in my previous description.  I may have spoken too soon when I said that it would be difficult to order something other than the Big Mick Burger – the Patty Melt is now THE standard!  The rye, the onions, the swiss, the ground beef smashed and grilled to perfection… one of the staff commented that the Patty Melt is Mick’s favorite, and I can see why.  Mick, you have good taste.

Everyone at the table was impressed with the design, decor, and transformation from the old to new (I’d never been in there before it was Mick’s).   As far as the food, most everyone seemed to enjoy it, although a couple weren’t too impressed.  I can’t speak for them, however, as I don’t do secondhand reviews.

11 items down!  Tomorrow night we’ll be taking my parents to check it out – I should be able to get two or three things reviewed, at least.  Until then…

Yelp Update..

Posted September 9, 2009 by nestertg
Categories: Uncategorized

There are now 3 bad reviews posted; the newest one is also from a user with only one review.  This is disturbing!

Yelp – Yikes!!

Posted September 9, 2009 by nestertg
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You may have noticed that I took down the link to the reviews of Mick’s on Yelp.  This is the short version:

I find a place that I like enough to work through the menu and blog about, so I decided to write a review on Yelp.  There were about 8 reviews yesterday, and only 2 were bad.  Once was by someone who just didn’t like the food – that’s fair enough.  If you don’t like it, you don’t like it.

The other negative review, however, from a “Tony C.” wasn’t just about the food.  His review covered everything about the place; comprehensive?  Sure.  Accurate?  Not really.  His obvious insider knowledge of the food service industry leads me to believe that he works (or has worked) at a restaurant or similar type of business.  His review of Mick’s is the only one he has on Yelp; the same goes for me, of course, as Mick’s was my first review on Yelp.  I don’t understand the concept behind starting up an account just to leave one bad review; that just sounds suspicious.

I did some research on the web and discovered a trend with Yelp reviews; some disappear, some get moved mysteriously, and some never get posted.  Toss it up to the software model if you like, but there have been accusations that some businesses were promised better reviews and fewer negative ones for upgraded pay-services through Yelp.  I don’t know if that’s true, but today there are only 2 reviews for Mick’s – the bad ones.  Of all the reviews that could have been marked as fake or “malicious” they left the most obvious one.

There is a “Flag” option for reviews – my guess is someone flagged the other reviews.  I have flagged the suspicious Tony C. review; we’ll see how Yelp responds.  I will probably not be using Yelp in the future.

Trip #3 – After Work Relaxation Therapy

Posted September 9, 2009 by nestertg
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The title really explains it all; sometimes I don’t want to sit on I95 South in 5 O’clock traffic right after work.  A break is good now and then, thus another review:

Guests: Me & Jenn
Table: 3, third booth to the left (we always ask for a booth)
Server: Vincent
Appetizer: None
Jenn: Virginia Club w/ fries, Diet Dr Pepper
Me: The Big Turkey w/fries, 25 oz Miller Lite
Dessert: None

We decided to skip the appetizer tonight; I started off with a relaxing Miller Lite and Jenn had a Diet Dr Pepper (it tastes more like regular Dr Pepper) and we ordered up our dinner straight-away.  I had the Big Turkey, and it was actually big.  It comes on Texas Toast, which is a bonus, and it had plenty of turkey piled on.  I thought that the sandwich was off just a little bit; I couldn’t place it, but it seemed to be missing something.  The thought passed as I tried Jenn’s Virginia Club.

The Club was similar to a normal club sandwich but was served on Bavarian pretzel-style bread.  The pretzel was a nice twist, and it really added to the flavor complexion of the club.  The ham was piled on (in thin deli-style slices) thick like the turkey sandwich I had, but like mine, something seemed missing.  Jenn had noticed it too, so we took another look at the menu to read the descriptions again.  It turned out that there was supposed to be BACON on our sandwiches!!  I knew something was missing!

I’ve always felt that a restaurant’s reaction to something like this says more about them than the fact that it happened in the first place.  I’m not one to be shy, but I didn’t say anything to the server about the missing bacon.  I had seen the manager out perusing the floor, so I waited until he came over to our table.  When he (Cameron) did stop by to ask us how things were going, we told him about the error; he promptly brought out some hot, fresh bacon from the kitchen for us.  Cameron made every effort to ensure we were satisfied and to apologize for the mistake.

I’m actually glad to have had this happen while the place is still new.  It’s kind of like preseason football; you don’t like to see your team fumble the ball, but at least you know how well they can recover afterward.  In this case, they recovered the ball well.  Kudos!  I’m still in for the entire menu!

10 Items down – plenty left to eat!

The Second Night – Trip #2 (Sep 5th)

Posted September 6, 2009 by nestertg
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The restaurant opened up to the general public on their first night; evidently they had so many people stopping by that they had to!  We decided to make a second trip last night, since it’s Labor Day weekend.

Guests: Me & Jenn
Table: 1, the first booth to the left inside the front door
Server: Samantha
Appetizer: Potato Puffs
Jenn: Buffalo Chicken Sandwich w/ fries, 25 oz Miller Lite
Me: 14 oz Rib-eye w/red skinned potatoes, coleslaw, house salad, 25 oz Miller Lite
Dessert: Chocolate Fudge Brownie

When we returned last night, they had opened to the public (unofficially) and were nearly full at about 5:30.  We started with a couple of beers, and they were the same as the night before; frosty and delicious!

The appetizer was Jenn’s choice this trip: Potato Puffs.  I honestly do enjoy taters any way you fix them, but I would prefer skins or cheese fries to the boiled potato.  That being said, these puffs were still enjoyable for me.  Jenn liked them too – but we both thought they could use a little something more.  They were basically the red skinned potatoes that had been rolled up, breaded, and deep fried.  Maybe a pinch of garlic or some cheese mixed in would make them more interesting.  As I said, we thought they were good, but we like things with a bot more spice and than most.

Jenn had the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and it was huge!  There were three monstrous pieces of chicken-finger style chicken that had been breaded, fried, and then tossed in the hot sauce (from the Firecracker Shrimp – Jenn’s choice).  You can get it without the sauce, I think, but why would you want to?  It makes the sandwich that much better.  Other than the size and sauce, it compares to most other Buffalo Chickies – but better.  The chicken was cooked well and the lettuce/onions/tomato was fresh.  They had run out of their regular fries and substituted some shoestring fries.  They were skinnier than the others, but had the same flavor sprinkled on.  Still very tasty.

I started out with a house salad, which had very fresh ingredients and some good ranch dressing.  I’m not a huge salad person, but I always get one when I eat steak.  As I said after trying Jenn’s Philly the first trip, I was going to get the rib-eye.  The rib-eye did not disappoint!  I ordered it medium-rare (I never get rare the first time I eat steak at a new place) and it came with a nice pink center.  The flavor combination in the rub was delicious, and the rib-eye was tender.  I can’t tell you much more than that; when a steak hits my table, it’s gone.  I should really slow down and enjoy it more next time!
The red skinned potatoes were good (I added some salt, as I do with all potatoes) and the coleslaw was tasty.  A good meal, all the way around.

The Chocolate Fudge Brownie was Jenn’s choice as well, and I have to commend her on such an excellent choice.  A warning for those with grabby hands: the brownie comes to the table on a hot (very hot) plate with a handle.  DON’T grab the handle.  I know it’s tempting, especially for you Darwin Award candidates, but don’t do it.  It hurts.
The brownie was thick, melty, sweet, and covered with chocolate sauce and ice cream.  Mmm… ice cream.  I won’t bother describing my  lactose intolerance issues; just know that I suffer from this sort of thing.  It was worth it!  I liked the brownie better than the Fried Cheesecake.  Just my opinion.

Another trip to Mick’s in the books – eight menu items down (not counting the beers), and I don’t know how many to go.  I think I’ll hit the elliptical machine today – I need it!

The First Night…(Sep 4th)

Posted September 6, 2009 by nestertg
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We made the invite list for the first night!  Mick’s wasn’t going to be open to the general public for a few days, but we had the good fortune of being invited; kind of makes a guy feel special.  Anyway, here is my first review:

Guests: Me & Jenn
Table: #7, A booth next to the bar
Server: Rachel
Appetizer: Firecracker Shrimp
Jenn: Philly Steak Sandwich w/ fries, 25 oz Blue Moon
Me: Big Mick Burger w/ fries, 25 oz Blue Moon
Dessert: Fried Cheesecake

The Staff was still scampering around setting things up when we arrived; there had been an unexpected issue with some hardware at the bar.  I think it had something to do with the beer lines, but I don’t know for sure.  They had things ready to go by the time we sat down and ordered our beer.

The first thing to the table was the beer – 25 oz mugs of Blue Moon.  It was fresh, cold, and quite tasty.  The beer mugs are thick and heavy with large handles (you may need two hands for these).  Our first round didn’t have the traditional orange slice, but the next round did.

The Firecracker Shrimp arrived, accompanied by a cup of a southwestern-style dip.  These shrimp were HUGE!  They were nearly the size of some prawns we had in Rockhampton, Australia – and that’s saying something.  The sauce was spicy – not hot spicy, but flavorful spicy.  The shrimp had been lightly breaded, fried, and then tossed in the sauce.  They were cooked just right; plump and juicy with a little bit of crunch.  They reminded me of the shrimp my parents love to eat at their favorite seafood grill – except these are better.  We’ll see what the folks think when they visit next weekend!

On to the main course!  Jennifer’s Philly Steak Sandwich was a step-up from your average Philly.  The menu claimed that this was essentially a rib-eye sandwich, and it did not disappoint.  It seemed to me that they took one of their rib-eye steaks and sliced it into thin strips for the sandwich; excellent!  There were some peppers and onions (sauteed, of course) and a bit of sauce (I couldn’t place it) on the sandwich, piled high and thick.  Jenn was impressed, as was I.  I’m thinking I’ll have to make the rib-eye my next meal.

I had the Big Mick Burger, and I was VERY happy.  This was almost a patty-melt style sandwich, as they sandwich it between two big pieces of Texas toast.  The smoked Gouda that was smothering the burger and the bacon (mmm, bacon) was an unexpected twist.  I’ve never had Gouda before (that I remember), but it really does make this burger what it is.  Which happens to be delicious.  The one other thing they put on this burger is my personal favorite topping for burgers, sandwiches, steaks, enchiladas, and anything else I eat: a fried egg!  That’s the crown for this beast.
The fries appear to be standard, thick cut french fries, but they have some flavor sprinkled on that sets them apart from the norm.  I couldn’t place it – maybe some cayenne, maybe some garlic?  I guess it’s their secret.  It’s a tasty secret!

And now the dessert – Fried Cheesecake!  They brought the cheesecake in what appeared to be a martini glass, I think.  The whipped cream, ice cream, and sauce were poured all over the cake and nearly overflowing out of the glass.  We ate the actual cheesecake portion out of the fried shell until I finally grew tired of trying not to make a mess – so I just picked up half of the thing and ate it with my hands.  Delicious!  Messy, but delicious!

That’s the first night, in review.  I thought about snapping pics with my iPhone, but pictures of food never do the food justice, so I opted just to describe it.  If you want to see it, go and get it!