I am partaking in a journey where I will appraise every non-franchise restaurant in town and review their food as well as their service. It is an attempt to expand my mind and appetite. Simultaneously, I will also be taking what I learn from these establishments and attempting to remake them with my extremely limited skill.
I think every pub review will be preceded by the disclaimer that I don’t particularly care for them. Their purpose of being is based on the consumption of alcohol. The food is used as the mechanism to encourage further drinking. As classed, a pub is allowed to only serve alcohol to a patron without them ordering a meal. As readers may not be aware, I don’t drink. I’m not recovering; I just don’t drink, never cared for the stuff. Never understood the appeal of getting intoxicated from the ingestion of fermented vegetable drinks which themselves are revolting to consume. I’ve been around friends who’ve gone to that extreme, resulting in humans so unpleasant to be around with, you need to be intoxicated yourself in order to tolerate them. Thankfully, I’ve found a few friends who don’t devolve into violence or police-calling disruption when they get drunk. The worse is getting cut off at a pub (which happened recently, oddly enough). Although I often make excuses for being the designated driver, even at home, the most alcohol I ever take in is the wine in my risotto. Even though some people would immediately see that as a noble life choice, it’s resulted in a remarkably small number of friends and few external outings to social events. No one wants to drink with someone who doesn’t, even in a group atmosphere; the drinkers don’t want to socialize with the non-drinker whom assumes the vice-versa. Whatever reasons they may have, it just ends up isolating someone whose simple life choice has rendered him or her pariah.
Yeah, that came off as a bit of a personal rant, but it does properly explain why I often avoid pubs. To their credit, some pubs are less pub-like than others. Take the BX. Looking like a golf clubhouse in Texas, the BX boasts with a massive sign their insistence in serving lunch. With only a half dozen TVs scattered about (that I could see, so that double that) in such a large establishment, the BX might be confused for an actual restaurant. Its decor gets credit, with large amounts of natural wood accented by brick. It’s a beautiful establishment, a free standing building erected to order better fitted nestled riverside flanking a steamboat dock. I can almost see visiting the BX based purely on its decor. Thankfully its food isn’t half bad. I was initially taken back by the prices, higher than most competition. It must be another indicator of a pub, extraordinarily overpriced appetizers. Exquisitely made North 54 beef medallions don’t cost this much. Yes, I know, the plates are probably large enough to feed a little league baseball team but I still have issue with ordering a 15 dollar appetizer. And yes, I’ve seen this trend with other pubs as well, offering the illusions you’re eating less despite paying more. Fourteen-dollar burgers border on unwise given I can stuff my face at a family restaurant for 10.
That opened a gastronomic dilemma: would I pay $15 for a burger in a pub or $10 for a burger at a family restaurant. As I “hulk” through the impressively stacked bacon provolone burger piled upon a square bun, the answer was obvious. So for that reason, I have to review pubs in town, because they deserve it, because places like the BX try harder than some restaurants to earn your money, at least that’s been my experience thus far. Yes, the glossy plastic coated wood tables remind me that a pub must be scotch-guarded against the acidic upheavals of intoxicated patrons, but at lunch, with muted televisions, I can sit back and enjoy the experience. I mean you have to want it; you have to want pub food. And I never get that craving. I wake up thinking, “I want Indian food” or, “I have a hankering for Mexican”. I never wake up thinking how badly I want a burger. I know it’s odd given my upbringing. I look back at that obese stranger whose body I occupy and I lament the one he forced me to inherit, thinner, but with physical and emotional scars my lifetime will never erase.
I never crave burgers but enjoy them when I have them. So the BX, like all pubs, is a location I’d never visit unless outvoted, or as an obligation to a review like this one. Which is too bad because BX is worthy of a visit, and when compared to restaurants in town, it’s better than average. I mean when measuring them against family restaurants, it beats out most, and here you shouldn’t have to stress yourself about the chances of having to endure a two-year old in a high-chair ripping its vocal chords out because of its desire to have sushi over ice cream.
As the sun reached its zenith, the BX was packed with truck drivers, business men, and sectaries with nary a single eye on the keno board slightly blocked by an ornamental wooden pole. The food was enjoyable but simple. I’ll conclude this review with a local legend. At some point, the BX had gained some notoriety by offering a burger so immense, no human being could conceivably finish it. Along with two impressive patties, it also boasted a pair of bratwursts stacked upon an immense bun. Not enough for you? Add bacon, mushrooms and top the whole thing off with sunny side egg. Such a meal appears to have fallen off the menu as I’m sure it was no longer economical to keep it on…not just because it wasn’t making any money, but because the obesity rate in this country proved that more of us were willing to take up the challenge.