Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Pig's Tale






Mick’s New American Bistro

207 W. Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701

301 662-0373






They say every picture tells a story don’t it? Today it is your turn to relive grade school. Take a look at the before and after pictures or our bowl of Lilly’s Chili from Mick’s New American Bistro. Write a brief summary of the story behind the picture. What do you think happened? If you need some help, I’ll give you a hint. At one point, the “after” picture looked strikingly similar to the “before” picture. Discuss.

Oh yes ma’am we sure did love that chili! Actually, there’s an awful lot to like about Mick’s. The ambience, the people, the food. Every meal we have had there has been successful. Not every course at every meal (as you will read about later) – but overall a terrific place to eat.

The menu has a wide variety of options – from pork chops and steaks to veggie wraps and beet salads. I’m a big fan of gazpacho. I’m a big fan of Bloody Mary’s. Chef James Strine concocted the perfect medley – a toothsome bowl of fresh goodness, topped with avocado and jazzed up with a nice kick of horseradish. Next time – I think I’ll partake of an icy cold sip or two of Grey Goose to complement this zingy soup.

Although some entrĂ©es are a tad pricey ($34 for the 16 oz strip) – they are still a darn good value. Decent sized portions prepared beautifully and served with side items that are an integral part of the dish – not just a throw-away to take up room on the plate. Order the Scallops a la Plancha and you get big plump diver scallops served on a cloud of polenta and topped with a fresh fennel, radish and citrus salad. Ahh, polenta. Made properly, as it was at Mick’s, polenta becomes a smooth creamy pillow worthy of being partnered with sweet diver scallops. Made poorly, well – I’ll just say that the thought provokes a southern style flashback. Back to those long-ago college days and the 2 AM road trips to the local Steak & Egg. We didn’t have no stinkin’ polenta back then. We had grits. And at the Steak & Egg they came hot, hard, bland and congealed.

Back to Micks. And more specifically, Mick’s Meatloaf Muffins. Big, meaty, hearty, delicious. Served with smashed potatoes. As an aside – why doesn’t anyone serve mashed potatoes anymore? Why are they always smashed? Is there a difference? Or are smashed just mashed that they didn’t mash all the way? I seem to remember that years ago folks would complain if they found lumps in their mashed potatoes. Now – they complain if there aren’t any. Personally, I like the lumps. I’ll eat the smooth mashed ones when I’m in the home and don’t feel like putting my teeth in.

Back to Micks. And more specifically the Crispy Chicken Wrap. This sandwich hit all of my fabulous daughter’s favorite flavor notes. Fried chicken (and we all know that crispy is a euphemism for fried don’t we? But, because it’s “chicken” we feel better about it. Don’t ask.). And Blue Cheese (and on this sandwich you better LOVE blue cheese because it is plentiful and it is S-T-R-O-N-G…Maytag maybe?). So, overall a pretty tasty meal. The veggie wrap was fine – but not phenomenal. And, truth be told, how phenomenal can a veggie wrap really be? Mick’s does so many things well, why was I wasting time on veggies anyway? My mistake.

One item I did order provoked a bit of a shiver in me. Not the good kind of shiver you get when the food is so gorgeous that you want to faint. Rather, in a wild capricious moment, I thought it would be a good idea to order the special appetizer of the day: Fried Pigs Tail. Why, I ask you, why in the world did I think that this would be a good idea? Well, two things really were contributing factors in my decision. First – it was only 5 bucks. Not much risk there – pretty small gamble for a wild woman throwing caution to the wind. Second – it was deep fried. Come on – admit it. You too are probably thinking that pretty much everything tastes better when it’s deep fried. How else to explain the popularity of deep-fried twinkies? Anyway, as it turns out, I was kind of wrong about the whole deep fried thing. As it turns out, there really are some body parts that should be left in the “thanks for coming” bowl. The tail wasn’t particularly bad tasting – but, hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get over feeling that gnawing on the dang thing was just plain unappealing and a bit gruesome. Plus – it’s very hard to look fabulous and feminine with a pig tail sticking out of both sides of your mouth.

I shall not let the pig tail tale keep me from returning to Mick’s. This bistro is quickly becoming one of our favorite go-to places for both lunch and dinner. And, hard wooden booths notwithstanding, we feel very much appreciated and comfortable in every way.

65 comments:

NMOS said...

I love following other local restaurant-review type of blogs. Nice one! Feel free to check out my Seattle-based review food blog, Om Nom Nom Nom, over at www.nmos-omnomnomnom.blogspot.com. Welcome to the Foodie Blog Roll!

Simply Life said...

Oh that chili looks great!

anne said...

how funny: i celebrated Korean Thanksgiving with my family this past weekend, and the centerpiece of the meal was...braised ox tail! i am, at best, a very tentative eater of chicken flesh, so watching my family relishing those little tail vertabrae was a harrowing experience.

also? thought of you at brunch yesterday, at Dish, in Charlestown, WV. very slow but very sincere service (the waitress did a little fist-pump when we told her we loved everything), and a surprisingly great meal: house-made pear & fig tart, biscuits, and pizza crust.

Dining Diva said...

I love a fist-pump! Shows that she cared if you liked your meal! I will keep Dish in mind if I get to Charlestown...Thanks for the tip!

anne said...

oh, and here's a local rant: i went to the indian restaurant on market street with a friend and our kids, and it was the worst buffet experience ever. it was noon on friday afternoon, and "slim pickings" doesn't even begin to describe it. there were only 4 different options, and most of the chafing dishes were practically empty! when they finally brought out some more food 20 minutes later, the tandoori chicken pieces were so underdone that the joints were still bleeding!!!

Mama Freemans' cafe' said...

Hi, welcome to the foodie blogroll!I love your blog and plan on stopping by often.I live in nebraska by Sioux city Iowa and we have lots of ethnic resteraunts. My girlfriends and I love to frequent but when I tell others about them they say it sounds good but because they are timid they dont go. You have given me an idea to start to write about these places where lovely people serve up lovely food.Thanks!

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