Sunday, December 9, 2012

4th Street Bar and Grill

We ate at 4th Street Bar and Grill recently, a newly opened restaurant in "downtown" Lake Mary. It was pretty good and I think that, with a bit of time to mature, it could be really good. 4th Street Bar and Grill is brand new, in a brand new building, and they've done a fine job. The theme is somewhat "sports bar" with well over a dozen large, flat-screen televisions all around. When we were there the Dolphins were playing, among other things. We entered and were promptly greeted by the hostess and offered our choice of seating. We elected to sit on the spacious patio--it was a warm December night and on one end a fireplace was going. It was nicely lit as well and even has TVs outside.

Soon our waitress, Caitlin, came by and took our drink and appetizer order. We began with the Pulled Pork Eggroll which was three wontons that had been wrapped around pulled pork, eggroll-style, and were served over a spicy slaw with a beer BBQ dipping sauce. They were very good. Now, in all honesty, each aspect by itself was OK. The pulled pork eggroll alone could have used a touch of salt and was warm inside but not steaming hot. But, when you took a bit of all three aspects together, the pulled pork eggroll, the spicy slaw, and the beer BBQ sauce, it was fantastic, absolutely wonderful. I would order this again in a heartbeat. But i do have to wonder if people who would not think to try all three elements together would enjoy it as much as I did. No matter, this was an excellent dish! 

Tommy ordered the Clam Chowder, New England Style (we had to ask before we ordered, the waitress did not know what type it was) and, while it was indeed very good, it came out with what Tommy considers to be a big void--no crackers!  He likes his crackers. Nevertheless, the soup was indeed delicious and it disappeared in short order.

For my main course, I ordered a sandwich called the Stuffalo. A brioche Kasier roll was topped with two large pieces of chicken breast that had been stuffed with blue cheese, breaded and fried, and coated with a house buffalo sauce. The sandwich itself was huge, though within seconds I relegated one of the chicken pieces to the plate--two were too much. The sandwich itself tasted great, the chicken was tender, the blue cheese maybe just a bit overwhelming, and the buffalo sauce added a nice gentle heat. It was a big messy, though, and some of the sauce was on the plate under the bun. This resulted in very sticky fingers. Overall, it was a delicious sandwich. I ordered mine with onion rings and they were truly delicious, nicely breaded and fried. One of the best things I ate, however, were the pickles. According to the menu, they are made in-house. They were awesome, I wish I could make some that would turn out that good. Oh, and after I finished my sandwich, i still have another piece of chicken to eat.

Tommy had the Classic Burger, a regular hamburger topped with Cheddar Cheese, served on a Brioche Kaiser roll with LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle) on the side. It was accompanied with fries. Unfortunately, it came out with fries that were barely warm. However, when we told the waitress, she promptly took care of that and quickly returned with nice, hot fries. Still, it should not have come out of the kitchen that way, but the did make it right, an quickly. The burger was supposed to be medium, but it was actually well-done. They have quite a few burgers on the menu. They need to learn to cook a burger correctly. It was good, but not quite as ordered. The burger was, however, quite good and tasty, so no big complaint there. And it appeared with some mayo on the side, just as requested.

As I said, the meal here was pretty good, and I'd go back. But there were a few missteps as well. I've already mentioned the overcooked burger and the warm fries and the "wet" bun I had, the kitchen needs to pay a bit more attention to detail. But the service also needs a bit of fine tuning. After we finished our appetizer, the empty plates sat for a bit. Several other servers walked by, but no one else offered to remove the plates. That would have been nice. And when our waitress did remove them, she also took our tableware, but did not immediate provide replacement. So, when our food arrived, we had no utensils, and had to ask for them. Not a huge deal, but shows a bit of inexperience. I hope they'll fine tune a bit and with time, this could be a really good place. 

I live and work in Lake Mary, and 4th Street Bar and Grill has an $8 lunch special, a limited selection of half sandwich with half salad (or soup). I think we'll have to give this a try for lunch some time. And based on my first visit, I'll be happy to return another time and see how they've improved. They've only been open a few weeks, so I expected a few rough edges. Hopefully they'll get them fixed and turn into a top-notch place to dine in Lake Mary.
4th Street Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


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