I was excited when this place opened. I thought, "good! Bastones is finally utilizing their space and are opening an awesome microbrew place!" So, I scheduled a time after work one day to go check it out on their happy hour down time. I honestly was first caught by their clean website and nicely done logo (graphics nerd alert), but disliked that they still have their cafehabana.com domain. Come on guys, go buy the domain and then redirect. Ok. non-food rant over.
They have a wide variety of belgian beers to choose from, which I can't have since they aren't gluten-free, but beer lovers will enjoy new beers that aren't at the other local watering holes. From the descriptions of their food one would think this is a goto place every week. Mussels, burgers, mac and cheeses, waffle sandwiches!@#@(! With descriptions like, "Pork belly, house made tasso ham, bacon pancetta, spiced bbq sauce..." who has time to think about going anywhere else. This obviously is the right choice to go to...
THEN you go there. You order. You taste and you feel a little sadness in your heart. The wonderful descriptions that made your mouth water suddenly left you with deep deep food regrets. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say maybe they were off that day (They only had two customers - me being one of them). Maybe they were still fixing the kinks and they weren't quite ready for customers. I mean Rock City Eatery was kind of like that. But I knew that Rock City Eatery was going to be great if they fixed their sh*t. But I'm not so sure about Beer Monk. I think that they will always be an OK place. The ahi tuna burger was overcooked (super dry) and the flavors didn't quite mesh well together. The hummus and kimchi didn't really work. Maybe try something pickled and keep the siracha mayo? Then there were the sliders. You can pick any three from the main burgers and have a mini version of them (Char-grilled elk, maytag bleu cheese and pancetta with French fried onions, hand-pattied Belgian Blue beef, barbecued pork belly, cheddar, apple slaw and Hand-pattied Belgian Blue beef with housemade bacon, edam). The best one of the burgers was the regular belgian blue beef with bacon. All the other burgers were overcooked and again their flavors didn't mesh well. I think the items were made to go together, but something went wrong in the execution. The pork should be tender and moist. It doesn't really need the cheddar hiding the BBQ and the apple slaw. That is, if it's good. The grilled elk was really dry so I can't make an accurate assessment of what it would taste like because I stopped eating it. The fries were fine. They come from bastones and they are made on the regular. It's really hard to mess up fries unless they are drenched in grease, ridiculously over salted and cold. So that went well.
I haven't been back to BMA. Maybe I will someday, but it's not looking good in the near future.
Beer Monk's Website
Giving you a taste of what I taste. From gourmet to everyday. No pretentious bull - just good food.