This year we’ve made a conscious effort to go back and revisit some of our favorite restaurants that we wrote about long ago. In the last couple of months we’ve made repeat visits to Lake Effect Diner, Seabar and Founding Fathers to update our posts and provide much better photos of the food. When Alli and I visited Blue Monk a week ago, we realized that we were long over due to write a new article about the popular bar and restaurant. Our original Blue Monk post was posted in November 2010, only a couple weeks after they opened their doors. Since then we’ve visited over a dozen times and their duck frites have become one of our favorite dishes in the city.
When we arrived on a Friday night, we were a little nervous about getting a table right away. We lucked out, however; and sat down immediately. It’s a very popular happy hour location and weekends can definitely be a hit or miss. Two years since they opened their doors, Blue Monk is still offering some of the best pub food in the area and without a doubt the best beer selection (especially draft).
- Restaurant Type: Casual, Gatropub
- Cuisine: Pub Food, Gastropub
- Location: Elmwood
- Prices: Almost Everything is $10-15, Specials may vary
On this particular visit, we basically knew exactly what we were going to order when we left our house. Their Duck Frites (gallery) are popular and for a good reason, they’re delicious and pretty inexpensive. I’ll admit that I sold myself on the idea of duck fries the first time I tried them at Blue Monk even though they weren’t that great. At the time, they were occasionally soggy, albeit tasty. However, in the last year they have been fantastic every time, just the right amount of crispy and their Belgian style dipping sauces (particularly their sriracha mayo) are great. Alli and I have eaten an order by ourselves multiple times.
Alli decided to try their Belgian Onion Soup (below) on this particular visit, which has caramelized onions cooked with Ommegang Abbey Ale and topped with two large croutons and Gruyere. The onions were shredded and filled most of the bowl and the broth was sweet and thankfully not too salty (a common ailment of your typical corner pub french onion soup). Alli, who’s a ‘connoisseur’ of soup, really enjoyed the bowl.
For our main dishes we ordered two of our favorites, the Blue Monk Burger (above) and the Nano’s Wedge Salad (gallery). We normally aren’t the biggest salad eaters and besides Chris’ Sandwich Co, we never go out of our way to ordered one. But Blue Monk’s wedge salad is fantastic and not exactly a ‘light’ meal. It comes with a large chunk of lettuce, Gorgonzola dressing, large thick slices of bacon and a pile of fried shallots. The bacon was a little over cooked and dry, but everything else was great. Their burger was a thing of beauty as well, topped with the same caramelized onions as their soup and smokey bleu cheese. The roll was thin and crispy and did just enough of a job to hold everything together, my only complaint being I think the burger was over cooked but just slightly (I ordered medium rare and it came out more on the medium side).
Somehow we managed to finish everything on our table and I also enjoyed a nice Christmas Ale to go along with dinner. We don’t get to revisit restaurants that often, but it’s restaurants like Blue Monk that make me wish we could more.