As I sat down to write this post, I asked my wife, "Did we seriously just eat all day yesterday?" and she said, "Why, yes... yes we did".
Later we remembered that we spent a couple of hours wandering the aisles of McKay's, a ginormous bookstore in Bellevue. You can seriously get lost in there for days if you're not careful. It's massive! I found some books to help with my Spanish practice and MySpanishCoach for the Nintendo DS. I bought Aiden a few books to help with his Japanese practice. For the most part, though, Monday was just a lot of restaurant hopping...
Like I said, "The decisions were bad, but the food was good."
The 96: Burger Republic @ The Gulch
Anne, Aiden, and I had randomly stopped into the Burger Republic in Lenox Village on a previous trip to Nashville and were pretty impressed. Cool atmosphere. Fast and attentive service. Great burgers. What's not to love? I also happen to like the Soviet-esque propaganda poster style of their branding. If I had the opportunity, I'd open one of these in Indianapolis in a heartbeat...
After the Monday night fiasco of impatience and indecision, we decided to try to go to Burger Republic again. We decided that we would go to the location at The Gulch, since it's just a few minutes from our townhouse. I honestly think that the overall experience at Lenox Village was better, but that was during off-peak time and we were at The Gulch location at lunch time, so...
As for the burgers, they were pretty amazing! Anne got the Tennessee, which is delicious. Aiden was feeling adventurous and ordered the BRunch burger, which has a blended beef and sausage patty with sausage gravy, Vermont white cheddar, an organic egg, and applewood bacon. I tried both and they were both among the best burgers I've ever had.
Among the best, but not the best. The 96, on the other hand... Well, the jury's still out, but it's a contender...
The 96 is an award winning burger that was the highest rated burger at the World Food Championships. It definitely earned the title. This beautiful burger is made from certified angus beef mixed with bleu cheese and topped with honey-balsamic glazed mushrooms, onions, bacon, shoestring fries, and garlic-horseradish aioli. It tastes as ridiculously good as it sounds!
I'm not a food critic, just a fat guy who really enjoys good food, but I think the key to this burger's amazing flavor is the blended perfection of angus beef and bleu cheese. The sharpness of the aged cheese perfectly compliments the clean flavor profile of the angus beef. The garlic-horseradish aioli provides the perfect, punchy finish. Trust me, you want this burger...
5 out of 5
Oscar's Taco Shop
This is another fast casual place that I would open in Indy given half a chance. It's a taco joint, but not just a taco joint. It's a really good taco joint. Don't get me wrong, I've had better street tacos, but for a quick service restaurant, this was great.
There's not much more to say, except that the staff at the Oscar's in Bellevue were great! They were quick, the order was accurate, and they were cheerful, which made for a great experience overall.
4.5 out of 5
Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery
As if burgers and tacos weren't enough for one day, we decided to track down some decent ice cream and headed for Maggie Moo's in Midtown. This place was a pleasant surprise. I got the coffee ice cream with Reese pieces and chocolate sprinkle mix-ins. It was delicious, but pretty amateurish... My dad went pro with the most ridiculous banana split of the night and took the prize for "Best Bad Decision" of the day.
See the picture above to fully appreciate just how pic this unholy concoction was... It consisted of a typical banana, split down the middle and that's pretty much where the similarities to a basic banana split ended. In place of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, were dark chocolate, coffee, and peanut butter. This was topped with Reese pieces and Reese cups and finished with chocolate and peanut butter syrup. Dessert level: Expert!
4.5 out of 5
We seriously love you, Nashville! And you too, reader!