Eating Outside of the Box

by Cate on January 13, 2007

Tonight Nicholas had a babysitter, so The Husband and I escaped for a quick bite to eat. Last night, he had wanted to go to Bennigans, but I had already thought out dinner on my end, so we ended up at Bennigans tonight instead. We haven’t been there in ages, and they’ve definitely added a ton of new stuff to their menu, including many Ale-infused items. As soon as I saw their new Bleu Cheese Burger, I knew what I was having.

Many moons ago, when I was a young and idealistic teen, my friends and I used to go to Sweet Maggie’s Pub for a bite to eat when shopping at the mall. They had an amazing selection of burgers, and their Bleu Cheese one couldn’t be beat. Alas, although Sweet Maggie’s is still around, the lengthy burger selections are gone, and what’s left isn’t as good as my memory of it.

I did a quick scan of the appetizer offerings at Bennigans tonight, to see if there was anything new. The Husband and I usually don’t order appetizers at restaurants like this, because the ones he really likes, I don’t, and vice versa. But tonight was different, as something caught my eye … Cheeseburger Egg Rolls. I know, I can hear you groaning, and I was right there with you. When Scott, our very friendly waiter came by, I asked what he thought of them. He said that when it first hit the menu, all the servers were disgusted by the notion of such a thing. I mean, really, pickles, onions, mustard, burger, cheese … in an egg roll casing? But then they tried them, and all got instantly hooked. That was enough for me. As an aside, Scott was a pretty decent waiter. Anyone who responds, “You’re the boss” is my kind of waiter.

Now, the plating. Seriously, that picture over there? That’s exactly what it looked like when it first arrived at the table. For a restaurant offering, I am quite surprised that that’s how they served it. To take the easy way out, they should have at least used a much smaller plate, so you wouldn’t have all that ugly white space with the shriveled up pieces of lettuce. Really. That aside, they certainly could have gotten more creative. I mean, really, there ARE chefs that dream up the creations for these restaurants to serve; surely they give opinions on the plating aspect too, no?

Now bad presentation aside, Scott was right. These suckers ARE addictive. The outer crust was light and flaky, and the inside was tender, juicy and downright tasty. I brought home a few for Nicholas and the babysitter, but it was a tough sell. Nicholas refused to try it, so I sent them home with the babysitter, reminding her to take them when she “accidentally” tried to leave them behind. ;) Open mind and all that, if you happen to find yourself in a Bennigans, do try them. I think you’ll agree that it’s worth eating outside of the box.

Oh, and that burger? Pass.

Until tomorrow…

A year ago today… a great appetizer from Rachael Ray and The Neighbor Husband’s obsession with Sandra Lee.

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