Monday, August 5, 2013

Maddy's Bar & Grill Food Review

Maddy's Burger

Bar food has come a long way in the last decade or so; yet some places never seem to change. Longtime Dupont Circle favorite Timberlake's closed back in 2009, and Maddy's Bar & Grill soon took over... making a few cosmetic changes, but otherwise keeping things status quo. However, that's not such a bad thing: Both establishments offer/ed the quintessential pub experience... a dark, intimate setting, friendly service and a steady stream of drinks. Notice anything missing? Food. Sure, they have it; but the question is... would you like to eat it?

The verdict's still out at Maddy's but I had no complaints over my burger and fries earlier this afternoon. I found a surprisingly full (yet quiet) bar at 4:00 in the afternoon (even more surprised to find the front door fixed open.) I made my way to one of the side booths... intimately set apart from the bar area (and a great spot to hide from the crowd.) I received a friendly greeting from a busy barkeep, and I didn't have long to wait to meet my server Lee.

No menu was required: I'm judging burgers, plain & simple. I ordered the Maddy's Burger... 8 oz. Angus beef with lettuce, onions and tomatoes on a toasted brioche bun for 11 bucks. Your choice of cheese is included, but I alway pass. Toss in a Diet Coke for $2.50, and I was all set.

The atmosphere is nice enough: My table was clean, the staff polite and the music pretty awesome (when was the last time you heard The Rolling Stones' Midnight Rambler followed by So Wat Cha Sayin' (EPMD?) I had to wait about 10 minutes for my burger, which arrived perfectly cooked (MEDIUM, as asked for.) The brioche bun is perfectly sized, and the toppings fresh. Kudos for delicately sliced red onions (who likes thick slices of onion anyhow? No shortcuts here!) A few bites, and I was even more impressed: Maddy's beef is top notch, and very moist. Best of all, the cook used salt and pepper (score!)

Shoestring fries were cooked well, but ho-hum at best. I left half of them on the plate. A throwaway pickle added little to the mix: I wish more restaurants would offer flavored, sliced pickles like Thunder Burger in Georgetown does. It's unique. This one wasn't.

Then again, Maddy's doesn't strike me as the kind of place you go to find innovation. Nor should it be. How can you argue with a cozy bar, kind attention and a juicy burger on the side?

Atmosphere: B- (For a small place, it works nicely. Great music.)
Burger: B (Nice & juicy, perfectly cooked.)
Fries: C (Should have had the crinkle-cut sweet potato variety.)
Service: B (Not overly friendly, but nice enough and plenty efficient.)
Value: D (Just under $20 with a tip is a lot for a burger, fries and soda.)
Overall: C+ (Not sure if I'd rush back for a pricey burger, but no complaints.)