Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bonefish Grill Food Review II

Half-Pound American Kobe Beef + Egg Burger

My first visit to Bonefish Grill at Pentagon Row (three months ago) was pretty terrific. Matching it (or even coming close) would be a major accomplishment. I'm happy to report that thing's haven't changed: Bonefish Grill remains one of the best places to eat in Arlington (really good food, superb service) and a surefire addition to our upcoming Top 25 restaurants in the DMV. What more can you ask for?

To be honest, BG's shrimp appetizers are enough to secure a spot on anyone's list of favorite eateries. Last time, it was their Bang Bang Shrimp. This go around, it was Thai Coconut Shrimp. Six impossibly plump, breaded shrimp with a crispy exterior, atop a scrumptious glaze of sweet/spicy sauce. I admit: They're light on coconut flavor (almost none, in fact) but the end result was nonetheless amazing. Said sauce is gooey, sticky and almost sinfully spicy. The shrimp are also beautiful to hold/look at, but could obviously benefit from (more) coconut flakes. Put 'em together, and you have the ultimate bookend to the aforementioned "Bang Bang" starter. I'd die a happy man, alternating between those two... meal after (delicious) meal.

Thai Coconut Shrimp

Sadly, there was no bread on this visit. Part of me was glad (I was able to walk out without assistance) but my other (far-greedier) side longed for more. Perhaps it's only automatic at dinner, although I'm sure they would have given me some had I asked. Pacing between dishes was (once again) spot-on. Server Daymond was on top of everything... all business, but super nice. Water? Check. Even better, he left a pitcher... so never once, did I have to look around for a refill. Note to all restaurants: Why don't you do this? Daymond was also kind enough to ask if I was "ready" for my Half-Pound American Kobe Beef + Egg Burger (with bacon, $15.) It seems like a simple courtesy, but think about how many times you've had plates on top of each other at lunch or dinner. Thanks for asking.

Jen's Jamaican Coconut Pie

Atmosphere at Bonefish Grill is yet another plus. I was given a full booth, despite dining alone (one of the benefits of having lunch after 2:00.) The hostess shared a laugh with me en route to my table, and that same good will/kindness appeared to carry over to every table in the house. Great music (Ellie Goulding, John Butler Trio, Of Monsters and Men) proved to be the icing on the (hospitality) cake. I couldn't imagine feeling more comfortable or welcome.

Next up, my burger... and what a burger it was. It came packed with bacon ($.90 extra) fried egg, special sauce (AKA fancy mayo) a thick, juicy slice of tomato, lettuce and crunchy red onions, jammed inside a toasted brioche bun. Warning: It's a lot to get in your mouth, and I was covered in egg yolk after my first bite. Sadly, it was also overcooked (WELL-DONE, instead of MEDIUM as asked for) but the overall experience was so good, I barely even noticed. Daymond asked how my burger was, and (in between smiles) I told him about the temperature snafu. He immediately apologized, although I assured him everything was A-OK. Seconds later, a lovely manager came by to also apologize. I'm used to getting half-hearted apologies elsewhere; but you could tell the Bonefish Grill staff really cared about my feelings.

Hand Helds (burgers, tacos, etc.) come with your choice of fries or fresh greens; and my fries were hot & crispy, although a tad under-seasoned. Heinz ketchup too, which I'm not terribly fond of (fancy ketchup = more interesting.) All in all, a solid B for burger & fries (despite overcooking the meat.)

Daymond asked if I wanted to have my dessert to-go, but I (wisely) opted to have it then & there. Jen's Jamaican Coconut Pie is a mere $6.30 and features creamy coconut custard, Myers's Rum sauce and fresh whipped cream. It's served warm, and delivers tons of coconut flavor. The whipped cream is really, really fresh as advertised/to die for, and that sauce... OMG. I didn't taste much rum (thankfully) but between the cold cream, hot pie and sticky sauce, it has everything a dessert should have (and more.)

$31.80 + tax/tip for all that? What a bargain. I used to work nearby; but nowadays, I rarely get out to Pentagon City/Row (unless you count my monthly pilgrimages to Costco. Please don't.) Bonefish Grill is so good, I'm willing to change my routine. Where I come from, that's mighty high praise. Top 25-caliber, in fact.