March 1, 2013. Make a note of the date. It’s the night Modern American Delicious Eats made it’s spectacular debut in its first night open to the public.
Now, while some may question whether my crystal ball on these matters is a bit cloudy, my taste buds and sensibilities are telling me that this place has it. Service. Style. Unbelievable food. The Holy Grail in the restaurant biz is the perfect combination of those elements. This place has it in spades!
While it’s never been our M.O. to get to the “latest & greatest” and be the first ones through the door, this place was inexplicably on my radar screen the moment I saw the new sign in the window.
Situated in what can only be considered prime property on Main Street and 301, we arrived just a 1/2 hour after opening. There were already precious few seats at the bar, with people settled in as though this place was a fixture for years.
There were an abundance of incredibly sincere, friendly, and welcoming staff blanketing the restaurant. We sat at one of the high tops in the bar area and were immediately attended to by Michael, a 15 year restaurant vet, with the most charming North Carolina baritone twang, greeting us with the signature cocktail and dining menus.
Our first (difficult) choices resulted in Jill ordering the M.A.D.E.’s original Barnum – a specialty gin cocktail designed as a tribute to Sarasota, while I chose to venture into old familiar territory, ordering the Sasaparilla, which offered that distinct rootbeer flavor without being too sweet.
Appetizers were slightly more studied, but I was immediately drawn to the Confit Duck Wings, with Jill finally deciding on the Smoked Tomato Bisque as a starter.
Now, I’ve consumed a tasty chicken wing, or 10,000, in my time but these duck wings were uber-tasty, large and meaty, with the peach BBQ sauce pairing sooo beautifully with the dark meat. A nice twist also was the bleu cheese avocado crema dip for the crunchy matchstick carrot and celery side.
Jill’s soup was another sublime dish, seemingly simple in the description, but once the horseradish and bacon goat cheese was incorporated into the soup, it became something that will fall into crave-able status going forward.
Now came the hard part. There were 10 entrees on the menu, and I swear I changed my mind twelve times over the course of the next 20 minutes. The menu is that intriguing.
Ultimately Jill settled on the Scallops, and I the Burger.
The scallops arrived absolutely perfectly seared, juicy and meaty, and the “risotto style” jalapeno grilled creamed corn was a brilliant base for this dish. The scallops came recommended by our server Michael, and he was spot on. Not one thing could be done to improve this dish. It was perfection. Well, at least as long as there were a bite or two left in the dish . . . after that???? Whaaa!
The burger? That’s a whole new story. The meat patty is made with a blend of ground beef and beef brisket, and topped with even more of barbecued brisket! Stacked with BBQ’D peppers and onions, fried heirloom tomato, butter lettuce, and pepper-jack cheese on a fresh grilled roll. So when I say story, I think if there were even one more ingredient added, the City Burger Building Code Enforcement folks may have to cite them for height restrictions…
The Cheese Tots, with a malt mayo dip, were another pleasant surprise. These are more like cheesy mashed potatoes rolled in breading then quick fried to a golden brown, crunchy exterior, that when bitten into, gave way to a silky and savory cheesy center. Perfection! I would liken these to something of a savory cheese confection.
And while the Cheese Tots came as a side to the burger, I can never turn down corn on the cob, especially if it is grilled, and M.A.D.E. makes it “Baja Style”, with a southwestern seasoning & sauce twist. One bite in and I knew . . . this is not your grandma’s corn on the cob!
And the results of all this crazy good eating? Our bill arrived in an envelope with the words “The Damage” stamped across it. Too funny!
Do we sound enthused? More Added Downtown Excitement is always welcome!