Friday night, date night for the Mr. and me. Location - his choice, but he's not sure where he wants to go.
"What do you feel like having," I ask.
"Some place with ribs."
I am not a ribs or wings kind-of-gal. I'm not sure if it's that it is simply so messy, so much work for so little food or what the problem is, but I prefer to use fork and knife unless it is a hamburger and french fries (plus tearing the meat off the bone with my teeth just can't be made to look dainty or delicate). BUT, I can work with his request for ribs.
"What about Brian's Backyard BBQ," I suggest and we look up the online menu. I am happy with the idea of a margarita and know everything else will work out.
Off we go.
Any place that serves barbecue or smoked foods and orders of meat on the bone is likely to be on the casual side and Brian's is no exception. We are given paper menus that are meant to be taken home so we can keep the advertising information. I took one home to share with our grown sons, but really, they didn't need it either since they could look at the online menu (just like you can by clicking here).
The dining room is not very busy, but it is early on a Friday night and they are expecting a live performance at 9 p.m. We are typically early birds, dining between 6 - 7 p.m. since we are at our jobs by 7 a.m. Moving on to that margarita...
Have I ever mentioned that in addition to carbs, I am addicted to salt? Oh how I love salt. I sometimes joke I could have a block mounted in the house for snacking. I love to see the margarita's glass rim heavily coated.
"Let's split an appetizer," I suggest and of course the Mr. leaves the decision up to me. He knows after 27 years of marriage plus another 4 together of dating, that I know what he does and doesn't like to eat or at least what he is and is not willing to try.
Most folks like fried foods and really, the cooking method can make almost anything taste great so I order the oysters with a remoulade dipping sauce. They were sizzling hot and just needed a pinch more salt (surprised?)
The pace suits us just fine. We like to have a little bit of time to talk and digest before moving on to the main course and at the same time, we don't want to feel forgotten.
For me, well, I may have given a clue earlier, but I had the hamburger and fries. I still dream about the perfectly cooked potatoes that had a balanced crispy exterior and fluffy white interior. The fried onions were grown locally in Pine Island and the burger was prepared medium-well as requested.
Now, you may remember how this all started...the Mr. said he wanted ribs. The funny thing is, he ordered brisket. Not at all the same. Even funnier, I knew that was what he really wanted. Remember, 27 years of marriage. Two people get to know each other eventually. At least it wasn't chicken. I also could have predicted those baked beans as a side choice - the macaroni and cheese, well, it was on the list of possibilities. I tried the pasta and the beef and yes, the brisket was a winner. Delicate in texture, it broke apart easily and the best part for me what that the first taste was not pure smoke. I prefer the smoke to be the second or even third flavor I am aware of rather than having it assault my taste buds. On the other end of the spectrum, the macaroni and cheese, while traditional was somehow not very exciting.
Casual, comfortable and relaxed. Probably the 3 best words to describe Brian's.
We've certainly grown, culinarily speaking, since we were teenagers and Friday nights were a guarantee that pizza would somehow be on the menu. As young parents, Friday nights probably also meant pizza with our little family. When we took back date nights, we started heading out for the trendy restaurants and now, it's back to comfort and whatever mood strikes. We are enjoying our journey together and are Fed Well.