Thursday, August 9, 2007
Restaurant Review: Maxie's
And it's time for the "it's about time cuz you ate there almost a week ago" restaurant review.
If you have been wondering how Maxie's holds up to the palates at Burp! you can now rest easy.
We give it 2 out of 4 burps.
What does that mean?
Well, let's start with the appetizer: the heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese.
This dish held up relatively well, considering its relatively steep price tag. The tomatoes, perfectly ripe and juicy, and sliced to perfection, wreaked of summer. The fact that they were local heirlooms was an added bonus. They were splashed with a slightly tangy balsamic vinaigrette, which helped to bring out their sweetness, and accompanied with a pleasantly tangy (and "goaty") chevre. *slurp* The app earned at least 1/2 a burp all by itself.
Our entrees didn't quite live up to all of the hype.
The first thing we noted is that it took an unusually long period of time for them to compose our dinner plates. Peef ordered one of the specials -- the St. Louis style ribs, which (while tasty) were crisped to an almost charred blackness on one side. The ribs were almost redeemed by their accompanying sides -- crisped french fries, a lovely arugula salad with fresh sweet corn and a small bowl of delectable cajun baked beans (which packed quite a punch of flavor).
Lo's fried oyster po'boy fared a bit better. In fact, of all the dinners, the sandwich platter won our vote for best choice. The oysters, crisped to perfection, seemed a bit bland on their own. But, when paired with the zest of the cajun mayonnaise and a bit of crunch from a leaf or two of fresh lettuce, they made a fine sandwich. The "cajun fries" turned out to be nothing more than waffle fries embellished with a bit of cajun seasoning; but they were crisp and perfect when dunked in a bit of ketchup and chipotle tabasco sauce. What made the sandwich platter unique were the homemade refrigerator pickles -- which were a pleasant cross between a sweet pickle and something more tangy. These would have been great placed right ON the sandwich; but, they were equally lovely eaten right out of hand.
Our dinner companion (Lo's dad) ordered crab cakes, which were served with a generous portion of sweet potato fries ("different" -- but "like dessert for dinner" he declared) and a lovely mound of bleu cheese coleslaw (which didn't thrill his palate -- he doesn't like blue cheese--but which Lo thought was nicely balanced and a pleasant departure from the "usual" slaw). Again, the sides overshadowed the main dish (two over-crisped crab cakes) and left us all feeling as if seafood really were something better ordered on the East Coast, rather than in Milwaukee.
The factor that made us decide that the trip was ALL worthwhile turned out to be dessert. The three of us sampled TWO of the offerings -- the key lime pie and the bourbon peach tart -- both of which left us smacking our lips with delight. The key lime was "too tart" at the start, but the flavor mellowed out into limey bliss as it mixed with the pleasant crunch of the graham cracker crust. The peach tart tasted home-baked, with a slightly too-thick crust and a filling of fresh bourbon-soaked peaches, caramelized in a hot oven. The desserts were capped off with cups of genuinely fabulous coffee, which left us lingering at the table long after we declared ourselves "too full to move".
We'll give Maxie's another chance to earn another burp... maybe for dinner, but more likely for lunch when we can sample more of the sandwich menu. And we'll definitely be back for more dessert (and coffee).