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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
Barrett's On The Pike
Bel Air, MD
I have always wanted to see more eating establishments in Bel Air. Not so much fast food or family style franchise operations but good quality restaurants. Bel Air, doesn't need more auto parts stores or banks for crying out loud!. But the other day, Monday I went with a friend to the Barrett's on The Pike restaurant. I meant to go to this place but just been very busy. But at last, I had the opportunity. My buddy had gone to this place a couple of times and told me its pretty good. So, we went out of tall the days it was a Monday. Now for those that don't know, Monday going out to eat means, the restaurant is trying to get rid of what was remaining on the weekend. The food may not be the freshest and you can usually tell. I have to say when I walked in to the restaurant, the staff at the front desk was very hospitable and friendly. A great sign that shows they recognize patrons coming in and they appreciate it.
The dining room was decorated in a contemporary style very fitting for the atmosphere casual but not stuffy and a touch of class. Our waitress was friendly, informative and professional.
The menu was easy to read not cluttered yet very appealing to the palate.
I wanted to try the appetizer as I usually do. It's a sign of how the rest of the meal will be. I was curious about a certain appetizer, the Shrimp Gargot. Our waitress described the dish with excellence and clarity and she knew exactly all that was needed to describe this dish. In a nutshell it was shrimp placed in an escargot plate with butter and covered in cheese. it was excellent.
As usual I do try the soup. I decided to try the Crab and Roasted corn soup. The crab was lump crab meat and I have to believe the corn was actually roasted because some of the corn kernels had a small piece of the husk. That's fresh! The cream soup had a dsh of old bay and fresh sherry. It was marvelous.
I couldn't wait to get my entrée. it was the short ribs with a Mongolian barbeque sauce. topped with thin onion rings on top with a side of fresh coleslaw. Now, coleslaw is always a dead giveaway in terms of was the coleslaw made in advance or the same day. The coleslaw was made the same day. Crispy, crunchy, not too sweet and not to sour, just right. The short ribs came out and it was 2 nice size pieces of short rib. For me, it was a perfect portion. The short rib was braised perfectly, the meat flaked off with my fork but not totally, there was a slight tug of the meat but was perfect. Sometimes with short ribs, it can come totally over done and sometimes it comes way under done but at Barrett's it was perfect, the sauce wasn't overbearing.
To say that my Monday evening dinner was good, is an understatement. It was fabulous. There was the balance of great customer service, great hospitality and most important great food and atmosphere.
I only wish more of these type restaurants open up in Bel Air.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I rate Barrett's a 5+.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan.com