Thursday , 28 August 2014

Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Brew

Foiled again!

So a few weeks ago I mentioned that I had come up with this awesome crockpot recipe but unfortunately I asked my husband to turn it on 10.5 hours for me and he cooked it on high not low.

So I got up early yesterday morning and attempted it again.  And, if possible, it was looking even better than it had before.  I did my usual, went to work, went to school, and came home around 8pm looking forward to it.

But something was wrong…the inside lid didn’t look steamy like it usually does.  I put my hands on the outside and it was slightly warm.  After checking the front panel it was on the ‘keep warm’ setting but after opening the lid the food inside wasn’t cooked!

I remember checking it three separate times in the morning, just to make sure it was on and everything was right.  It was counting down.  It was on low.  Everything was perfect.  Argh!

Unless my husband secretly came behind me and turned it to keep warm to mess with me and/or maybe he just really didn’t want to eat that meal (which I highly doubt) the closest thing I can figure out is that maybe there was a power surge and my slow cooker automatically switched to warm.  It must have happened pretty early on in the process because the peppers and all the other vegetables were still crunchy.

And I know it was on low darnit!  I checked it three times!  *Sigh*

Maybe this is like a cosmic sign telling me that the recipe is not going to be good?  But I really think it is and I have a whole side dish plan for it and everything.  I’m going to give it one more shot and if that doesn’t work I’m giving up on it and moving on.

So at this point we were both extremely hungry and needed to head out and grab a quick dinner.  I’d been wanting to try Sammy’s for a while now so we decided to head up there.We arrived at Sammy’s right around 8:40pm.  Their website says they’re open Monday through Saturday 11 – 11, with shorter hours on Sunday.

There were a few tables in there, but they certainly weren’t packed.  We tend to just sit at the bar at restaurants because you usually get better service, so we snagged two of the open seats and started to browse the menu.

You can tell that Sammy originally started as a Mexican restaurant owner (he also owns El Pueblo) just by glancing through the menu.  Nachos, quesadillas, chorizo, you get the idea.

I wanted to at least get some vegetables in so we decided to start with a vegetable quesadilla ($6.95) and a side of celery and blue cheese ($1.75).

The vegetable quesadilla comes with a side of sour cream, a side of salsa, and a side of guacamole.  First off, I really appreciate the variety of condiments because I’m a huge condiment person.  I enjoyed mixing and matching between what I was going to dip my quesadilla in.  The salsa was pretty standard, although still good.  The guacamole was super thick with small chunks, and since I’m a huge fan of guacamole you can’t really go wrong by giving me a side of it.

The quesadilla itself was packed with vegetables, mostly sauteed onions and peppers, with a bit of zucchini thrown in there for fun.  I think there might have been mushroom in there too but I’m not 100% so don’t quote me on it.  It was also overflowing with what the menu describes as “Mexican Melting Cheese” and was perfect.  This was not a skimpy quesadilla and was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us.  My husband hopefully asked me if I wasn’t going to eat my last piece to which I responded that I was waiting for him to finish mowing his down so I could actually get to mine.

They did give me a huge amount of celery but I tend to judge places by their blue cheese.  This blue cheese was not that great.  It was kinda watery and thin.  I’m not sure which brand they use (I doubt they make it in house) but they should probably switch it.  There’s better brands out there for restaurants.

We were going to get a burger, but I have a definite soft spot for hot dogs.  It’s been such a big thing lately, especially in Ohio, about all of these different burgers and I like burgers, I do.  But I love hot dogs with tons of interesting toppings and that’s a bit harder to find (Senate, Hot Doggin’ It, & Brother’s are the places I know it).

Sammy’s offers Nathan’s Hot Dogs which I’ve always liked for their appealing bite.  We settled on the Ranchero Dog ($5.15) described as having, “chorizo, red and green peppers and onion”.  Personally, I love chorizo.  I’ve been known to go out to Mexican restaurant and order a chorizo soft taco as my meal (sometimes to the confusion of the employees – yes I want chorizo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese in taco form, that’s it).  We also asked for some added jalapenos on the dog.

Sammy’s gives you the option of adding fries to your hot dog for $1 but we skipped that in favor of adding garlic fries which I think they charged us $2 for which is understandable since the price point is a bit higher.

First off the Ranchero Dog.  My one criticism is that there was maybe, one jalapeno on the whole thing.  Maybe next time I should ask for a side of jalapenos, that way I’ll hopefully get a bit more.  It had a good amount of tasty chorizo on it, and was overflowing with sauteed onions and peppers which I really enjoyed.  It was a bit dry, but after getting a side of chipotle mayo (see why my blog description says and Maybe Not So Healthy Eating in Cincinnati) that fixed any dryness issues.  This dog was good, really good, and we happily devoured it.

Let’s talk garlic fries.  If you love garlic, you will love these.  Seriously.  We usually never eat all of our fries but I had to make my husband leave at least one on the plate to soothe my healthy eating conscious (see – we didn’t eat all of it!). They were thicker fries and upon asking, we found out that they toss them in garlic butter.  Oh that explains the overall deliciousness of these fries.  They’re covered with garlic butter!  I refuse to feel bad about how much I enjoyed them.  To top it all off, they’ve covered with a light sprinkling of parmesean cheese as a sort of salty, cheesy accent. Basically I’d go back to Sammy’s just for these fries alone.

About the service, I think the bartender was pretty busy cleaning things (you could smell some of the bleach he was using).  Honestly, he was a nice guy and did make sure to eventually check on our quesadilla when it was taking a little while longer than it should have and did offer us refills.  I will say though that after I accepted his drink offer, he forgot to bring it.  I ended up having to ask for it, at which point he apologized and brought it to me.  We also never got silverware.  We were grabbing bev naps to wipe our hands and I got creative when I needed to spread the mayo on the dog.  I grabbed a drink straw and ended up using that since we didn’t have any silverware or napkins.

I honestly don’t think he’s a bad server or that he had bad intentions, I just think he was a bit distracted and since it was toward the end of the night maybe there were other things fighting for his attention?

So I might recommend going during a busier time.  The service certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the greatest ever. Although this place does have a local neighborhood sports bar type of feel (which is intentional) so I’m really not expecting to go there and get super five star service, I’d go fine dining for that.

With everything we ordered, quesadilla, celery, blue cheese, hot dog, garlic fries, and two alcoholic drinks our total bill was $26 something.  Not bad at all considering the amount we received and general tastiness.  I was stuffed by the time we left.

Overall – local neighborhood kind of feel, good food and a good price point.  I’m sure we’ll visit again (especially to get more of those garlic fries!)

If you’d like, check out their website Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers

Sammy's Gourmet Burgers and Beer on Urbanspoon

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