Again, I find some fun places miss a great review by just a couple quick fixes. This is what I find at the Monkey Bar. I am not going to their "main entrees such as Prime Rib, Steaks, & other entrees that are fine. It is a few of the smaller plates that really shine. I'll start with the burger, and probably get slammed on this one. My last order came out perfectly done, rare to medium rare, pink all the way through. The kitchen does know how to cook with precision. However the burger was totally lacking in flavor, even that of beef. If the product is pre-formed, that can be a problem, if bought in bulk and formed it is an easy fix. Here are some popular easy "pick-me-ups for burgers". Julia (yes Child) likes sauteed shallots, cooled & mixed into her burger meat, a little cracked black pepper always is welcome, Club 21 NYC used to add very finely chopped celery to their famous burger, me - I add a couple dashes of Worchestershire Sauce, and a place on 47th Terrace adds the winner of Cook's Illustrated Magazine steak sauce to theirs - may I say it ends with the numbers of "57". Gently mix in any of these, or your own ideas, leaving the meat quite loose and you have a delicious burger. I am giving suggestions here, not commandments. Want a great Mexi-burger, add some roasted problano pepper. Don't want to roast problanos, then add carefully,some diced chipotle in adobo, top with a piece of Mexican Melting Cheese, a slice of avocado, and some fresh salsa. Right now that version of the burger has so much salsa and cheese, the burger can't be tasted and the bun disintegrates. A few fixes and it would be great. I find the same happens to the other burgers and I would suggest changing the burger bun to an honest one - they can even be found in the bakery section of popular markets. Yes, I used to make my own down in Key West, but no need for that here. Moving to the fries - quite a few years ago Cooks Illustrated (again) let it be known that cornstarch helps to keep the fries crispy. Now so many of the industrial fries have so much starch on them it is difficult to taste potato. What do I do - order the steak fries for 2 bucks more. Doesn’t matter if they are made on the premises, but they taste of potato. Point is, there are many choices out in the commercial world and quality levels, I would choose a French fry that was a little more "real". OK off the burgers and onto the delicious Badaboom Shrimp. Now these are really good and you should try them. However they are also offered as Three Badaboom Shrimp Tacos. They are served with some lettuce, tomato, and cheese, not much of the condiments as they do not fit a pre-boxed hard shell taco. And there is my problem. We all know what boxed hard shell taco shells taste like - cardboard. The presentation is OK as they are just put in a simple kitchen taco holder. It took a couple minutes to realize that the kitchen can't fry tacos to order. But why not turn them into Tostadas? There are really great pre-made tostada shells on the market, the best by "Old El Paso", and the next one I believe by "Ole". Now you could really get a nice plate going on with three of these beginning with chopped lettuce, yes iceberg, (if you're authentic you can toss the lettuce with some salt and a little vinegar), diced tomatoes, the great Badaboom Shrimp that probably has sauce enough already, avocado and some diced cilantro and a few radish rounds. Now with a minimum of trouble, you have something different and really terrific. Same would go for the Badaboom Taco Salad. I am sure "El Paso" makes a decent large Tortilla Shell which would not have a tendency to sog out and would be fresh to begin with. The only other thing I am going to pick on here is the grilled chicken sandwich, not the one on Nan bread. If the chicken breast were pounded somewhat and given a little marinade, the grilling would take but a minute or two on each side, taste of the grill without being dry, and make a sandwich much easier to enjoy. Those few suggestions would help out the "bar food" as well as those who like something not quite as large as an entree. As you can see, after having had much of their food, those are very few comments and I hope some good ones. Stop on by. Don't be afraid of the dining room. I tend to eat in there either because of the weather or to avoid a large crowd. Give it a try, but hang short of the tacos and just have the Badaboom shrimp as is for now. I'm only trying to change what detracts from them, and that which would add to an already good burger. My other suggestion is not to saturate the burger entrees with so much that the bun disappears and you can't taste the burger - and all that is easily changes as above.
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