Upon walking into Mendel’s joint, Backyard BBQ and Brew, the first impression I got was a cool and hip ambiance with a laid back attitude, a place to chill with amazing food and drinks. The artfully decorated walls displaying just a sampling of Mendel’s awards from various BBQ competitions that he has been competing in for only the past few years, give testimony to the flavors that will be tasted in your mouth shortly.
I ordered the BBQ burger (per Mendel’s suggestion), half pound beef patty, cooked medium rare that was skillfully layered with pulled brisket, BBQ sauce and topped with crunchy fried onions. Add a side of house fries and this is sure to fill even the most manliest of men. As I hungrily bit into the steaming burger, my mouth was thrown into a flavor frenzy between the savory ground beef and the sweet tanginess of the brisket, mixed with Mendel’s sweet and tangy BBQ sauce (available on Amazon or ask your local grocery store).
After 3 large bites I was surprised to discover that I had only consumed only half the burger and still had the house fries to attack. I decided to come up for air to sample the delicious house fries and wash it down with 2 gulps of Boulevard wheat beer.
While inquiring about the selection of beer, Mendel was excited to divulge that they are hoping soon to have a selection of over 40 craft beers on hand available in cans or bottles. His reasoning was eye opening; he revealed that cans/bottles have a more consistent flavor in the batches they make versus kegs that are brewed on a smaller scale for each individual keg. This was a small, yet interesting detail that most restaurant owners don’t contemplate but Mendel does. It’s all about the details.
When I wasn’t lovingly staring at my burger, I was able to glance up and catch parts of the football game being shown on two giant 55” TVs on the wall behind the bar.
As I finished my meal I was genuinely filled and satisfied and not needing any dessert. And then a server happened to be walking past me with a fresh slice of Mendel’s famous Maple Bourbon Pecan pie. Although I did pass on ordering it, the aroma of it wafting from the table across from me did make me seriously contemplate getting a slice to go.
The environment of the restaurant makes me want to stop in every Sunday, around noon and stay to eat all afternoon until the final game of Sunday Night Football is finished. I can definitely see myself hanging out here with a group of football or baseball fans to root for our favorite teams.
Two hours later I commented to my wife Rachel (a.k.a. “riskyveggie”) how tasty that burger was and how satisfied I still was. My wife commented that I should just write a blog entry about it and let everyone else know my experience from stopping by Mendel Segal’s place, Backyard BBQ & Brew. I highly recommend visiting there as often as you can while visiting Surfside/Miami area.
Check out Daniel’s review of the restaurants he visited while in South Florida:
Stay hungry my friends!