Coming across a great lunch spot, that is not jam packed at 12:00 p.m. on a weekday, comes a dime a dozen. Riddle me this? Am I the only one that walks into a restaurant, that is reminiscent of a ghost town, and immediately thinks, "how good can the food really be"? It's horrible, I know, but for some reason we feel that if a place is packed, the food must be on some "Best Of" list. It took me a few visits to completely eliminate the stereotype for Bistro Alex; a great bistro located in popular City Centre.
As I entered Bistro Alex, on my first visit during lunch, I had no clue what to expect. However, I could tell you what I did know...we were the only freakin' people there! Given the gorgeous view, I felt it was only right to give it a shot. Worst case, I could always run over to Ooh la la Dessert Boutique for a post lunch fix. After returning a few more times over the course of several weeks, I came to the realization that maybe no one knows about this place. It could be that it has fallen victim to the "hotel restaurant" stereotype. Hey, maybe their peak time is 10:00 a.m.? Maybe they knew I was coming and this was their way of rolling out the red carpet for me? Whatever the reason, I had found a new fave.
Now comes the good part...
Coincidentally, one of my visits fell right during national burger month and Bistro Alex had officially showed up to play. They were offering an American burger topped with fried shrimp! This wasn't the first time I questioned the angle of a strangely constructed dish. Beef and shrimp on a burger? Yeah...no. I wasn't going for it; until I tried it. It was phenomenal for all the reasons you love a juicy patty and perfectly seasoned (and battered) shrimp. Unfortunately, this item was only available in the month of May. So much for a timely post, right? Shoot me.
The lunch menu at Bistro Alex has become one of my tried and true. Your typical lunch needs are met by way of soups, chopped salads, burgers and flatbread pizzas. But, they also catch you off guard and throw in items like their Corn Bisque, Salmon BLT, and the famous Brennan's Turtle Soup. For those that are not aware, Bistro Alex is a member of the Brennan’s family of restaurants. The Brennan's brand is world renowned and originates out of Louisiana, so you best believe the old saying holds true, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". However, unlike its predecessor, Bistro Alex offers a more casual dining experience.
My favorite dish during lunch is most definitely the Spinach Salad (made with red onion, pressed egg, spiced pecans, and brown sugar-bacon vinaigrette). I typically forfeit the inclusion of the red onion only because I actually do like the people I work with. Everyone knows the red onion rule at lunch...just don't do it! You will thank me later. As far as price goes, Bistro Alex can hang with the best of them. In the end, you get what you pay for. Apparently, at some time, Bistro Alex did offer a three course business lunch special for $15.95. This has since been removed from the menu and is no longer offered. Note to Bistro Alex...please update your website. That would be grrrreeeeaaat…um-kay? (in my annoying Lumbergh (Office Space) voice)!
Clearly, I have given up my honeycomb hideout. We typically refer to a "honeycomb hideout" (taken from the 1980's Honeycomb cereal commercials) as a secret place we want to keep all to ourselves. It can be a restaurant, a clothing boutique, bar, etc. Although I have the best intentions and want to share the love, I am bitter and in the back of my mind, would choose not to. Some may call it stingy; I call it protective. But, having a food blog has become my therapy in a sense. So, go out, explore and enjoy. Who knows? You may venture into a lonely establishment and claim it as your own honeycomb hideout! Bistro Alex should be one at the top of your list.
~ Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones, Urban Swank