This past Wednesday found ten of us retesting the waters at Monica Pope’s fancy-ish BBQ joint/icehouse Beaver’s. I, for one, was excited to check out the digs under new head chef, Jonathan Jones, freshly imported from the new Americas in the Woodlands. Jones was the founding chef at Max’s Wine Dive, which seems to foreshadow a great fit at the “upscale dive” that is Beaver’s.
The inside was crowded and we had a big group, so the deck suited us just fine. Cocktails for all and a jackpot of appetizers set my heart a flutter. Soon we were face to face with a cornucopia of dishes, and Jones’s revamped menu certainly outperformed… Here’s an overview:
- Corn Puppies – Polenta, cheese, and sweet corn hush puppies were moist with a dreamy consistency. An excellent variation.
- Stuffed Peperoncini Angels – Spicy peperoncinis, loaded with cream cheese and pork, then fried. Melty-delicious and great for sharing.
- Philly Mac & Cheese – More like a creamy pasta than old school mac-n-cheese. Too much cream and not enough cheese IMO.
- Sweet Potatoes – Roasted, fried, and served with a miso-mustard sauce. I love sweet potatoes, so was all over these.
- Chickpea Two Fry – Fried chickpeas, stir fried with broccoli and peppers. The chickpeas were soggy, making this my least favorite.
- Jon-Jon Noodles – Vermicelli noodles spiced up with a limey, sweet sauce. Tasty, but the Asian flavors seemed a little out of place.
- Spicy Lamb Wrap -- The spicy lamb is mixed with almonds and dried fruit, then served with bibb lettuce cups. Loved.
- Pibil-Roasted Half Chicken – Baked in an achiote-citrus marinade, which was a little overbearing. Not my favorite dish.
- Meatloaf – Bison and beef loaf, actually, with an incredible mushroom sauce… Perfect consistency. FANTASTIC.
- Smoked Beef Sandwich – Messy, Barbecue-y delight, served with coleslaw. Looks like a Sloppy Joe, and tastes even better.
Our service. Oh, our service. It was fairly nonexistent, which is a shame. Our server was incredibly nice, exceedingly helpful, and spot on with recommendations. I just wish we had seen more of her. Seems off kilter for a Monica Pope restaurant, so I’m going to chalk this one up to a busy and under-staffed evening.
- Rosemary Gimlet: My new favorite summer drink
- Polenta hush puppies: Just a hint of sweetness
- Lamb wraps: Creative, well-presented, delicious
- Meatloaf: Upscale downhome goodness
- The space, in general – great for any size group
Crashed and burned:
- Service on the deck: Methinks it was an off night
- Chickpea salad: Fried chickpeas were not as imagined
- Roasted half chicken: The sauce was overpowering
Beaver’s - 2310 Decatur (at Sawyer) in the Heights
The Rosemary Gimlet, light and refreshing
The chickpea stir fry and sweet potato fries
Delicious lamb lettuce cups
Pibil-roasted half chicken