Friday, September 5, 2008


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.

Shining stars:
- 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


Ηλίας Θαλάσσης said...
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Anonymous said...

Ooh, looks like someone was being a naughty commenter!

We're heading over to Beaver's this Thursday for dinner and drinks. I'd sworn off their food a long time ago and only went for the awesome drinks, but I'm definitely going to give the food another shot now that everything's been all shook up over there. :)

Becca said...

So I come upon this blog and love the first post I read and already want to go to eat at Beaver's and it's not till I read every post that I realize that it is Ruthie writing! Great blog, I will have to check in to find good new places ot eat!
"RH's little sis"

Genie said...

I'm SO sad I didn't get to go with you guys. :(

Ruthie J. said...

Hi Becca -- How funny that you stumbled upon this!! Congratulations to you on your recent nuptials :)

G -- I wish you could come, too. One week let's do a Thursday special!

neverfull said...

i liked the chickpea stirfry when i had it on my first visit to beaver's a few weeks after it opened. the chickpeas were crispy. sad to hear they weren't the same way on your visit.

had the lamb wraps when dax was still in the kitchen and they were good.

thanks for the review. looking forward to more jj influenced changes to the menu.

o4 said...

To me the standout is the Nacho Mama's Oysters. A fried oyster a top a fried wonton smeared with guacamole and a habanero sauce...the service isn't spectacular and not every dish is great, but the oysters warrant a visit or two...