And for once, the heavens smiled down on the WTGW crew, and we were given a nice evening for a patio dinner.
Wait, what? Can that really be true?
Yes, for once Mother Nature decided to not be an absolute whore, and actually saved the torrential downpours and/or 60 degree temperatures for another night of the week. Trust me, we were as shocked as you likely are. And to think it only took until literally the last week of August for that to happen this summer. Believe me when I say with the utmost sarcasm that Ohio summers are awesome.
Darby’s on 59 is one of those places that we’ve driven by since about last summer, always noticing the green awnings on the patio with the cute lights strung across, and for a while honestly just thought it was someone’s house that really, really likes to entertain. Especially since it, well, I think it actually did used to be someone’s house at one time. The brick structure with the front porch and paved walkway doesn’t exactly scream “we cook meals for the public here” – and I think for a while it either didn’t have a sign out front or I completely missed it on several occasions. Either of those scenerios is 100% possible.
Anyway, we were a party of three for this week’s WTGW, thanks to Amanda’s late day appointment for a tire replacement – which turned into a brake job – which turned into “it’s 8PM and I’m tired and poor so I’m just going home.” Stupid cars.
Speaking of cars, I have to admit we were a bit worried walking into the place, because the amount of cars in the parking lot seemed to spell trouble in terms of us getting a table. But upon walking in it seemed that pretty much we were the only people who carpooled there, because there were way more available tables for the amount of cars out there. Do people just park there and walk around the block? Are half of those leftover cars from drunken Tuesday adventures? I’m so confused.
We were also slightly confused with the seat yourself vs. wait protocol when we walked in, since there’s no signage to tell you one way or the other. And not even a waitress to yell at you to take any open table, like in a few of the classy establishments we’ve visited. I never thought I would miss that welcoming entrance.
Ted, Shane and I kind of lingered in the doorway for a few minutes with what I can only assume were looks of lost puppy dogs on our faces before one of the bartenders finally walked over and instructed us to sit anywhere. We fessed up that actually we were looking for the door to the back patio, which he pointed out was in the back corner. And when I say corner, I mean that literally. It’s pretty much right behind a server’s station, and three people had to kind of wedge themselves up against the wall for us to pass through. I don’t think any of us were ever so grateful for fresh air.
Luckily the patio wasn’t super busy either (seriously, who do all those cars belong to??) so we grabbed a table in the back corner. Where I think we then became invisible to the staff. Or maybe they were all just stuck in the doorway to the patio. Whatevs.
In any case, when we were finally able to put in our drink order, Shane went with a Stella, and Ted and I both opted for the Fat Head’s Bumbleberry … which we then had to change a few minutes later when the server came back to tell us the keg had just blown. Because of course it did – this is our group after all, and we’d had a fairly good run this summer.
So I instead chose a summer wheat, and Ted went with an IPA … although I guess the server didn’t much care what Ted wanted, because when he returned he instead had two glasses that looked eerily similar. Hmmm. Ted took one sip and – much like the infamous “it has to be sweet” comment at Gus’ Chalet – declared that was definitely not an IPA. Unfortunately it was another hot minute before we saw the server to let him know this – and Ted being Ted, he managed to finish about half the glass in that time (hey, he was thirsty) – but Ted did mention then that his beer “oddly doesn’t taste like an IPA,” and was apologized to and brought the correct beer at that time. Although Shane noted that Ted may want to check for some extra saliva in it before he took the first sip.
We ordered the pub chips for appetizer, which turned out to be really good. Crispy without being overcooked, and sprinkled with just the right amount of salt, parmesan and garlic. The dip was a little thin for my taste, but honestly the chips had enough taste for me that I didn’t even need the side dip.
I ordered the tequila lime chicken wrap, which was good. The spicy mayo made it. I got roasted fingerling potatoes as my side, which were also good but I did wonder why half of them were yellow and half blue. I ate them regardless … but I at least had the common sense to wonder about it first.
Ted had the swordfish tacos. He also ordered one of the filet mignon sliders, because why not. As he said “I’ve never seen steak offered on a slider before, so I figure I should try it.” He’s kind of like Mikey in that respect. Unfortunately it wasn’t the greatest thing ever. He said everything was OK, but nothing special. Boo. But at least it sounds impressive I guess.
Shane had the jalepeno burger, which be ordered medium to rare and was served well done. He seems to have this problem a lot, so, again, why even ask. He did say that his favorite things about the meal were his fries, and the appetizer chips. So basically as far as Shane’s review is concerned anything made with salt and potatoes was really, really good here.
The atmosphere on the patio was great. Once the sun went down they lit the fire rocks on one of the nearby tables, which was a great touch. While I will admit we got sucked into the conversation of the obvious ladies night group that was throwing back the drinks next to us, it was still a very inviting atmosphere to sit outside and enjoy the evening. I’m not sure that we’d return once the weather turns, though, as just walking through the interior of the restaurant to get to the restroom made me a bit claustrophobic. Maybe they need to take up some of that parking lot space and build an addition. Seriously.
Picked by: Steph
Drinks: Nice mix of craft and domestic beers in bottles. The taps are all rotating craft beers, which can be good or bad depending on how you view those. Impressive wine and martini list as well.
Food: OK. The menu is about as large as the place, so there aren’t a ton of choices – but enough variety to please a group.
Service: A bit slow, which seemed odd considering there were a lot of people behind the bar when we walked in, and not a lot of tables or patrons in the place.
Overall: Good place for patio drinks and summer evenings hanging with friends. And I saw flyers advertising bands – which I hope to God are outside because I think a drum kit would take up half the restaurant – but that would be a fun vibe outside as well.
Next Pick: Amanda