Choices, Oh-So-Delicious Choices
Oct 06, 2014 01:05PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Photography by Tony Lewis, Jr.
1906 Towne Centre Blvd.,
Suite 155, Annapolis
Located within the bustling Annapolis Towne Centre and featuring plenty of comfortable indoor and outdoor seating—including an outdoor fireplace—Gordon Biersch proves to be a great restaurant to grab pub bites, meet up with friends for happy hour, or take in a lively sit-down dinner. The entire staff was very friendly and knowledgeable during our recent visit, especially our server Alley.
We began our evening out with a variety of drinks, ordering the Marzen Beer, Czech Pilsner, and a Cucumber Basil Collins. The beers were, of course, fantastic. After all, this is a brew house. The Marzen (meaning March, in German) is very smooth and darker in color. I really enjoyed it and according to our server this is their most popular beer. The Czech Pilsner, another great option, is lighter in color and has a medium body with a touch of bitter, nay spicy, finish. In terms of cocktails, I think I have found my new favorite, the Cucumber Basil Collins. This was so refreshing, yet not overly sweet.
Choosing what to order was challenging, as the menu is rather large and has such a great variety. We had to consult our server for recommendations. We ordered some of the most popular items—the Southwest Egg Rolls, Fish Tacos, and the Fried Artichoke Hearts—as appetizers.
The Southwest Eggrolls are two fried eggrolls cut on a bias. They are on the spicy side—a heads up for those that are sensitive to spicy food—but I, however, love spicy food and these were delicious. They’re stuffed with pulled chicken, black beans, corn, roasted red peppers, carrots, zucchini, and pepper jack cheese. The Fish Tacos are four to a serving, with several lime wedges. They had chunks of sautéed mahi with avocado cream. The tacos had good contrasting textures of soft tortillas and the tender fish with crunchy cabbage. They also had some really bright flavors with charred tomato salsa and cotija cheese.
The Fried Artichoke Hearts were a large portion, definitely enough to share, with a crispy exterior and softer, briny interior. The bright lemon garlic aioli is a perfect accompaniment and a side of baby arugula gives the dish a popping peppery flavor.
Progressing through the meal with entrées, we selected: the 14 oz. Ribeye with Gorgonzola; Filet Medallions with Shrimp; and the Lobster and Shrimp Tacos. Again with the menu being robust, we asked our server to steer us in the direction of her favorite items, and she did not disappoint. The Ribeye was boneless, topped with a gorgonzola butter and served with green beans and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. The steak was grilled to perfection with a hearty smear of pungent, half-melted gorgonzola butter. The butter made this steak so rich my guest couldn’t possibly eat it all. She definitely ate an amazing leftovers lunch the next day. The beans were cooked to a vibrant bright green and the potatoes made this dish feel very comforting.
The Lobster and Shrimp Tacos were a site to see. They were two flour tortillas perfectly adhered to blue corn hard shell tacos sitting upright and stuffed with shrimp and lobster, served alongside a mound of rice and black beans. The corn tortilla and its soft counterpart, as well as the tender shrimp and lobster, gave this dish diverse texture and flavor.
The Filet Medallions with Shrimp were also very tasty. The dish was plated with two petite filets cooked to temp and a skewer of four grilled shrimp, set beside garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. The steak was served at an on-point temperature and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. The potatoes and beans round out this dish to perfection. This is a very solid, delicious dish.
Dessert, as always, was another challenge. After eating so much wonderful food it was hard to imagine tasting many choice desserts too. So I always get excited when places offer mini desserts. Here, they just so happen to offer a dessert mini sampler of all four of their full size desserts. It was a win-win situation, perfect size and just enough for the three of us to share.
The samples included the triple chocolate brownie, warm apple bread pudding, strawberry cheesecake, and a double chocolate cake. The bread pudding is New Orleans-style, which includes pecans and a tangy whiskey sauce, in addition to a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. The cheesecake was topped with a house-made strawberry sauce and freshly sliced strawberries. And the rich, dense double chocolate cake was layered with chocolate mousse and house-made chocolate fudge. The decadent chocolate brownie was served with vanilla ice cream over caramel and chocolate sauces.
Overall Gordon Biersch is upscale enough to be a star at the Annapolis Towne Centre, but not overly stuffy, with a very reasonable and approachable menu. There should be seasonal additions to the menu, especially for Oktoberfest. I highly recommend heading out to try some great beer and fantastic food.