Fried Green Beans
American pub food enjoyed by all ages
By Katy M. Clark
Red Brick Kitchen & Bar
8093 Main St
Dexter, MI 48130
Hours: Mon – Sat 11:00am – 11:00pm;
“Those fried green beans are awesome!” was not something I heard every day. Yet that was exactly what I heard while dining recently at Red Brick Kitchen & Bar in downtown Dexter.
Red Brick opened this fall in a spot previously occupied by Bistro Renaissance. Owners Peter and Megan Landrum strive to provide a place where everyone, including kids, can enjoy a good meal. The interior is sparsely decorated and gently lit, relying mostly on the exposed brick walls for atmosphere.
There are no tablecloths or preponderance of knick-knacks. It struck me as the restaurant version of your favorite coffeehouse.
The Red Brick was crowded on the night we dined, but the hubbub was pleasant not bothersome. “What do they have?” asked my daughter, 3, as we settled at our table. “They might have Mac n cheese or chicken nuggets,” I said. “Or chicken legs!” she declared.
For the kids
In reality, the kids’ menu at Red Brick included chicken tenders, grilled cheese, cheese pizza, spaghetti, or butter noodles. Priced at $5.99, kids’ meals include a drink plus fries or the vegetable of the day. My daughter chose chicken tenders and fries. My son, 7, wanted a burger. We brazenly shunned the kids’ menu and ordered him a plain burger from the regular menu topped with nothing but cheese.
“Do you want provolone, pepper jack, Swiss or cheddar cheese?” asked our server.
“I want American,” my son replied.
She smoothly convinced him that cheddar was close enough.
After perusing the salads, sandwiches, and entrées, I chose a Bacon Burger. You can’t beat a good pub burger and I wanted to see how Red Brick’s fared. My husband selected the steak special with potatoes and fried green beans. We also tried the special appetizer of the day: fried jalapeño cheese balls. They arrived hot, gooey and good. “They won’t blow down,” sighed my 3-year-old, huffi ng on a piece. Once cooled, it turned out too spicy for her anyway.
When our meals were served, I knew right away that my son could never fi nish his burger. It was, after all, 8 oz. of beefy goodness. I also knew he would freak out that it came with lettuce, tomato, onion. After some rearranging, though, he dug in and managed to eat half. Not bad for a 7-year-old.
My first impression of my bacon burger, topped with thick-cut applewood bacon and Swiss cheese, was that it was dry. I tasted more of the pretzel roll it came on than the burger. After adding mustard and the rejected lettuce and tomato from my son’s plate, I tried again. This time I was impressed, particularly by the patty. The meat was juicy and flavorful bite after bite. I also liked my fries, which were thick cut, light, and tasty.
My husband savored his steak, commenting it was lean with little fat. He easily finished his mashed potatoes and deep-fried green beans, proclaiming their awesomeness as mentioned earlier and stating, “they might be the best things on the plate.” My daughter, 3, had no complaints about her chicken tenders and fries.
As we finished up, we speculated about our dessert choices. Turns out that Red Brick offers one dessert selection made in-house daily. Tonight it was marble cake with butter cream amaretto sauce. Our sizable piece was served warm. It was slightly crumbly, with just enough sauce to sweeten it. Sort oflike the restaurant itself. With all that exposed brick, the Red Brick might appear slightly crumbly, but it has enough good food to make it a sweet experience.
THE SHORT COURSE
To avoid wait Go early or on weeknights
Noise level High when crowded
Bathroom amenities “pretty” according to my 3-year-old, but no changing stations
High chairs Yes
Got milk Yes
Kids’ menu Yes
Anything healthy for kids You can substitute the veggie of the day for fries.
Food allergy concerns Let the wait staff know. They can notify the chefs, who are trained in working with food allergies.
Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline