Blue Ox Bistro in Rockledge: Never again!
My husband, my mother, my daughter and I went to dinner last night at the Blue Ox Bistro in Rockledge. It was abysmal. My husband and I had had dinner there once before and it wasn't very good then, but we thought we would give it one more chance thanks mainly to the (supposedly) terrific beer list. Never again.
First, service was friendly but shockingly slow. When our waitress arrived to take our drink orders, she didn't know what they had on tap that night - she had to fish a list out of her pocket. Every other thing we requested was out for some reason. My husband finally got his beer order "right" the third time. She disappeared for upwards of 10 minutes before coming back with our drinks saying there was a long wait at the bar...and they were out of the third beer my husband had ordered. I was rather inclined to leave then, but since it was Father's Day and already past our daughter's dinner time, we stayed. We had been seated upstairs with another family who had a little girl, which was fun for our daughter. That was honestly the best part of last night's dinner. Putting us out of sight did seem to put us out of mind for the waitstaff, though.
Appetizers: Fried pickles (a particular favorite of mine) were overbreaded and not pickly enough. A really good fried pickle has to be strong in order to stand up to the breading and frying, and these were very mild and disappointing pickles.
Cheesesteak spring rolls had good flavor, but were as big around as my arm which I felt was unnecessary and too heavy. I would have liked less food served smaller.
My husband had chicken florentine, which was your regular grilled chicken breast served under a few vegetables and a blanket of flabby cheese. He said it was not bad, but definitely not very good.
I had crab cakes, which were full of crab meat (a definite plus) but a bit soggy. Yuck. Mashed potatoes were good and obviously homemade.
My mother had the sauerbraten, half of which she traded for one of my crab cakes. The sauerbraten is supposed to be slow-roasted beef with a sweet beef gravy. Last night's sauerbraten was akin in texture to a pair of Timberlands. It was dried out beyond all recognition, a serious chore to chew, and virtually tasteless. The gravy added nothing. Nasty, disappointing stuff. If we had seen our waitress again before she came back to clear plates, we definitely would have said something. As it was, we just wanted to get out of there.
My mother has fond memories of when this was the Brauhaus and their food was good. I love that they had the Lindemann's Lambic that I like to drink, but even that will not lure me back to the Blue Ox Bistro.
What a shame. I have often wondered about this place since it changed from the Brauhaus. It isn't far from us, so I always think we should go there. You are making me glad we haven't done so.
Let me preface this by saying I am very sorry you had dayad experience at Blue Ox. I too had fond memories of Herr Grund, and the Brauhaus before the family sold it. That said, my additional comment would be about the day... Father's Day. Not as a big as Mother's Day or Valentines, but definitely a day with higher than normal traffic. I personally do not like to judge a restaurant based on what often are some of a restaurants worst days. My only other suggestion for similar food in that general area would be to try Austrian Village down the road a bit. I never found the food as good, but perhaps your service experience might be superior.