Impromptu outings sometimes yield the most memorable experiences. Earlier in the week, one of my favorite gal pals, Meghan, lost one of the rays of sunshine at her job, one of her regular visitors at her senior center had unexpectedly passed. Living 45 minutes away, I felt quite helpless, so after my iPad crashing took me right into her neighborhood, we coordinated an outing to one of the local venues, Marlow’s Tavern. After spending my midday in Middle Earth with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I was famished and ready for some happy hour and more importantly, time with Meghan.
The initial draw to MT was Meghan having a coupon on hand and their rather lucrative happy hour specials! As we poured over the tasty menu, we toasted and kicked off our dining experience with some house Moscato ($4/glass). Showing up at 4:15PM on a Thursday certainly has its perks: we were seated quickly in a large booth away from other patrons.
We split the Sizzlin’ Feta appetizer boasting the mouthwatering combination of “Marinated Feta Oven Baked, Roasted Tomato, Basil Pesto and Ciabatta Crostini.” Meghan had previously sampled the item at an event with the Central Florida Lady Bloggers, so I did not hesitate to trust her judgement. She knows how picky I can be with food, but having dined with her plenty, I know she has impeccable taste as well. I was not disappointed in the least, and I can still hear the sizzling in my mind.
I had a miniature crisis as I stared wide-eyed at the menu. Every single thing sounded incredible, and having only a bag of Sour Patch Kids gummies at the theater, I was borderline ravenous by the time we arrived at Marlow’s. Our server, Ashley, was exceptionally helpful in selecting items from the menu. Meghan opted for the Black and Blue Burger, and it came topped with Gorgonzola and applewood smoked bacon with hand cut tavern fries. After accidentally trying to order something from the lunch menu, I jumped on the Rustic Grilled Cheese without a second thought. Havarti, Swiss, Classic mornay, applewood smoked bacon and chili slathered sour dough with white cheddar grit cakes on the side? Any more cheese and you’d swear this Jersey Girl was from Wisconsin! Meghan graciously accepted my offer to split our sandwiches and sides to get a wider taste of the flavor spectrum.
With my stomach begging for mercy, the suggestion of dessert was presented. Try as I may, I could not walk away without finishing off my decadent dining experience with a little “Ice-Box” Cheese Cake. My jaw hung open as we were served the chilled dome of bliss made with Philadelphia Cream, Nutella®, Oreo Cookie Crust and Milk Chocolate Sauce. If you ever wonder why Meghan is one of my closest gal pals, I leave you with this: home girl picked up a spoon and shared the wealth (and guilt) with me. We devoured it, and short of licking the plate clean, ambled out of MT with bellies packed full of satifaction.
The atmosphere at MT was great with a variety of different spaces to accommodate their customers. At some point, I’d like to eat around the entire dining room, including sitting at the bar and enjoying chatting with the locals. This could easily become a hot spot hang out for thirty-somethings and up. Outstanding menu items, impeccable service staff, and welcoming atmosphere, you can’t find a better place (tip: Sign up for their mailing list! 😉 You won’t be sorry)!!
Spending quality time with my friends is one of my primary objectives for 2014, and sneaking in this outing with Meghan was a great way to break up my vacation week of sitting around the house. It would seem that my iPad crashing was the universe telling me to unplug for a while, get out of the house and spend time with someone I constantly brag about. Thanks again, Meghan, for another fine dining experience.