Unfortunately, it didn't turn out to be much of a walk, but we did make time to try the Monon Food Company. Situated in the old Hogheads BBQ location, MFC changed it up by brightening the inside and making it an order at the counter/deliver to table set up.
The menu is chalkboard style and in the very busy line, one of the owners(we assume) was taking orders ahead to try and speed things up a bit. One especially nice touch is the outstanding beer selection and wine by the glass. So, first challenge, which beer to choose? A few items really stood out so we had to give them a try. First, would be the Gorgonzola Steak and Potato Basket(see above). Fred decided on the rotisserie chicken with potatoes and corn muffin. Libby had to try Tim's chipotle fish tacos and Ozzy, naturally the kids mac 'n cheese.
First off, we must say the service is awesome! These people have a lot of pride in their restaurant and make it a priority to give fast, friendly, and very personable service. Case in point...we actually tried to stop in a couple of weeks before, but had to leave due to a personal matter and one of the staff remembered Ozzy's name when we returned! Pretty impressive.
But sadly, that is where the amazing ended for us.
The entrees came out fairly quickly and Libby's fish tacos looked the part, fresh ingredients, nicely crisped tortillas, but unfortunately a healthy dose of raw onion was used as a garnish. Normally, a small amount of red onion wouldn't be an issue, but this was a bounty of raw white onion and sadly took the tacos to an unpleasant place for Libby...it gave the impression of a tuna salad...you know, the canned tuna version with mayo and onion and bleh...not Libby's cup of tea. The ingredients were top quality, but the amount of onion just threw the whole thing off...just a damned shame. Otherwise, it would've been great. And no, onions were not mentioned in the menu at all.
The saddest part of the meal was the mac 'n cheese. Ozzy took one bite and started to pout. "It's not good" is something we have NEVER heard him say about a kids mac 'n cheese. Stunned, both Fred and Libby tried it and yeah, it wasn't good. Needed salt or more cheese, not hot, congealed beyond pleasantness, something. The same young lady that took a special interest in Ozzy asked permission to get him a little snack from a candy machine and we consented. It was a sweet gesture.
We loved the vibe, the beer and wine by the glass, the service...it is so Broadripple. It will succeed with fine tuning and perhaps some menu tweaking, but our experience was a major disappointment. We will probably stop in again and give it another shot as we did like the concept so much and the people even more.
Price-$$, For Broadripple, average pricing and certainly not a deterrant.
Atmosphere-***, Relaxing outdoor seating and excellent location on the Monon.
Service-****, Yes, you order at the counter, but big deal...they make up for it in enthusiasm.
OverallFred - C, The entree drags down this rating. Loved the beer selection and the appetizer, but I wonder what's going on in the back of the house when they are working so hard up front.
Libby -C+, I have never had a fish taco with that amount of fresh, white onion before and it was just wrong, wrong, wrong...IMHO. Outstanding beer selection. Great service.
Ozzy-D, Ozzy has never been so disappointed with his standard fare. Although, we think he might be sweet on the pretty young lady who took a shine to him. ;)
Estelle-B, High chairs available and a nice amount of buzz in the air to keep her occasional squawks from interrupting the other diners' experiences.