On the Roxx: Burgers are your best bet at this Cheshire Bridge dinerteria
The son of a friend happened to be seated near me at Roxx. He and his buddy were paying their checks as we opened our menus. As is my habit when spotting an acquaintance, I asked, "What's good? What did you have?"
Son-of-a-Friend answered right away: "The burger because this is one place where they cook it rare if you ask for it rare."
"And not like when you want it rare and they cook it until it's gray," the buddy chimed in.
"Meatloaf's good, too," Son-of-a-Friend added.
Sounded fine to me. Roxx's burgers combine half a pound of certified Black Angus beef, a substantial Kaiser bun, iceberg lettuce, a slice of blood-red tomato, red onion, pickle slices and one side dish.
Tom, our waiter, merely smiled and nodded when I specified "rare," adding only that my request for two sides (fries and slaw) would result in an extra charge.
"No problem," I answered. And there wasn't -- not with the burger anyway, which arrived with a warm red center and an attractively seared exterior. The hand-patted burger was savory-sweet, the bun fresh, the lettuce crisp, the tomato ripe, the factory fries recently cooked and well worth their weight in saturated fat.
The slaw was the problem -- roughly chopped, essentially undressed, slightly sour and bordering on tasteless -- in a word "risky." I shoved the cup aside after a couple of bites. George, my curmudgeonly sidekick, finished it.
Burgers, which range in price from $5.50 for the basic model to $7 for grilled chicken breast, can be equipped with such accouterments as bacon and cheddar, black bean chili and guacamole, sour cream and cilantro. Gourmet hot dogs, similarly fitted, run half a buck less, including a side. Tastewise, the chilidog is as well behaved a pedigreed pup as you'll find at an obedience match.
Sidekick ordered the beef-pork meatloaf that comes with industrial-strength red sauce, pretty good skin-on mashed potatoes and wretched, undercooked, flavorless green beans ($8.95). Aside from my sample bites, he lapped up both slices of meatloaf and the spuds.
Don't go there. Sidekick got indigestion. Checking around the next day, two other close friends reported similar internal difficulties soon after consuming Roxx's meatloaf months ago. Is there a link? I certainly can't say that there is. Would I polish off second orders of the meatloaf blue-plate, the cole slaw or Roxx's lube-and-an-oil-change onion rings? Not in this lifetime.
Instead, I'll spring for a bowl of the Guinness-spiked chili (it comes topped with cheese and chopped scallions). Alongside the burger or dog, I'll ask for sautéed spinach or mac-and-cheese. The iceberg lettuce wedge with crumbled blue cheese, kalamata olives and tomatoes is also well worth eating.
That there will be a next time I hardly doubt. Tables on the streetside patio draw an attractively diverse and adventurous gay-oriented crowd. Canned music is set low enough to talk over. Unlike many other under-the-gun spots fingered by the blue-law crowd, Roxx appears to sell as much alcohol as food on Sundays.
As I suggest, there could be a reason for that.
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