Bleu Monkey Grill ~ Hot Springs, Arkansas
Our friend, Ms. ChefGirl had done some research and wanted to try a place called the Bleu Monkey. It looked like a modern, American spot. The menu had some interesting items and they boasted a dozen or so beers on tap so we decided to give it a try. My buddy, BeerBoy and I bolted for the bar, but the most exciting things on tap were Blue Moon and Goose Island Honker’s ale. I opted for iced tea. We sat down and looked at the menu and I actually saw a few things that looked really good. Cuban sandwich? Bleu Monkey Shrimp, a dish made with pan seared shrimp seasoned with a pickapeppa sauce served with Cuban black beans, fresh mango salsa, steamed white rice and fried plantains was a contender as well. But Mr. Music settled on what seemed to be a twist on a Vietnamese specialty: Lemongrass chicken sandwich! Grilled lemongrass chicken with marinated cucumbers, carrots, onion, chilies, and cilantro all on a fresh roll with shallot mayo. Mrs. Music ordered the Crabby patty! Being a huge SpongeBob fan, Music Junior immediately wanted that too until I explained it was a patty made from crab! With that she opted for chicken tenders. Baby Music got some grilled chicken and mashed potatoes. The food came and everything looked really good and the portions were good sized too. The crab cake on the Crabby Patty was huge! Mrs. Music took a big bite of her Crabby Patty. And then another. After a few bites she said the patty barely had any crab and was almost all corn meal! I took a bite myself. It was mushy and didn’t taste like crab at all. My Lemongrass chicken didn’t have much lemongrass or any other seasoning that I could taste either. I noticed Baby Music wasn’t eating her food so I tried the grilled chicken. Dry and bland! The mashed potatoes were as well. How could everything sound so good on the menu, look so good, yet all be so blah? Our friends also said their meals were lacking taste as well. Our waiter was really good and the staff was friendly, but overall what a disappointment! I couldn’t believe this place got “Best new restaurant in Arkansas” by the Arkansas times!