The hardest part about eating at North Beach Bistro (map) is finding it! Lo was waiting for Mel in one of the neighboring shops in the Atlantic Theaters plaza, but Mel was at the North Beach Fish Camp. The restaurant name might be confused with other restaurant names, but once you start eating, you'll remember.
Lo order the bouillabaisse, which is a fish soup. It had Mayport shrimp, a giant sea scallop, mussels, calamari, and fish in a tomato, white wine, and fennel broth. There was a lot of fresh seafood, and the garlic toast points allowed you to mop up the refreshing broth. It was both light and filling.
After the waiter's claim that North Beach Bistro, 'made the best burger in town,' Mel ordered the American Kobe beef burger with bacon and cheddar cheese. It came with kataifi onion rings. Kataifi is shredded phyllo pastry; each shred is the size of a guitar string. It's more labor intensive to coat an onion ring in kataifi, but the results were worth it. The onion rings remained crunchy, never getting soggy. The fries were home made. As our waiter said, "they are potatoes until we make them into fries." The burger also came with home made mayonnaise and ketchup, that had just a hint of cinnamon.
All in all, the entrees were delicious. How we had room for dessert, we're not sure, but we did. There were three available desserts, all made in house. Mel had the chocolate cheesecake, which had a brownie crust. The cheesecake had just the right sweetness. Mel commented that the brownie crust was 'soft, not hard, that scores big points.'
Lo had the warm ginger bread pudding with molasses and carmel sauce with a scoop of homemade pumpkin ice cream. Before trying it, Mel said, 'if I hear bread pudding, I think boring' but after a sample taste, Mel changed her tune to, 'oh my, that's like breakfast, like fancy french toast,' which is high praise indeed in Texas. Well, this had to be the hit of our lunch. All the flavors worked together to perfection. We'd be hard pressed to find a better dessert.
And what about the waiter's claim of making the best burger in town? Mel gave it a 9.5 on the Texan burger scale, 'cause you can't give anything a 10.' Our waiter told us that Chef Dave is a picky sort who spends the time to make his own condiments, fries, onion rings, soups, burgers, and desserts. We applaud Chef Dave. Keep up your picky and delicious ways!