Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dining critic candidate No. 27

The Golden Bee

I admit it: I’m a meat snob. I’m very particular about the way my meat is cooked and where it comes from. For example, the thought of lunch meat makes me noxious – the way it’s cut into slimy slabs and packaged in weak cellophane. Eeew! I love steak, but it has to be fresh, not crammed in a can of Progresso “Rich and Hearty” soup, and when I order it, I don’t want it drenched in crimson, mooing off my plate. You get the idea.

So when my husband suggested we go to The Golden Bee for their entertainment and Rueben sandwiches, I was a little leery. I pictured those thick, nasty sandwiches they show on the Carl’s Jr. commercials where the meaty mass plops down from the screen with a “Whoomp!” and all the juices, dressings – and whatever else they slather on it – kind of leak out. But he assured me this wouldn’t be the case.

We entered the restaurant at around 7:00 p.m. (which is highly recommended so you can get a seat right away and not stand in line for hours or whenever the first table opens up). I was pleasantly amused by the décor – something straight out of a jazz bar from the Roaring 20’s with dark woods, dimmed lights, dark paint and wallpaper with a slight sheen to it. The camel-colored piano was on a stage front and center.

Our waitress came over and tosses sticky bees at us which clung to our sweaters and got caught in our hair. We ordered beer and it was delicious. Straight from the tap, foamy and cold. Then came the Ruebens. They were thick with meat, like in the Carl’s Jr. commercial, but not nearly as offensive. The meat was confined mostly to the bread and the sauce didn’t drip all over the place when I picked it up. As my husband chomped away on his Rueben sandwich and the yummy, super crispy and tart chips served with it (salt and vinegar chips), I nervously peered at my sandwich and carefully took a bite. To my surprise, it was delicious! The meat was perfectly cooked, not underdone in any way, and the combination of flavors of the corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing-mixture was delightful. It melted in my mouth.

From across the table, my husband smirked, “I told you you’d like it.” And he was right. As I filled my belly with the best sandwich I’ve ever had, the pianist began playing wonderful melodies, transporting us back into history. Everyone in the entire restaurant, with song books in hand, sang together in unison (or not – I’m not the best singer) and made happy memories together in The Golden Bee.

Munch on this: The Golden Bee serves much more than Reuben sandwiches; check out their menu at

It’ll cost ya: About $9-12

What not to wear: Fancy gowns or suits. The Golden Bee is casual – feel free to wear jeans and a sweater or a nice shirt.

When can I go? The Golden Bee is open 11:30 am -1:30 am. daily.

The hotel is at 1 Lake Ave.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, someone said what I've been secretly thinking: fresh steak IS better than canned soup steak. And the critic didn't stop there. She gave me a moniker. Now, when someone asks me to describe myself in two words, I can say, "meat snob."

Other firsts: "melted in my mouth", "Yum!"

Also, "noxious" means poisonous--not stomach-sick.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the restaurant patrons starting singing? Really?

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a little over-the-top for me. it's a great short story. And she's not the first to say "meat snob".

9:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home