Thursday, February 01, 2007

No. 27 rewrite

The Golden Bee

I’m very particular about the way my meat is cooked and where it comes from. For example, just the thought of lunch meat makes me nauseous– the way it’s cut into slimy slabs and packaged in weak cellophane. Eeew! I love meat, 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 piano bar and Rueben sandwiches, I was a little leery. I pictured those thick, nasty sandwiches 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. The camel-colored piano was on a stage front and center.

Our waitress came over and tossed sticky bees at us which clung to our sweaters and stuck 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.

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 upbeat melodies, transporting us back into history. With song books in hand, we sang in unison (or not – I’m not the best singer) and made happy memories 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 a.m.-1:30 a.m. daily

The hotel is at 1 Lake Ave.


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