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Review: Monocacy Crossing, Frederick, MD

the bleu cheese and bacon jam is the star of this show

I’m going to say it right here, right now. Frederick is one of the world’s greatest foodie towns on the planet. Monocacy Crossing is one of the reasons why. I do understand that this is starting out like a 9th grade book report – overly referenced to fill space. Let me apologize in advance. 9th graders are not completely cooked – unlike my amazing dinner.

With that in mind, here’s my theme.

The two protagonists to this story were the cheeseburger and the bacon wrapped steak medallions. The antagonist was the service. The setting was a Saturday night, Monocacy Crossing, 4424A Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD.

Monocacy Crossing is sort of suburban, upscale, charmy place toned down by a factor of five (totally arbitrary) in order to meet the price point and standards of Frederick. I’m a fan of white linen tablecloths. It feels like I’m fancy. I like fancy sometimes. My cat’s full name is Sir Kittybear Puddlington III. He likes white tablecloths too. We are fancy together.

Monocacy Crossing fills our fancy cup without being pretentious. It’s jeans with a collared shirt or suit and tie smooshed together near the banks of the Monocacy River. The waitstaff is in all black like culinary kabuki theater.

It was a dark and stormy night. I’m not sure I can attribute that to the restaurant. There it is though.

Allow me to start with the bad. I waited 15 minutes after taking my seat for service. The staff wandered past, helping much more established guests than I. The restaurant was busy. So, I wasn’t terribly upset. Well, I wasn’t mostly upset. Sometimes, I get hangry. I was headed that way.

Then Joe, saint of a waiter, asked, “has anyone helped you yet?” He apologized profusely, “this isn’t my table.” He immediately brought me bread and wine. Joseph, I dedicate my review to you. This is my, maybe, 10th time at Monocacy Crossing. The service is normally a bit slow. They do consistently recover nicely with attitude and flavor. That’s enough for the antagonist. They are vanquished early in this story. Grendel immediately rolls over and shows Beowulf his soft underbelly upon their initial acquaintance.

Let me be unequivocal. Monocacy Crossing has some of the best food this town, any town. Cheeseburgers are not essentially the measure of restaurant. They are for my yardstick. They are inexpensive, diverse, and enough restaurants have them.

This cheeseburger, this marvelous, beautiful, flavorful bastard of a cheeseburger was one of the greatest I’ve ever had. It was topped with bacon and onion jam, and bleu cheese. At a perfect juicy medium, it was soft and sweet. They crust on top of the hamburger was charred to absolute perfection and the jam and cheese melted into every bite. The homemade bread and butter pickles were a delicious foil to the sweet jam.

I was blown away. I put this in the top three cheeseburgers of my life. Joe (my new favorite waiter) took the time to debate the best cheeseburgers in town. Wags and Madrones came in at our number two’s respectively. This Monocacy Crossing cheeseburger was the clear winner. Take that for what it is. I take my burgers very seriously.

Brilliant Atticus Finch practices law in Maycomb, Alabama. The cheeseburger practices deliciousness in Frederick, MD. OK, it’s not the best analogy. I try, and that’s enough….

…like the fries. They were good, but a little limp, tasty meh.

The medallions wrapped in bacon, while not mine, was delicious. It came with snap peas and some wondrously fluffy and flavorful mashed potatoes. I can definitely recommend that dish. I did make the left overs into steak and cheese quesadilla - Holden Caulfield all angsty in "Go Dog Go." So good.

Like Penelope, I found reasons to prolong dinner. Even though I was sufficiently stuffed, I had dessert. Hands down, the coconut pound cake is my favorite. Rumor has it Gam Gam makes it fresh. I’m sure all of the desserts are delicious. Gam Gam only makes the pound cake for Monocacy Crossing. Get it. Love it. I ate it slowly, enjoying the perfectly crisp outside and the buttery soft and sweet inside. I followed that with a slow cup of coffee – a good drip that I enjoyed.

As mentioned, this is maybe my dozenth time here. I remember eating the pork with sage-cider sauce with a side of scalloped potatoes and thinking “this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” I’ve never had a bad dish.

Next time, I’m getting the duck nachos. Seriously, nothing encapsulates my fanciness and my guttural enjoyment of comfort foods better than duck nachos – beggar Odysseus returned to claim his thrown. Next time, it’s mine.

This place, this town.

Frederick is the Ignatius Reilly of food havens. It’s off-beat, unexpected and just seems to not belong of this world. Yet, here it is with it’s discoverable delicious fascinations. I will continue to be it’s Myrna Minkoff, following behind his hot dog card, alternately criticizing and enjoying the bluster.

I lost track of my vague literary references. Maybe it’s only three. Maths are hard. Anyway, in summary, this is a tale I’m going to revisit. If you’ve never been to Monocacy Crossing, it is an imperative. Please.

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