Have you ever walked into a restaurant, took a quick gander, and immediately thought, “oh my God, is this going to be the same as going to Applebees?” but then you sit, you take a look at the menu, and based on the choices, your confidence grows smaller? Not because the place is not aesthetically pleasing, because the aesthetics here were okay, and not because it smelled funny, because it didn’t, it just simply lacked the, this food is gonna be good vibe. Yeah, there is a good food vibe, it kinda hits you upon arrival, the vibe is usually accentuated by the waitstaff and the brightness of the environment, which in both cases was not bright, but not exactly dull. So since I had already paid money to valet at Dockland’s at the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware there was nothing else to do but stay, order, and pray for the best.
First up, was the fried cheese curds, now some may say that cheese curds are nothing more than crumbled up mozzarella cheese, but I write when done well cheese curds have the propensity to be the start of a wonderful evening. Now these Wisconsin cheese curds were good, they gave a sufficient amount of cheese pull, and I found myself going in for my next curd before I fully swallowed the one in my mouth. So although the surroundings were dull, the appetizer didn’t suck, and almost landed in the vicinity of approbatory and had me completely settled to receive my entree without angst.
Last up was the fig braised short rib, with mashed potato, and broccoli. A pretty fancy selection for what I would call a cheerless locale, but I was feeling ungoverned, and I was determined to not have the hasty waitstaff who rushed the service at every turn deter me from my hankering for something non-chicken, so short rib it was. And to my consternation, upon first slice, that short rib was the perfect amount of tender, and upon first bite, I was completely sold. This fig braised short rib was savory, it was beefy, it was buttery, with a tinge of sweetness from the fig. Now to make this dish just a smidgen better I decided to do a combo, by taking a forkful of short rib and a forkful of mashed potato, but that endeavor served as fruitless. The mashed potatoes were bland, no salt, no butter, not smooth, stiff at every attempt. But I have to write I will not count the mash potato fiasco as loss, but actually a win, because it was actually more diet conscious to have meat and a veggie, versus meat, starch, and veggie, so basically just holding true to one of my life’s motto which is “you gotta know when you are winning.”
So needless to write Dockland’s kinda surprised me, despite the fact that you can only sit a Dockland’s table on the inside for no more than 90 minutes before the staff basically states that you have lollygagged here way to long, and if you opt to continue, please go outside where you can sit, drink, chill, and socialize with no limitations, and in spite of the downtrodden feeling of the inside dining area, the food was not bad, not bad at all. And because I did want to continue lollygagging I did join the outside crowd which was actually carefree with music and a delightful surroundings. Everyone is due for a pleasant surprise from time to time and Dockland’s you gave me a surprise that made me smirk and aided me in my decision to return, so well done Dockland’s, well done. 🍴