Monday, 11 December 2017

JUST JULIA TRIES: Maggie's Grill (Aberdeen)

Food is good for the soul, and soul food is unbelievably good. So when on the hunt for something filling, and full of soul, Maggie's Grill is the only place to go.

I've visited Maggie's many a time now. And staying a short 10 minute walk from the eatery really hasn't helped my waistline, but when the food tastes as good as the offering at Maggie's does, it's hard to say no...

Celebrating Calum's return onshore - we try go out for a nice meal when he gets home - we headed along to Maggie's having pre-booked a table. Rocking up, it was steady, however the restaurant quickly filled with bodies whilst we ordered our drinks. Faces firmly in the menu, this was going to be a tough choice

Drinks at the ready - a pint of Beavertown Gamma Ray American Pale Ale for Calum and a dark rum and ginger beer for me - we toasted to a night of fine food and catch ups and ordered our meals.

The decor is fun. It's got that deep South feel about it. It's not too fancy - you wouldn't want it to be. It's relaxed, smart and feels really familiar, kind of like home in some strange way. I think it's the chilled, calming vibe the staff and the restaurant portray that makes you kind of want to stay there all night. And although the restaurant is smaller, its always busy in a collected, organised way.

Just as we were getting lost in conversation, our starters arrived. Visiting the deep South (or as close as I've been to the deep South) I opted for Buffalo Chicken Bites (£7.95) and Calum went for the Tex Mex Nachos (£6.95 + £1.95 for the BBQ pulled pork). The idea was to share the dishes...I'll give you a guess as to how well that went down...

The homemade buffalo popcorn chicken bites were smothered in a special house hot sauce. Accompanied by a cooling, creamy blue cheese dip, the pairing was a match made in heaven. The bites were pretty big, not bite-size - which suited me perfectly, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the blue cheese dip. I'm not usually a fan of anything blue cheese, but this dip, I could definitely eat by the tub full. The hot sauce had a lovely warm kick to it, and was one of the best I've had.

Calum's Tex Mex Nachos looked amazing. I was quick enough to grab one from the top which was lathered in salsa and BBQ pulled pork - I hit the jackpot. Calum's face was priceless.

The nachos were drenched in cheese, and boasted sour cream, jalapeneo peppers, toasted corn salsa, homemade salsa, and were topped off with beautifully cooked BBQ pulled pork. It was clear by the clean plates we both enjoyed our dishes a lot. With the nachos, there was also the choice of the Howlin' wolf chilli, but the pulled pork for us was the perfect choice.
The starters were pretty filling, but the wee gap between our starter and main courses was ideal.

I wouldn't normally order the same proteins for starter and main, but when you're in a soul food restaurant that has Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken on the menu, a girls got to do what a girls got to do.

The boneless deep fried chicken breast marinated in buttermilk and cajun spices was super succulent. I decided to go for the option to pick my own sides - house Bulleit Bourbon BBQ sauce, house fries, and onion rings - went a little off menu there with the onion rings as the choices consisted of collard greens, cornbread stuffing, house slaw, corn on the cob, cornbread, hush puppies or house pickles - but the staff were supper accommodating. The chicken, sauce and two sides was well priced (£15.95) and was extremely filling.

Tangy and sweet, the BBQ sauce was awesome with the large piece of chicken. The chips were great and although the onion rings were a tad on the greasy side, they rocked.

The King of sandwiches decided on The Rueben (£14.95). A lover of pastrami meat, the classic sandwich features pastrami aged Aberdeen Angus beef brisket which is cured for a week and then rolled in spices and smoked. The high stacked rye bread sandwich was packed with Swiss cheese and house slaw and Calum's face told me everything - he was loving it.

On the side Calum also opted for deep fried pickles and a hefty portion of chilli cheese fries (an additional £4.45) - because regular fries just ain't going to cut it with this guy.

The meat was tender and there was a huge amount of it in the sandwich too. The coleslaw was crunchy and creamy, and the melted cheese on the chilli cheese fries was divine.

For once, neither of us could finish our meals, which of course sealed the fate for any thought of dessert.
Bagging one more drink for the road, we sat enjoying our time at the busy eatery as we prepared to brave the cold and waddle home.

A must-visit restaurant, Maggie's Grill is an excellent eatery not only for adults, but also for children.  The local eatery is a great pit-stop for all, and kids even get complimentary hush puppies, tortilla chips, ranch dip and fruit juice to enjoy as they wait for their meals to be cooked which is pretty awesome. There's also a really good choice for kids too, ensuring they don't miss out on the outstanding soul food the team at Maggie's create.

I'd also like to say that I think the restaurant is pretty well priced. For being a local place which uses and supports various other local suppliers and producers, I was happy to pay the prices on the menu, especially when the food is as good as it is.

To say I'm looking forward to returning is an understatement because the buttermilk chicken at Maggie's is what I class as finger lickin' good chicken - back up Colonel, there's a new sheriff in town.

  For Now...

Just Julia


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