Saturday, June 27, 2009

Monroe's Smokehouse, Jacksonville, FL, Review II

Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
4838 Highway Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32254
Fax: 904-384-3323

A few months ago, I posted a review of Monroe's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. I was fairly pleased with their food. And I've since been back many times for weekend lunches. However, my meal at Monroe's today was not up to par with their usual standards. Here's how lunch went:

- I normally order the pork chop special if Monroe's has them. They're tender, juicy and smokey. Although the pork chops today fit that description, they were also covered in an unpleasant, heavy, Creole-ish spice.
- The collard greens are no longer sweet. I received a cup of greens with orange grease running down the sides. They were swimming in a spicy, greasy brown & orange liquid. Another customer asked the counter girl to find out "what kind of grease does he (the owner) use for the greens ?"
- The red cole slow is no longer being sold. We were told "The owner stopped selling it. Nobody was ordering it. It was just going to waste back there (in the kitchen) when we made it."
- Macaroni was not available. ("We're out of macaroni. There'll be a 45 minute wait before it's done.")
- Lemon slices were not at either of the two drink stations. The containers usually holding lemons were covered with dust & crumbs.
- The banana split pie was a huge disappointment. Normally it is the perfect ending to a meal at Monroe's. This is how I described it before:

"Monroe's has banana pudding on it's online menu. So I was surprised to see banana split pie on the menu board instead. Let me tell you, I am so glad I ordered the pie. It was thick vanilla pudding, banana slices, pineapple, walnuts, a cherry and whipped cream on a graham crust. I'm still riding the high from the yummy sugary goodness. I want this pie for my birthday dinner. Take note, people."

The slice of pie I received was so sad looking. Our group did this when dessert arrived ---> "Whoa 0_0 That's not how the pie normally looks : P" The slice was sitting in a noticeable puddle of water. There was a crust, a thin layer of chocolate attached to the crust (hardshell chocolate ?), a layer of something cheesecake colored with a ricotta texture, mushy, gray bananas, teeny pineapple bits, several inches of whipped cream, a pinch of chopped walnut & a cherry on top. Very unappetizing. All of us took one bite, made a face & put the forks down. That's the first time the AMW family has left a piece of Monroe's pie unfinished.

I was wondering what would cause such a drastic change at Monroe's. Then someone overheard the cashier commenting "Oh, this is just a sideline for us. Our main focus is catering." Hmmm. I'll try to go back soon, to see if today was a fluke or a sign of a downslide.

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