I was recently invited to sample the new menu at the Hard Rock Cafe. The invite touted a giant brownie sundae, and I work right nearby, so how could I say no? Maximum sugar, minimal exercise. Perfect.
Of course, the sundae was just part of the meal. For apps, we sampled the spinach-artichoke dip, bruschetta (not pictured), and the impressive-looking Nachopalooza plate.
I thought the nachos were going to be my favorite, but the cheese wasn’t quite melted and the smoked beef brisket was a bit chewy. The bruschetta actually won me over. What can I say? I’m a sucker for basil. The flatbread served with the spinach-artichoke dip was delicious, too.
Next we sampled the grilled chicken arugula salad (which, to me, had a rather acidic dressing)…
the fried shrimp platter (very juicy and tender)…
the smoked beef brisket sandwich (again with the chewy meat)…
and their Local Legendary — a hamburger with a white cheese, jalapeños, fried onions, pico de gallo and some type of chipotle mayo.
I can’t believe i’m saying this, but I think I enjoyed that burger more than the sundae. A juicy patty with a hint of spiciness and a mess of stringy onions… so good. Not something I’d eat for lunch every day, but perfect for special, artery-clogging occasions.
Turns out, the “Local Legendary” is on every Hard Rock’s menu, but each location gets to come up with their own combo. It’s nice to see a place like Hard Rock giving their chefs that freedom. And what delicious freedom it is.
Then, of course, the star of the hour. Ben and Jerry’s vanilla atop a rich brownie in a giant margarita glass.
I could have done without the whipped cream, but I’m just not a whipped cream kind of girl. The brownie was my favorite part — moist and chocolate-y. Again, not something I’d eat every day, but… yum.
Overall, the meal was about what I expected — classic American food, not too greasy, plated neatly. The nachos were a disappointment, but the burger was a pleasant surprise.
(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary meal, and all thoughts are my own.)