I was in New Brunswick today on business and decided to stop in the Frog and the Peach for their famous twenty something dollar bar lunch. As some of you may already know, while my past dinners at the Peach had left me a bit disappointed, I haven't hesitated recommending it for the bar lunch due to its fantastic value. I arrived to find a sandwich board outside announcing that they were celebrating their 25th Anniversary (I must be old as I remember when they first opened) with a $25.00 lunch special. Although a few dollars more than I recall, I was intrigued about what would make this lunch even more special than before. I'm sorry to say that I didn't detect any difference save for the few dollar increase in price.
The lunch still consists of a choice of soup or salad (two different soups and salads), a selection of entrees (with the hangar steak being a $5 surcharge) and a choice of wine or dessert (a selection of two wines or 3 desserts). I chose a tomato/mushroom bisque, the venison sausage and the German chocolate cupcake as my meal (as neither of the wines interested me). The meal was okay but nothing special. The bisque was nice and consisted of a sizeable portion. (Don't you hate ordering a cup of soup and being served barely three tablespoons worth?) While it was delivered at the correct temperature and tasted very fresh, it suffered as a result of a lack of salt and the presence of an inordinate amount of course pepper and melted cheese which due to its stringy consistency seemed to go everywhere on my face instead of my mouth. The venison sausage was good. Nicely grilled and resting on a bed of lentils with a mustard/mayo sauce drizzled on the plate. My only criticism of this dish was that I couldn't discern the venison. It was seasoned with quite a bit of garlic such that it tasted like any other fine example of polish kielbasa.
Having not chosen a wine I was offered a selection of the following desserts (as opposed to the full dessert list): crème brulee, banana profiteroles, or a German chocolate cupcake. As the latter sounded the most interesting I chose that one. It was a bad choice. Due to the bartender's description, I was thinking a moist chocolate cake topped with a typical coconut/pecan cream based topping. This rendition consisted of a dry pre-made room temperature cupcake topped with a warm (freshly prepared?) topping of coconut and pecans sans frosting of any sort. Due to its dry consistency, it lacked the necessary counterbalance that frosting usually provides to a cupcake (especially one that was as dry as this example).
Final cost for the meal was $26 exclusive of tip. I appreciated the excellent talk with the bartender as well as not being charged for my soft drink. Notwithstanding the shortcomings of this meal, I still think the Peach offers an excellent lunch bargain in NB and still would not hesitate to recommend it. My only caveat is to avoid the cupcake at all costs. :) Good Luck.
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