My recent visit to the newly opened Marlow’s Tavern Waterford Lakes had all the makings of a “disappointing restaurant visit.” There was the fact that it is part of a chain AND that it reminded me very much of a sports bar. If it weren’t for the invitation to try a few of the items on the menu gratis and meet a few local food bloggers, I’m not sure I would have ever found my way inside of Marlow’s. But thankfully, the media and blogger tasting event gave me an opportunity to see how _____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank) I was being. I left Marlow’s with a tummy full of really great vegetarian-friendly food and a reminder of the whole “judging a book by its cover” thing.
Marlow’s Tavern is a definite hang-out spot. With its extensive list of alcoholic beverages and its amazing covered patio with misting fans, it is a really great place to grab a few friends and just chill for a few hours. The great thing about Marlow’s is that not only does it offer a great atmosphere but it also offers deliberately good, well-made food. I can’t speak for the other locations, but at the Waterford Lakes location the menu is chef driven and everything that comes from the kitchen is made from scratch. The moment I heard this, I was delighted!
The menu for the evening was pre-selected, so I was disappointed to find that asparagus fries was the only vegetarian-friendly dish that was going to be served that evening. Noticing this, Michael Russo, the GM, had Chef Matt Tolson make the menu’s black bean burger just for me! So, how did it all taste? Keep reading to find out!
Most vegetarians and even a number of meat eaters have probably had some sort of vegetable fry before. I’ve been finding them a lot lately on menus across Central Florida. I have had them when they were done right and when they were sad, overly oily, and just done wrong. I am happy to write that the asparagus fries at Marlow’s were done right! They had the perfect crunch and were seasoned very well. The best part is that there was no need to do a “pat down” before eating them. I’m not sure how they did it, but there was very little oil on the fries. The asparagus fries came with a tarragon and citrus aioli dip. Honestly, the dip was good, but I didn’t try that much of it. For me, the fries did a good job of standing on their own.
Now for the burger!
To say that I have tried a number of black bean burgers would be an understatement. I’m not really a burger girl, but I am a fry girl. So when the urge for fries hits, I give in to the urge by also treating myself to a side of burger. Marlow’s black bean burger came with a salad instead of fries, but I was not disappointed. The burger was pretty big. It wasn’t your ordinary thin, flimsy black bean burger. This thing was bursting with veggies! There were carrots, pickles, onions, and tomatoes. Plus, the black beans were actually visible! If you’ve eaten black bean burgers before, you know what I mean by this. There were times where I’ve wondered exactly where the black beans were hiding. The really great part is that the burger was topped with a whole wheat bun. It really annoys me when a veggie burger has anything but a whole wheat bun, so I’m really glad that an effort was made to keep this dish as healthy as possible.
I had a really great time at Marlow’s Tavern Waterford Lakes, and I look forward to going back with a group of friends and family in tow. Oh, before I go, I would also like to give an honorable mention to the amazing sangria and creme brûlée. Both were great additions to my dinner! Be sure to check out a list of their weekly specials and pictures from my visit below.
- Daily Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m., $3 Domestic Drafts $4 Glasses of Select Wines $4 Premium Wells
- Girls Night Out Specials: Wednesdays 5 p.m. to Close, $5 Martini and Appetizer Specials
- Live Entertainment: Wednesdays and Saturdays Starting at 7 p.m.
- Save the Date: Summer Celebration July 13–19