Monday, 8 June 2015

River Bar Washington

When an e-mail popped into my inbox inviting me along to the  River Bar in Washington, there was only one person I could take along with me to the American bar and grill.  When it comes to reviewing burgers Simon is the only man for the job and is far more of a professional than me.  I'm actually thinking I should maybe give him the title of "Official New Girl in Toon Burger Correspondent" - what do you think?



Last Sunday we made our way to an unexplored part of the North East for late lunch at the River Bar.  Stepping into the riverside restaurant, it was busy with large groups of friends excitedly chatting.  The atmosphere was fantastic.  As much as I can be a grumpy old woman who enjoys peace and quiet, it's lovely to walk into a restaurant that's obviously popular, it can only mean that the food will be good!

Dedicated to our mission the afternoon started with a cheeky look at the cocktail menu.   If you like your cocktails fun and fruity the list of choices is endless, I had my nose buried in the list for a good 10 minutes before coming to a decision. 

In the end I opted for Rhubarb and Custard - Homemade Rhubarb Syrup shaken with Vodka, Raspberry Liqueur and Cranberry Juice and then decorated with custard cream foam.  Sweet, fun and tasty, it ticked every box.  My only regret is not asking for a spoon to attack the custard foam, it upset me having to leave something so delicious sitting in the bottom of the glass.

Simon went for my second choice, the Five Dollar Shake.  This was good for me as it meant I got to try both cocktails that I wanted.  The Shake was a blend of American Cherry Bourbon mixed with Amaretto and Frengelico and Chocolate Shake.  An alcoholic shake is Simon's idea of heaven, so it was a bit of a challenge to wrestle the glass off him for a taste.  On the odd occasion that I managed to get my hands on it I was very impressed, it was like dessert in a glass.



Turning our attention to the food menu we were both in the mood for something big and fulfilling - lucky for us the River Bar has plenty on offer to satisfy even the largest appetite.

I don't think Simon's eyes wandered much further than the burger part of the menu, he quickly skimmed down the list for the words "pulled pork" and then he happily ordered the Hipster Burger - Beef Patty with BBQ Pulled Pork, Green Chilli Mayo, Lettuce and Homemade Slaw. 



His burger was huge but never one to be beaten he swiftly cut it into manageable slabs and had soon polished off the whole lot.  I can never get much out of him whilst he's tucking into a burger but I definitely heard a lot of "yummmm" noises as well as the odd "woahhh" - so I'm guessing it was very tasty with a little bit of a spicy kick.



After a mix up with the orders my food was swift to follow but unfortunately the wrong dish.  Being an over polite Brit I said I was happy to tuck into the River Bar Burger instead of my order but our lovely waitress insisted that I got my correct order and left us to tuck into the extra burger while we were waiting.

Our unexpected River Bar Burger was a bit of a monster - Double Cheeseburger topped with Smoked Bacon, an Onion Ring and BBQ Pulled Pork.  It was delicious but we were careful not to overindulge as I still had my order to come and we didn't want to end up in a Man Vs Food situation.



My River Bar Hot Dog soon appeared, piping hot from the oven and looking amazing.  Hot dogs aren't too common on menus which is a shame because I love them!   I was particularly intrigued by the River Bar Hot Dog as it was served with pulled pork, something I'd never tried together before.  Pork on pork was a winner for me, my Dog was beautiful and worth the wait.

All this eating was thirsty work so we turned our attention back to the cocktail menu.  Simon decided to go sophisticated and ordered a Godfather PT2 - Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Amaretto and Galliano, he's really getting a taste for gentlemen's cocktails recently.



I'm always a sucker for something a bit fun and so ordered The Twister One - Raspberry Vodka, Midori, Lychee, Lemon and Raspberry, served with a mini Twister lolly.  A cocktail to make everyone else in the bar instantly jealous, it was definitely one for Instagram and tasted just as great as it looked.



Despite all of the amazingly presented cocktails it was something else at Riverbar that really grabbed my attention.   The sweet potato fries!   You know how sometimes you love something in a restaurant so much that it becomes your special order?  You have to have it each time you visit and always recommend it to friends ... well for me that is now the sweet potato fries at Riverbar.  

These were, quite simply, the BEST sweet potato fries I have ever had and I would happily visit the River Bar every day of the week just to have these permanently in my life.  Beautifully crispy with the most amazing flavour, they knocked my socks off, especially when I'd covered them in the Riverbar's homemade tomato sauce.    I'm still dreaming about them now!

Even though we were feeling very full by this point we decided that if we took a deep breath we might just about be able to squeeze in some dessert.

I am a little obsessed with Black Forest Gateaux, so seeing a Black Forest Sundae on the menu this was a no brainer for me.  Unfortunately this became my only disappointment of the night. 

I love Black Forest as it contains two of my favourite flavours - cherries and chocolate.   The Sundae had absolutely no chocolate in it at all.  It was a large glass of vanilla ice-cream and cherries, it tasted delicious but I couldn't help but hunt for the chocolate and felt a little cheated.



Simon definitely had the dessert winner, picking one of the many waffles on offer - Toffee Waffle Crunch.  The waffles were served with Toffee Sauce and Cinder Toffee Flakes and were not only well presented but tasted seriously good.  I couldn't help but enviously look at his dessert whilst I was looking for the chocolate in my sundae.



The Riverbar is a great place for big belly's full of food and brightly coloured cocktails - just make sure you order the sweet potato fries!

18 comments:

  1. Sounds amazing! The cocktails especially! I became obsessed with sweet potato fries in America but have never had good ones at home, so good on you for finding some, just a shame for me that I've now moved away! Have a good week! x

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    1. You definitely should have waited for me to discover the best sweet potato fries before leaving :) x

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  2. I love a cheeky burger the challenge is that most that are served are dry and bloody awful. I always wrongly think they are the save bet if unsure and this has been proved wrong a few times. This however looks wonderful. The cocktails, burgers and dessert. If Simon gave it the thumbs up it must be good Lucy x

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    1. I hardly ever order burgers, when I have one I'm very greedy and like to pick something epic that has mushrooms, onion rings, cheese, bacon and fried egg on .. if one of those isn't on the menu (and it often isn't!) I'd always rather go hot dog!

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  3. These are amazing, I don't think I've ever seen such innovative cocktails! I love the idea of Simon being burger correspondent! Mr S is definitely my meat taster!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London


    SilverSpoon London

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    1. and there were plenty more where that came from! I'll definitely be going back to try some more of the cocktails!

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  4. I live quite near Riverbar and only really been to Fiume, but I'd love to have one evening with the girls just sitting trying a few of the cocktails, they look and sound delicious! Also I'm a fan of a good ol' shake so even during the day this sounds good to eat, the food looks so mouth watering!

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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    1. I still need to go to Fiume, I had the choice between the two but hot dogs were always going to win!

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  5. I've been to the river bar quite a bit while on a night out or a pre match drink before heading into town (they do a jammy dodger shot it's amazing) never thought about going for food before. It looks delicious, especially the cocktails! I hope Simon likes his new title.

    Katie x

    www.katiejaneonline.com

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    1. Ooooooooh we did have a shot, it may have been that! It was sweet and red and the shot glass had sugar round the rim - is that the one?

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  6. This food looks amazing! I have a bit of an addiction to burgers, although mine are vegi!

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.com

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  7. This food looks amazing! I have a bit of an addiction to burgers, although mine are vegi!

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.com

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  8. This food looks amazing! I have a bit of an addiction to burgers, although mine are vegi!

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.com

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  9. This all looks and sounds so good! I keep seeing pictures of the twister cocktail and really want to try it! And now I've heard about the sweet potato fries I have to go! x

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  10. I had the River Dog when I went and loved it! My mouth is actually watering for one right now. I really regret not ordering the sweet potato fries, they look incredible! Rosie

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  11. I've been here but just for a diet coke ha! I'll have to go back and sample the cocktails!

    Kay xx

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  12. I love hot dogs too and have to shamefully admit, one of my favourites is from - - - wetherspoons!

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  13. I need that waffle in my life!!!
    Burgers and hot dog look yummy. I agree, that hot dogs are a few and far between on menus.

    Caroline.x
    notesfromcaroline.com

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