Monday, May 9, 2011

The Place on Broad ~ Augusta, Georgia

  The wrought iron patio furniture makes The Place on Broad the perfect spot for a dinner on a beautiful spring day. Not to imply the inside of this restaurant is shabby at all, with its elegant bar and cozy booths. However, I am sure that it does not compare to the ambiance of a May afternoon in Augusta Georgia. Downtown Augusta is a twisted blend of businesses boxed in by the Savannah River, old neighborhoods, rail yards, and a sprawling collection of colleges. Maybe one day Augusta can get its act together and clean up Broad Street. Restaurants like The Place on Broad have reclaimed one or two blocks of Broad Street, but I believe there are more opportunities for growth downtown as the city leaders become resolute to work on the issues.

  Being the proud owner of a new camera, I was click-happy right out of the gate. However, by snapping pictures like the Paparazzi, I blew my cover as a sleuthing restaurant critic. I had a head waiter, a water-runner, a beer-runner, and assorted food-runners. The host also checked on the table often. Tip of the day: If one ever wants abnormally superior service, bust out a camera and go to work.

  The Spinach Dip came with toasted Pita Bread. (insert a long pause with much thought and contemplation) (OK, insert another pause and some finger tapping) No, nothing remarkable comes to mind about the Spinach Dip. Spinach and cream cheese... I did see one bit of red, maybe a tomato or a roasted pepper snuck in unnoticed. The covering of melted Gruyere cheese gave the dip a pleasant presentation. Unfortunately, looks are not everything. The dip was a bit thick and intensely  normal. I suggest that the chef toss in some roasted red peppers and some Peri-Peri Extra Hot Sauce to take this spinach dip to another level.

  Burgers were the star of the evening, but I chose to fight the mob and ordered the Avocado Crumble Salad topped with Mahi Mahi. The Avocado on the salad was perfect without any brown discoloring. That statement may sound odd, but I seem to be a magnet for brown Avocado. With the Mahi Mahi cooked perfectly, this was an outstanding salad. Fresh, bright, and enjoyable, it was a perfect match for the spring evening on Broad Street.

  The mushroom-topped burger, touted by my son Alex as "the best burger [consumed in recent history]", looked delicious.  I dove in and took a bite. I admit that this is an excellent burger. The Kaiser rolls toasted on the flat top with butter is what made these burgers superior. My theory is that a fantastic burger should always leave a permanent stain on your shirt. I am also a minimalist when it comes to burgers. An epic "gf" burger consists of quality ground beef cooked over a wood-burning grill, topped with aged cheddar cheese, and smashed between two pieces of buttered egg-buns, but hey, that is just me.

A "chilled out" guest
  The place on Broad is a delightful place to chill out. Maybe when it is time for a remodel the owner will consider renaming The Place on Broad to "The Place to Chill". What a fabulous place this is to enjoy your company and just relax. We people-watched for a whole twenty minutes after the meal. The occasional weird dude walking down the sidewalk makes a convenient excuse to buy another beer. Never underestimate the impact of weird dudes. "Do me a solid and get me another brew" almost came out of my mouth. One cannot get much more "chilled" than that.

 Overall, this was a pleasant dining experience. I hope that The Place on Broad will survive and become a fixture in downtown Augusta. The staff was excellent on this slowish-beginning of a Saturday evening. I will have to come back when they are busy (without my camera), to find out if they can perform under pressure.

  Check out their menu and their store website at

Thanks for reading,

The Place on Broad on Urbanspoon

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