Eddie Merlot's . . . again

1502 Illinois Road South
Fort Wayne, IN 46804-1220

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time - you know that the 3 Elles LOVE Martinis and when martinis are featured on such a holiday as "Martini Wednesdays" (or Tuesdays or Mondays or Thursdays - we don't judge) then utopia exists. Recently, the 3 Elles and a "D" enjoyed Girls Night Out at Eddie Merlot's on the greatest day of the week - Martini Wednesday!!!!!

Where to begin - ahhh, the door. At EM's - it's always opened for you by a young individual attending to the valet parking. Upon entering the door, charming young ladies are at the hostess stand requesting your name and are eager to seat you in a timely fashion. Again, if you have read this blog before, you know my pet peeve about being placed "in the center" of the restaurant. Girls Night Out chicks like to be secluded so we can dish the gossip, laugh, and enjoy the night. The charming young lady was receptive to our suggestion of a booth away from the "main stage" - thanks, we greatly appreciated allowing us to be relocated.

If you have never been to EM's then you are in for a pleasant, peaceful dining experience elevated above most others. That said, I have found EM's dining experience to be what you make it. The staff is very polished, polite, professional, and extremely well trained. The 3 Elles are not stuck up, we are fun and enjoy playful interaction. The entire staff at EM's, on each visit, has always been humorous, fun, and able to participate in our give-and-take. Every level of the staff, from water re-filler (Awesome job Roberto - "Bo") to server to members of management, are able to interact with the customers as the customer wishes - serious and stout, or playful and fun. The 3 Elles have said it before, but it REALLY holds true - awesome service can totally make or break an experience!!!! EM's service will NOT disappoint.

Martinis - this was a near disaster. Our loyal readers know from the past entries that the Berry White Martini is the most superior martini in all of Fort Wayne (or America for that matter - though, we haven't tried EVERY martini - YET!).

Partially consumed "new" recipe Berry White

Our server, Fritz, was fantastic and absolutely saved the whole night. We ordered a round of introductory Berry Whites and they showed up cloudy and tasted terrible (possibly that was too harsh - perhaps "disappointing" is a better choice). We were truly bummed - but not too bummed to drink them up. I mentioned it to Fritz and he said that the recipe had changed since our last visit. He further educated us that the change was to standardize the recipe across the chain. He offered to have the bartender make our second round with the old recipe - YES!!!!!!!!!!! In case anyone from the EM's management is reading - stick with the old recipe - it's infinitely superior to the revision. If one day we can't order the old recipe of this fantastic martini - we will be crushed!!!! Adams L ordered a chocolate martini and was pleased, but it wasn't over-the-top. "D" who is the daughter of Adams L ordered a pineapple upside down cake martini at the recommendation of Twila (a member of the EM's management). It was guaranteed to taste exactly like the cake - and guess what - spot on - YUM!

I should state at this point I just went to the EM's website in order to reference the exact names of the dishes ordered and the link to the menu isn't working on neither on firefox nor explorer ------- bummer!!!!

Bread - a fav of all 3 Elles. The bread at EM's is unexplainable fabulous! Crusty outside, soft crannies on the inside. It's served warm and is straight from the white flour gods!!! Bring it on - more and more and more!!! YUM!

Appetizers - Allen L ordered blue cheese potato chips. It came in this huge bowl that easily filled the tummies of the 4 (3 Elles & "D") of us. They were fantastic! Some of the chips could have been a bit more crunchy - the centers of some were soggy - but by far these were a delicious appetizer that was very fun to share. They were perfect for munching while drinking!!! Will definitely get these again!

3/4 eaten chips

Wells L ordered crab cakes - of course! They were perfect - as expected. It's definitely a close tie with those found at Club Soda or at The Brickhouse Grill in Huntington. They are so fantastic, I would be delighted to see an entree size crab cake - euphoric indeed!

Entrees - Those of you who are loyal readers could guess with great accuracy what each of us ordered. Allen L & "D" ordered French Onion Soup - shocker!!!!!! As predicted - the EM's version of the soup is to die for!!!! It received rave reviews from the gals.

Adams L ordered a salad with grapes, pears, and candied pecans - sorry I can't remember the name (Waldorf?) . . . and the EM's website still doesn't work so I can't look it up. She ordered the whole size in hopes of sharing it with "D". It was a generous portion.

Half-eaten Waldorf salad

I ordered a fillet with encrusted bacon and blue cheese. The steak was good - perhaps a bit over done, though, I did order it well - but it was very well. It was nothing superior of other fillets in Fort Wayne. The blue cheese was a bit "in your face" - quite the opposite of the Blue Cheese Twins at Baker Street which is more subtle and enjoyable. I would not spend the extra $4 for it in the future.

Half-eaten fillet with some of the hash browns (sorry it's already half-eaten - I'll work on taking pix when the food hits the table, but it's just soo delicious)

Fritz strongly recommended the hash browns which came on a plate and resembled the size of a large waffle. They were good - go for the extra crispy (Thanks, Fritz for the guidance). It was the sort of thing that would be paired very well with an omelet - not so much a fillet with blue cheese.

Half-eaten (actually, it was divided up among the 4 of us) hash browns.

Dessert - Adams L wanted her daughter "D" to experience the "show" of the flaming brownie. It is quite the show. It is very impressive. It is not worth $14.95. We were too full to eat it at the time of the show, but took it home. I'm not sure if the recipe changed since 16 months ago, but it tasted much better this time, then the last time.

From start to finish - EM's is a reliably wonderful experience. You will never be disappointed with your dining experience at EM's. 5 Stars!

Until the next bite -

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