Between work, school, and wedding planning, we've been pretty stressed out lately. What better way to give in to a little comfort food and indulge with deep fried cheese sticks. After a whirlwind Tour de Tavern Pizzawith no room for anything else, the thought of Ralph's Tavern mozzarella sticks lingered for weeks taunting us. We finally caved and went for it.
Our first encounter did not disappoint. They clearly did not come straight from the freezer. Although not as crunchy as your typical mozzarella sticks, these lightly hand-battered logs had just the right amount of breading to let the cheese shine. If you're looking for an oozy, gooey, melty mozzarella stick, this hits the spot. It's also not too greasy which made wolfing these down way too easy.
Now what's a mozzarella stick without some sauce? While you can go the traditional way and have yours with marinara, you can also go the Upstate NY route and get yourself some raspberry sauce. J was more of a traditionalist preferring a savory sauce, while I leaned toward the salty and sweet combo. Don't get me wrong, the homemade red sauce is a classic and was just as good. The marina had great flavor and balance of seasonings but there's something about the grease, salt, and sweetness that was so addictive. I know, it's just jam from a jar but somehow it works. Are you a Team Mozz & Melba or Team Mozz & Marinara kind of person?
With a name like The Beer Belly, you wouldn't expect this type of joint to serve such addictive food but it does! J and I would probably come here on a daily basis if we still lived around the corner.The atmosphere is a perfect mix for the both of us; not too pretentious or hipster yet comfortable and approachable.
The Beer Belly has been curating an evolving list of excellent craft beers and a menu that is fun and thoughtfully prepared with simple and delicious ingredients. By now, you might as well call us regulars. We've tried nearly everything on the menu and while not all bites are perfect, there's been some memorable ones that are worth coming back for:
$1 Oysters: It's become a Sunday ritual for us pairing these freshly shucked beauties with a pick-your-own flight of delectable beers. You can also stop by on weekdays from 11am to 5pm for this daily deal.
Bresaola Bites: These artfully wrapped purses of thinly sliced cured meats are generously filled with a creamy chive goat cheese. It's a symphony of flavors between the tanginess of the cheese and salty bites of the air-dried beef. The basil pesto adds another dimension of flavor, bringing a fragrant accent that pairs wonderfully.