Saturday, February 7, 2009

Punk's Backyard Grill

We've been watching with some anticipation for the opening of Punk's at the newly expanded Annapolis Mall, as we are always happy to have another lunch spot at our disposal. This past Wednedsay, Punk's opened quietly.

I had anticipated a simple burger/ sandwich shop with the usual line up of BBQ "this and that". To my surprise and delight, Punk's is so much more.

We were greeted by one of the owners, Jeffrey who helped us to navigate the menu. He explained that the concept of Punk's is to provide fresh, health-minded, and tasty cuisine where everything is made from scratch in their own kitchen or locally sourced by quality food artisans.

The rolls are homemade. The meat is delivered fresh daily from Vande Rose Farms (the same purveyor which supplies to Redwood and Mendocino). They grind their own burger meat. They make their own veggie burgers. They make their own BBQ sauce. They make all the aiolis in house. They make their own pies and cookies.... and it's all good.

Steve and I split sandwiches. We had the Sliced Flat Iron Steak Sandwich with oven roasted Cremini Mushrooms, Grilled red onions and Peppercorn Aioli and the Grilled Vegetable Burger. The Flat Iron Steak was prepared medium rare and completely fork tender. The peppercorn aioli was just enough to coat the freshly baked brioche roll and added a nice bite to the sandwich.

The vegetable burger was a revelation. Meaty and dense with black beans, rice and veg. The house made BBQ sauce is perfect. Not too sweet and the perfect foil for the burger.

For sides we had the white cheddar mac n' cheese and the honey mint seasonal fruit salad. Oh mac n' cheese! A pleasant bite, rich and creamy with a nice crunchy toasted bread crumb topping. The fruit salad had just the right hint of honey, but could have used a little more mint.

For dessert... homemade pecan pie and homemade ice cream sandwich. That pecan pie was perfection. Delicate pie crust and chocked full of pecans in a rich but not too sweet gooey mess. Mmmmmmm. The homemade chocolate cookies were filled with a generous portion of mint chocolate chip ice cream and would have been a show stopper anywhere else if not for the insanely good pecan pie.

On a second visit with our good friends Mick and Carlos, we also sampled the Cheeseburger with Bacon and pepperjack cheese and the grilled chicken skewers. Equally as good as our first visit. They make an insanely good cole slaw with lots of fresh cabbage and pomeroy mustard. It's earthy and rustic and all together scintillating.

Punk's is locally owned but they have visions of grandeur. Essentially the brain child of three Cornell students, who ran the Punk's concept as the senior project and were so successful with it, that they decided to make a go of it for real. If they continue like this we will be seeing much more of them in the future, and they will be seeing much more of me.

P.S. Boylans sodas on tap. Who knew? You gotta love diet Creme soda from a fountain.

Punk's Backyard BBQ Grill
2188 Annapolis Mall
(Directly across from Bank Annapolis on Bestgate Road)
Annapolis, MD 21401
phone: 410 571-7744
fax: 410 571-7724

Sunday — Wednesday 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Thursday — Saturday 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.