I am always on the lookout for the next “it” restaurant in the city. Though generally, the work is done for me; good restaurants tend to have a following and a slew of great reviews. Ronnie’s however, is a new kid on the block. In fact, one can call it a toddler. Yet, there was something about this “toddler” that had me wanting to test its potential. Is it wrong that I wanted to throw it in the deep end to see if it could swim? As screwed up as that sounds, I wanted to see if Ronnie’s could handle what I was thinking of throwing at them. So I contacted the restaurant and asked if I could use their restaurant….the WHOLE restaurant…for a THEMED event….for UNDER $35 per person. Yes, they had no idea who the heck I was and what I was all about. But guess what? They were game!
*Sigh, they had no idea what they had committed to. In fact, I would not be surprised if at some point they wanted to throw MY ASS in the deep end, and then hold me down!
So this is how it went…..
- Read reviews. Not many reviews out there, but the ones that exist were on the positive end
- E-mailed Ronnie’s @ email@example.com and tried to sell my event idea
- Jane from Ronnie’s responded, and a friendship was formed. In other words, she put up with me
- Jane and I discussed the menu, theme, and date/time and I posted the event on my Meetup page
- Jane and I had agreed to 6 items for under $35
- Not enough people were signing up for this event and I thought that maybe it was because of the price or the fixed menu
- Contacted Jane feeling like absolute shit about not being to deliver what I promised (a full house). Jane’s response, “that’s ok. We will absorb the tip and tax. We are so excited about this event that we even went shopping for decorations!”
- Now I felt lower than shit (is there such a thing? Mmmm). Jane and her team did not deserve this! They were exceeding expectations by accommodating all the crap that was going wrong on my end: my attendance numbers were dropping by the minute, and everyone was still getting a ridiculous amount of food, for an amazing price! So I did the only thing I could do under these circumstances… I yelled at my group and sent them all threatening messages that went like this, “due to your lack of responsibility and flaky behaviour, I will not be holding any more events for the rest of the year! That’s right! No more events! Take that!”
- Although the number of people who attended the event was lower than what Jane and I had originally planned, those that attended the event were blown away by the food and service. These are some of the reviews:
From Susan: “Thanks for organizing this event. I certainly had a very full belly. The food was wonderful and the staff exceptional…”
From Debbie: “You outdid yourself this time ltanni. The food was amazing! Service was very professional and also very accommodating to our “no onions” fetish. I’m not sure where you keep finding places like this but please keep doing it.”
From Craig: “This was one of my favourite Events w/this Group so far. The food was all delicious, I was pretty full after dessert …The venue appeared quite appropriate for the Event and the service was quite efficient and courteous…”
More reviews can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/Full-Belly-Tight-Budget-Money-Conscious-Foodies/events/209781042/
Now let’s talk about the menu:
I hate onions, and several of my group members are also not fans. So what did they do? They made two types! One with onions and one without. Yes! And I am so glad they did because it tasted amazing! Large pieces of chicken and sausage with fresh vegetables and perfectly cooked rice. It was one of my meal highlights.
- Crab cakes
People devoured these. And they were not skimpy on the crab! I also liked that you got a fresh salad with the crab cake.
- Mac ‘n cheese spring rolls
I really liked this idea. Bizarre yet so tasty! My only issue with this dish was that I felt that the rolls could have benefited from an extra minute or two in the fryer. I really wanted to taste the contrast in textures. Jane agreed that they need a bit more time in the fryer.
- Pimento grilled cheese
OMG! Best grilled cheese EVER! I asked Jane if they could make it on raisin bread (she agreed), and it was phenomenal. I am a huge grilled cheese fan and I had never tasted a grilled cheese with pimento cheese before. The raisin bread brought it to another level of deliciousness. I heard several guests remark that they will never use plain ol’ white bread again!
- Corn bread with maple syrup butter
I did not eat much of the corn bread (had onions–yes I am a princess), but the butter…. damn, I could have eaten it with a spoon! Jane had said that I could take some to go, but I forgot about grabbing it before I left, and remembered when I got home. I almost cried. Really, I almost did.
- Chicken wings
Not very Southern, but finger-licking-good! As in, I was licking my fingers after eating them (yeah I got looks, but whatever!). The wings were tender and the sauce… I could have probably eaten this sauce with a spoon too!
- French fries
Only item I did not like. I found them to be average and on the soggy side. But then I am a frittes person (thin and crispy).
- Bread pudding
Perfect ending to a great meal. Oh! This was not your standard bread pudding either. No sir! This was “deep-fried” bread pudding! Delicious!
*Last but not least, a special non-alcoholic cocktail was created just for us!
**The dishes pictured are smaller than what you would get if you ordered it from the regular menu.
Thank you to the team at Ronnie B’s Southern Kitchen & Taps for hosting us and for making this event a success. Your patience, hard work, delicious food, and amazing service did not go unnoticed. I have no worries about your ability to stay afloat. You swam wonderfully. Keep up the great work!