Last week, the poll on this blog closed, and Maddi's Southern Bistro was the overwhelming winner. So, as a man of my word, I honored your decision, and took great pains to make my journey to Maddi's.
I used scissors to make cut, after brutal cut, around the coupon I found for buy one entree get one free (with the purchase of two drinks)
I used all my strength to open the garage door (I pushed a button).
I concentrated every minute of the brutal and difficult drive (8 minutes on 73)
It took FOREVER (about 2 minutes) to find a parking space
And I waited and waited to get a table (just over 5 minutes).
And then I was forced to eat a delicious meal, and now I'm typing!! Oh, the sacrifices I make for my readers!! (Please note the HUGE amount of sarcasm above!) :)
My wife and I entered Maddi's Gallery, to get to Maddi's Southern Bistro. While waiting for our table, we perused the gallery that features Southern folk art. Some of the things in there are truly art. Some of the things in there are more of the tchotchke nature. But either way, it's entertaining to stroll about the store.
After a short wait (they had a couple large groups taking up most of the small restaurant), we were seated, and started looking over the menu. When I was walking to my seat, a waitress walked by with a plate of Fried Chicken. It looked amazing, and my dinner decision was made instantly. So, I turned my attention to the appetizers, and was hooked by the Fried Green Tomatoes (one of my favorites to make). I chose a wine, and was ready to go.
My wife agreed with me on the Tomatoes, and chose the Steak of the Day Entree, which was steak over a creamy pesto pasta dish. It sounded interesting, and I was going to sample some of the meal. (Hopefully while her attention was somewhere else!)
Maddi's Southern Bistro is decorated whimsically with many things found in the gallery. There was a wooden cow on the wall above me. There is a large multi-colored swirly glass chandelier in the middle of the room (definitely a piece of custom-made art), and paintings adorn the walls.
Our wines arrived first, and I was instantly drawn to the GENEROUS pours. Maddi's has a very respectable wine menu, and with the $5 glasses of wine (Monday - Thursday) you really can't go wrong.
Next came the Fried Green Tomatoes. I like Fried Green Tomatoes, I make really good ones in my kitchen. But these were a little better. The tomatoes were thinly sliced and fried at a high temperature; combine that with bread crumbs in the coating, and you've got a VERY crunchy Fried Green Tomato. They were served with a vinaigrette that was amazing.
After we polished-off that, we were brought our entrees. My Fried Chicken looked and smelled delicious! It was breaded and fried, and was a dark golden brown. YUM! It had a side of Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese. Which smelled so amazing, it only made my mouth water more.
I used a combination of my fork, knife, and hands to get to the chicken. It was really, really, amazing. And ranks among the best fried chicken that I've ever had. In all honesty, it may have been the best. The outside was crisp and crunchy, and the inside was tender and juicy. Just REALLY frakin' good! In addition, there was so much on my plate, that when I took the leftovers home I used it to top two separate salads.
The Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese was unique, and delicious. The smoky flavors complimented the chicken. And the cheese sauce was amazingly creamy and rich. Really, why didn't somebody ever give this to be previously? It's so good, it should have been done years ago.
My meal was amazing. However, just to be honest, my wife's dish was not as amazing. The steak was fatty, and the flavor of the steak was just out of place on the homemade creamy pesto pasta dish. The pasta was really good, the steak was OK. But together, they just didn't work (so I deducted .5 points from the Food Score). If my fried chicken was on the pasta, now THAT would have been good!
Atmosphere: 4/5 (fun and funky interior)
Price: $$$$ (I'm basing this on a guesstimate, for the price of my dinner, wine, and 1/2 of the appetizer, including tip). Due to the coupon I clipped, and the $5 wine special, we actually left there for about $45 for dinner for both of us. If you don't have a coupon for Maddi's, Helen Schwab has a deal for you.
Kid Friendly: Yes. They have high-chairs and kids menus. However, it is a small restaurant. If you child is in a screaming or throwing mood, you might want to wait until tomorrow.
Conclusion: Maddi's offers a fun environment to sit down and have a great meal. The wine selection is good and the fried chicken is almost a spiritual experience. However, the meals there can be hit and miss. So just be on the safe side, and order the fried chicken! :)
Maddi's Southern Bistro
16925 Birkdale Commons Pkwy
Huntersville, NC 28078