Looking for a casual, clean and comfy place to cheer the Reds on during the playoffs or to gather with your Fantasy Football friends during a weekend nail-biter? With so many sports bars in the Greater Cincinnati area, it can be tough to find one that combines both the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and a great selection of game-time food. Friendly East Side newcomer Butterbee’s seems to have a solid handle on what such a place should be like.
Family-owned and established in Mount Orab in 2006, the Beechmont Butterbee’s location opened just a few months ago. My family and I have enjoyed eating at both restaurants during the past few years. Equipped with a solid offering of more than 30 TVs broadcasting the NFL Sunday Ticket, NCAA favorites and just about any other sporting event imaginable in HD, sports-minded diners will appreciate the wide variety of viewing choices in addition to the assortment of menu options.
Appetizer offerings include traditional favorites such as wings, chicken tenders, loaded potato skins, cheese fries and, a favorite in our family, mozzarella cheese sticks ($6.99). Before we hit our seat, my son immediately requested this must-have munchie. Dipped in a light batter and served up with a slightly sweet marinara, we quickly made our order of eight disappear. If you can’t decide which “player to start,” then I recommend calling the Tailgate Sampler ($12.95) out of the bullpen so you can enjoy four tastes on one plate.
On this particular occasion, my 8-year-old son was feeling particularly hungry and ordered The Big Reel Grilled Salmon ($14.99). It was perfectly grilled, although the seasoning was a little heavy-handed for either of our tastes.
His choices of traditional sides (soup and salad) were both fresh and very tasty. The soup of the day, Chicken and Rice ($3.29 cup, $4.29 bowl) was excellent. Served steaming hot and full of flavor, it was the kind of soul-satisfying dish Carole King would sing about. When I asked the server about the brand, she indicated the soups were made from scratch.
My appetite for heat led me to order the spicy Buffalo Chicken Wrap ($8.49). Wrapped in a sun-dried tomato tortilla, the dish packed a major league wallop. The chicken is flash-fried to a perfect crisp and then tossed in Buffalo sauce. Piled together with cool, crunchy lettuce and creamy Jack and Cheddar cheeses, it’s a monster of a sandwich. I had to take half of it home because I couldn’t resist finishing every last one of the Saratoga chips served with it!
Like many of you, I have always compared any Saratoga chips I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy to the Cincinnati blue-chip standard produced by the world-famous Gregory family at Montgomery Inn. And, while I will always have a deep and abiding Cincinnatian love for the Montgomery Inn (especially the Boathouse, where my husband proposed to me following dinner there one night way back in 1994), I’m going to publicly declare that Butterbee’s is currently serving the superior Saratoga chip.
Crisp and never greasy, the chips are the perfect thickness and rate high on my crunch-o-meter. While the barbeque sauce at Montgomery Inn might have a bold, welcoming flavor, the sauce used by Butterbee’s is good and I give them bonus points for always serving it warm. The chips pair nicely with any of the dozen or so cold draft beers on tap, and if ordered as an appetizer ($5.99), there should be more than enough to get you and a few friends through the first quarter of a Bengals game.
Since no meal is complete without a taste of something sweet, we ordered from the dessert menu. A little scant with only three items, it would benefit from some additional offerings. One of my dining partners decided on the Cheesecake ($5.29), while I went for something decidedly dark in the Chocolate Fudge Cake ($5.29). Both were solid players — one cannot go wrong ordering cake when it is from the Original Cheesecake Factory, in my humble opinion. As expected, the cheesecake had a nice firm texture and a rich, creamy finish. The fudge cake was rich and dense, with especially thick and delicious layers of fudge frosting.
Spacious and inviting, I recommend giving Butterbee’s a try soon. The wide open floor plan, ample seating and a menu offering everything from wings and salads to ribs and sirloin steak make it ideal for taking a raucous group to enjoy a game or just enjoy the company of good friends.
Go: 4022 Mt. Carmel Tobasco Road, Beechmont.
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday
Entrée Prices: $4-$24
Red Meat Alternatives: Plenty
Accessibility: Fully Accessible