In the old Bexley Monk and Blind Monk space (The Monster hasn’t been in twenty years but not much seems to have changed) is Barrel 44 Whiskey Bar and Restaurant.
It’s a nice large bar in one room and dining in the next, warm brown tones and an outside patio that’s much too hot today as we celebrate America’s birthday.
The Monster hasn’t eaten all morning after taking in the Bexley Parade. For the uninitiated, the Bexley Parade is small town America at its best. A chance to reconnect with old friends, for kids to run through sprinklers and The Monster to schvitz his face off.
Despite the heat, the call is Barrel Fish Chowder to start. Chunks of catfish, salmon, hearty redskin potatoes and garden fresh vegetables in a light seafood broth. For the main, the crab cake sliders served with fries sounds patriotic enough.
The Monster is so hungry that a can of Spam and moldy bread would be a great lunch. This lunch is decidedly more fulfilling than that but truthfully metes out no better than fine.
The soup has no catfish in it as promised and plays more like a vegetable soup with salmon than a fish chowder. That’s alright but not what’s advertised.
The sliders fair well enough though aren’t a reason to return. The fries might look burnt but are actually nicely prepared.
So while Barrel 44 may certainly stop one from starving it didn’t do much to convince that it’s a permanent answer in this long revered spot.
Why go? Independence Day
Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters
2232 East Main Street
Bexley, OH 43209