Well, okay, so the mushrooms at Cheers aren’t exactly the type to make you see pink elephants or grow huge Super Mario/Alice in Wonderland-style. But despite their lack of transformational power, I’ve got to say that the fried mushrooms at Cheers in the Heights are probably the best version of the popular appetizer I’ve ever tasted. What made them so good? Well first, the breading. The breading on these mushrooms was thin, crispy, and very flavorful. Too many fried mushrooms have a batter coating that’s a touch slimy and only tastes of fryer grease. Secondly, the mushrooms were cut into quarters, something I wish other restaurants that serve fried mushrooms would start doing – it simply gives each piece the perfect batter-to-mushroom ratio. We ordered these on a whim since they were on special, and although I thought that nothing could ever take the place of Cheers’ chips and cheese dip as my favorite appetizer, these mushrooms did just that. Next time…mushrooms and cheese dip!
We didn’t just eat mushrooms – although I admit I could have eaten a lot more of them than I did. Jess ordered a Cobb salad, which came out large and covered with chopped turkey, croutons, bacon, and cheese. I like a little avocado on my Cobb, but Jess was pretty content with the creamy bell pepper dressing served to the side. I thought it was a tasty dressing, too, with the sharp, fresh taste of bell pepper coming through the creamy tang of the dressing to make a nice complement to the salad. The only problems I saw with the salad were that there could have been a touch more bacon involved and that the sliced hard-boiled eggs were woefully overcooked. A hard-boiled egg that has a grainy yolk tinged with gray at the edge is an unacceptable, overcooked egg and should never be served.
For my own entrée, I’d heard good things about the Garden Burger at Cheers and so I decided to take the vegetarian-but-unhealthy route and order one with a side of fries. The hand cut fries were hot and crisp, with a firm, mealy middle – these are some of the best fries in the city, and regular readers will know how much I detest bad fries. The garden burger itself was nothing revolutionary but it had a good, slightly spicy flavor to it and a firm, moist texture that held its own against the generous toppings and fluffy bun. I’ve always had a fondness for veggie burgers, and this was one of the best versions I’ve had, and it’s a real bargain at around six dollars. But as good as the rest of the meal was, Jess and I kept coming back to those delicious mushrooms – and I think I’ll find myself back at Cheers sooner rather than later to get a fix of those delectable morsels again. Enjoy!