It is not often that I venture to 30A for a meal, but this past week my husband and I decided to try out the new restaurant Blue Mabel in Blue Mountain Beach. I had heard that the restaurant specialized in smoked meats and homemade sauces, so I was excited to see what type meats Blue Mabel featured.

 

THE FOOD

We arrived at Blue Mabel during official happy hour, about 10 minutes before the dinner menu started. After we told our server, Taylor, that we would be staying for dinner, we ordered a starter of smoked grouper dip to share.

I’m not sure how I feel about the smoked grouper dip. It felt like I was cheating on my all time favorite, tuna dip. The smoked grouper dip came mixed with capers and with tortilla chips for dipping. It wasn’t my favorite variety of dip, but my husband polished it off just fine.

Next, we chose our entrees. What surprised me at a place that markets itself as a smokehouse was the number of vegetarian selections on the menu, such as boiled peanut hummus, tempura okra, and several varieties of salads. Although the vegetarian offerings were tempting, my guest and I both chose meat selections. I chose the Famous 24-Hour Smoked Brisket Sandwich, and my husband chose the Drunken BBQ Lamb Chops.

My smoked brisket sandwich came piled high with cheese, smoked brisket, a thick slice of bacon, onions, garlic pickles made in-house on a potato bread bun. For my side, I chose house-cut fries, which were well seasoned with salt and pepper.

The sandwich was delicious, the brisket melted in my mouth and the flavors of the pickles, bacon and fontina cheese complimented each other perfectly. The sandwich was so large I opted to take half of it home.

As for my husband, his lamb chops came over a bed of grilled bok choy and shiitake mushrooms that had been seasoned with Korean pesto and a green tomato relish. Like my brisket, he told me his lamb was melt-in-your-mouth good.

We also ordered from the kid’s menu for our tiny diner. The kid’s menu offered a burger, chicken tenders, cheese nachos or a grilled cheese. We chose chicken tenders for our son, and they came with house-cut fries. Our little tike’s only complaint was that the fries were too hot, as they still seasoned the kid’s fries with cracked pepper and sea salt, a little too spicy for most toddlers.

As for dessert, I was too full to enjoy it this go-around, but our son was over-the-moon to be presented with the kid’s ice cream sundae. The sundae was a heaping bowl of vanilla ice cream with an entire chocolate chip cookie crumbled into it, topped with caramel and hot fudge sauce and whipped cream.

I did try a bite of the banana pudding cheesecake, which was recommended by our server. The concoction featured caramelized bananas with a Nilla Wafer crust. The wobbly slice resembled more of a pudding then a cheesecake, but I give full points to the chef for creativity.

 

THE ATMOSPHERE

Blue Mabel definitely has street appeal, with a sleek blue color and matching striped umbrellas for outdoor seating, and, of course, the smell of the smoker as you walk up. Indoors, the atmosphere is like a hotel restaurant with leather seating and a wrap-around bar.

Photos of cows hang on the wall, as well as a collection of photos of the owner’s family, which makes it simultaneously homey and a bit unnerving if you decide to eat beef as I did!

 

THE SERVICE

Our server was on point, always eager to help us with our selections, and kept our glasses topped off with sweet tea and lemonade. He also brought us pre-dinner chive biscuits with garlic butter, which he said he snuck out early from the dinner menu — thanks for those Taylor!

 

A FINAL TASTE

Blue Mabel is the perfect cross between fine dining and beach casual, and they have something for both meat-lovers and vegetarians. Whether you are looking for a family dinner or a new date night spot, Blue Mabel has you covered.