A longtime local restaurant raises the bar on casual good food.
By Judi Gallager
I’ve always been a big fan of Gecko’s ultimate chicken sandwich, lightly blackened with a side of ranch and those homemade chips. But other than an occasional spinach salad with warm bacon dressing (very good, by the way), I have never ventured farther into the menu. And, trying to be healthy, well I did say trying, didn’t I, Geckos hasn’t been on my radar these past few years.
Boy, have I wasted time, as Gecko’s, both the original, and the new establishment over on Clark (my preference for aesthetics and service) has raised the bar on casual good food. Their new menu items are impressive, folks and I dare to share that hubby (a self-proclaimed “good eater of almost all foods” has dubbed the new bbq ribs as the best in town. While I call it a tie between Lee Roy Selmon’s and Gecko’s versions, I will tell you that the veal pot roast is comfort food on steroids and not indulging yourself with this experience along with homemade mashed potatoes and pan drippings would be nearly a criminal offense. In fact, I would venture to say that many of the items on Gecko’s expansive menu proffer comfort, lending it to a much broader reach than that of a sports bar.
Sure there are the traditional wings and such, but the Clark Road Gecko’s gets away from the stereotypical video-games-and-baseball-caps sports bar. In fact, the veggie pizza with artichokes was divine, and the warm pasta salad with grilled veggies was almost as good as the rare seared ahi tuna.
Chef Douglas Bevier serves up Asian chicken lettuce wraps at Gecko's.
But let’s get back to the comfy food, shall we?
Barbecued brisket with coleslaw and fries is as Southern barbecue as I have seen, and even the coleslaw was fresh and delicious. Gecko’s now offers weekly specials. The Landings location is the test ground for future ringers—please chef, add that veal pot roast and brisket before I come down there and stamp my feet! While perch is not a favorite of mine, and I almost always find it a bit dry, I did appreciate the chef giving it its own place on the specials list. So bravo to Gecko’s for raising the bar in casual dining.
Gecko's veal pot roast could be the best ever.
This week I’m heading over to the new Lido Beach Grill (formerly Christopher’s) and The Chef’s Table and MT’s—both spots have new chefs with solid reputations, so raise your forks and stay tuned!
Do you have an old favorite that you have revisited recently? Post your favorite new foodie finds below.