Mockingbird Café has recently shed its feathers and evolved into a new image.
Growing past the need of being known as a "café," the name has slimmed down to just "The Mockingbird". The logo also changed from the old yellow and white impact lettering to its current minimalist mockingbird impression. I can appreciate the move towards a more elegant look. The café seems to have figured a few things out in its two year life span.
Located on the western side of Midtown's nightlife scene, on Monroe St. and 6th Ave, it's a short walk away from Leon Pub and the Manor @ Midtown bars. Many, including myself, have made it a part of their nights marauding around midtown.
The Mockingbird can conceivably become a one stop shop for both my daytime and nighttime endeavors. It features space for live music inside and out. Artists big and small have played at this intimate venue. It's also split into two defined areas; a dining room and a bar --each with a separate entrance.
Their menu matches the trendy feel of the décor. With local art on the walls and the clean aesthetic, the quality of craftsmanship that goes into the food has a lot to live up to. The lunch and dinner menus offer a nice variety of delicious appetizers and entrées. I haven't had everything, but what I did have lived up to the visual hype.
I love their burgers. They're fresh ground Angus and seasoned to near perfection. Instead of a stagnant catch-all of a burger section, the menu gives you three options: Basic Cheeseburger, Black Bean Burger, and the Burger of the Day. That's something
for the simple, the vegetarian, and the risk-taker. I had some sort of Italian burger that towed the line between pizza and burger. I've been close to the edge and I ain't lookin' back.
The menu and the décor give off a refreshing vibe. It's obvious that they are passionate about the business and you can taste it in the food and see it all over the walls. For lunch I suggest trying one of their gourmet sandwiches. The Chicken Cheddar Melt is one of my favorites. It brings together Applewood Bacon, Granny Smith Apple slices, aged Irish cheddar, and chicken between two slices of toasted Brioche.
While their food is great, the atmosphere is killer. The inside bar area is fully stocked with all the ingredients to take your night up a notch. The stylish dark wood bar is well adorned with barstools so everyone gets a place. There are some tables too which are mostly for the late dinner crowd.
Outside is my favorite area: the deck. On Wednesday nights there are specials on whisky and other drinks which usually have the deck bumping with customers. To appease the thirsty masses, a cash only whisky bar is made readily available on the deck, so I'd recommend bringing some greenbacks to avoid having to wade through the people inside. Bartenders also react better to the green.
Stop by The Mockingbird on those weekend afternoons for brunch. Much to the satisfaction of their customers, the menu is full of favorites like breakfast platters, omelets, and other afternoon delights. It's an easy decision for those who may have already enjoyed their night time festivities. Be aware that if you're not careful you could spend a good part of your weekend enjoying yourself there.