Whether beneath the thatched roof of the tiki hut or at an intimate table surrounded by bamboo shoots, Papaya Thai and Asian BBQ’s tropical themes pervade the eatery’s confines. The barbecue bar grants diners a front-row seat to watch chefs expertly grill marinated meats and veggies on wooden skewers, wielding the power of fire like Prometheus to cook beef to its tender best state. A variety of Thai tasting plates and main dishes include classics such as pad thai, sizzling chicken in a thai barbecue sauce, and skewered chicken satay. From the tiki bar, bartenders pour tropical drinks such as papaya thai-ritas made with sweet mango and nutty monkeys, an almond-rum-banana concoction the staff delivers to tables by way of swinging through the rafters.
Behind a fittingly old-school facade, The Old Mill's interior echoes the classic look of a saloon?except with better food and way more choices than any cowboy likely had. Take, for instance, their enormous selection of meats straight from the smoker, including a 12-hour, slow-cooked pulled-pork platter and a half-chicken basted in a zesty bourbon-barbecue sauce. They don't skimp on seafood either, serving thick blackened tuna steaks and broiled Atlantic cod with shrimp scampi.
In warmer months, a breezy patio welcomes diners to sit outside while having a half-pound hand-formed burger and a cold one. But feasts are equally enjoyable indoors, surrounded by darts, live music, and no chance of seeing the terrifying moon man.
BJ Ryan's BANC House (BBQ and Crab) satiates cravings for both fresh coastal catches and savory wood-smoked meats that exude Southern charm. The slow-smoked pulled pork calls to taste buds from the plate where it sits slathered in homemade sauce and dry rub, and savory shrimp and grits blend dry rub and cheddar flavors. The talented chefs pay a special tribute to fresh crab, which can be added to any entree, steaming dishes such as the Banc crab cake, dungeness, Alaskan king, or blue crabs, which come dressed in homemade roasted-garlic sauce, ginger caramel, or inner-harbor spice.
Not to be overshadowed by the succulent food, BJ Ryan's dark, varnished wood and black-lacquered furnishings effuse a low-key, yet carefully kept dining environment marked by old photos and broad chalkboards listing the day?s specials.