Mount St. Joseph University

Review: Burgers, Brews and Barges

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Merita Sohn

With the dreary gray days of winter behind us, a few Sundays ago was a time to get outside and enjoy a beautiful spring day. And, since we all must eat, my husband and I decided to combine the two activities into one at Drew’s on the River. A mere six minutes from the Mount, Drew’s is sandwiched in between US 50 and the Ohio River, right next to the Anderson Ferry crossing.

As we pulled into the gravel parking lot, I was a bit concerned that our peaceful Sunday afternoon was going to get suddenly loud. In the parking lot were at least a dozen Harley Davidsons lowriders plus twice that number of cars. But my desire to eat by the river pushed us on and so we went, into the corrugated steel building that houses Drew’s.

I was quite surprised by just how calm and quiet the place was. Based on the soundstage in the corner and a list of bands on the wall, I’m sure this is not always the case.

We were given the option of eating inside or outside. With the river being the sole reason we chose Drew’s, we opted for their massive covered patio. The patio is so close to the river, if it was any closer you would be eating in the river.

As we waited for a server to take our orders, I looked around the patio. I was surprised to see people smoking but then remembered that with outside seating, smoking is permissible. The breeze from the river made it bearable though for even my husband who typically cannot tolerate cigarette smoke.

I was a bit more surprised to see such a diverse group of people. There were the Harley people decked out in black leather and doo rags. There were a couple of flip-flop wearing man-bun guys. There were a few interracial couples. And, there were white-haired elderly couples dressed as if they just got out of church. It was neat to see such a nonhomogeneous group of people brought together in one place for the same purpose—to have lunch and enjoy the view of the river lazily flowing by.
The menu at Drew’s offers a wide variety of standard diner and pub eats: deep-fried appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, pork chops, seafood—the list goes on. My husband ordered a bacon cheeseburger with french fries instead of chips ($10.75 with a $2.00 upcharge for the fries). I chose the mini BBQ pork sliders on pretzel buns with fries ($8.99 plus the $2.00 upcharge). To drink, we both had iced tea ($2.49 each). A glance around the patio showed buckets of Bud to be a popular choice as well.

The iced tea had an odd, subtle flavor to it. It tasted as if someone added a little bit of root beer to it. Not seeing our server anywhere in sight, we simply pushed our teas aside and moved on to the food.
Our food was served on Styrofoam plates with plastic ware. As I said, this is casual—very casual –dining. My husband loved his bacon cheeseburger. The patty was large and hand-formed, served up on a fresh bun with lettuce, pickle, and tomato. It was one of those sandwiches that stood so high you had to smoosh it down in order to take a bite. And, the best part for my husband, the burger was grilled, not cooked in a pan or placed under a broiler. His comment, “This is one of the best hamburgers I have ever had,” and he should know, he’s a Westside burger connoisseur. The french fries were served piping hot with a slight golden brown crisp on the edges. Hats off to the person running the deep fryer in the kitchen, the fries were perfect.

My BBQ pork sliders were a bit disappointing. I was expecting a pulled pork barbeque. What was served was thinly sliced pork with a dab of barbeque sauce on top. The only thing pretzel-y about the buns was the shape. I was expecting a salty brown pretzel crusted bun. Instead, what I got was what looked like a traditional bun simply shaped like a pretzel. The barbeque pork was fine except for one thing. The meat was warm but the barbeque sauce was cold, like they just pulled a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s out of the fridge.

The total bill for the two us, with tax and tip, was $36.98. A bit pricey considering the casualness of it all. And, if I was in my normal dining out frame of mind, I would have requested a refund for the root beer iced teas, but I wasn’t. A decent lunch, beautiful weather, and a lazy day by the river watching the barges drift by had transported me to an idyllic frame of mind. One that simply forgot, or didn’t care, about the iced tea.