Mr Minx and I had eaten at Bahama Breeze not long after they opened, and I must admit, we were not impressed. The atmosphere seemed chaotic, and the food was not memorable. But ten or so years can change things.
The restaurant, though tropically themed, was cozy and dark, particularly where we were seated in the bar area. And the place was hopping, yet everything seemed under control. Not long after we reached our table, we were brought the first of two pineapple-based cocktails we would receive that evening, the Painkiller. Made with Pusser's Dark Rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices, and a fragrant grating of fresh nutmeg, the drink was big and strong (like I like my...drinks). Often tropical drinks are uber sweet, but this one was just right.
Bahama Breeze was really a nice surprise. We don't eat at chain restaurants often, not because we are snobs, but because there are so many other options these days. Bahama Breeze is owned by Darden, which also operates Red Lobster and Olive Garden. They also own The Capital Grille, which routinely makes "best of" lists in Baltimore, so don't judge. Bahama Breeze only has 30 or so outlets, so they don't have as much of the corporate control as some of Darden's other restaurants. Kevin Morton says that while some menu elements come from corporate (the onion rings, for example, which Kevin said were breaded in-house until recently), he can cater other menu items to the tastes of his patrons. He seemed to have real passion for his job, and runs the restaurant as if it were his own. That attitude, coupled with the sunny dispositions of the staff we came in contact with, makes a big difference in a customer's dining experience. I can think of some locally owned-and-operated, non-chain restaurants that could use that approach.
100 E Joppa Rd
Towson, MD 21286
Posted on Minxeats.com.