Ichabod's Bar & Grille - Melbourne Beachside - 4 Stars
"Flattery should be spread on, not in thin layers, but with a trowel, or better yet, a shovel." Ashurst.
This is the official 200th Big Boy review, and let me tell you, this brings me almost full circle in my life. I was in this bar 34 years ago when the Florida Legislature raised the drinking age to 19 and I was grandfathered in by one day. Three years later in 1987 I would be back in the bar behind Ichabod's, called The Wine Gallery, working as a bouncer, and eventually as a manager. Many a night I sat outside on my barstool checking IDs and listening to the cacophony emanating from Ichabod's. Back then, Ichabod's was filled with the local beach barnacles who rarely had money but always needed a drink. At that time, it was a local watering hole that could get outright dangerous on a Friday or Saturday night. However, with gentrification and high growth, most of the surf rat troublemakers were pushed north into Satellite Beach and even mainland.
Now, upon entering, you immediately notice in the intervening three decades that nothing has really changed all that much. The decor is the same for the most part, but instead of having a Galaga machine, now there is a high tech golf game that sits idle because everyone in this bar is too old and lacks the teenage dexterity required to play. Anyway, I have been here four times to date because I enjoy coming.
If you want a strong drink, Jody the bartender rocks. She was attentive to all the customers and didn't miss a beat. She was there three of the four times I went. On my fourth visit, there was a scruffy guy in a ball cap who, at first, I thought was a homeless person going behind the bar where he shouldn't, but he turned out to be one of the bartenders! He looked like Joaquin Phoenix during his faux-rap days, and was mildly inattentive and apparently not interested in his job. My drink struggled to reach one ounce and my order had to be repeated five times.
As for the order? Well, I consumed the same thing all 4 trips. The peanut butter cheeseburger is a thing of beauty: it is a handmade burger they will actually allow you to order medium rare that is covered in bacon, cheddar cheese, and peanut butter. Let me tell you - if I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life this would be it. The delicate interplay between the cheese, peanut butter and bacon is truly symphonic.
The Big Boy highly recommends Ichabod's burgers anytime, and the drinks most of the time, especially depending who is on shift. Give Ichabod's a try - but definitely don't lose your head over it!