A Lot To Offer

There aren't many restaurants that offer a variety of menu items that appeal to a broad range of people. In Memphis, the best example of that is Westy's, where you can order chicken alfredo, tamales, fried catfish, a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, jambalaya and (for a time) barbecue ribs from the same menu. That is hard to pull off, for the chef and the kitchen staff has to have both extensive culinary skills and the versatility to cook a wide range of food. Compared to Westy's, Boscos doesn't go that far in its menu but nonetheless has a lot to offer its customers.
For my first visit, I wasn't sure what I was going to get. Initially, I was divided between getting either a burger or a pizza, but eventually I chose pasta. I was a little surprised to see that on the menu, but I was in the mood for it on a Friday night. In choosing which pasta dish to order, I wanted something interesting and unique that I probably wouldn't find in an Italian restaurant. Fortunately, Boscos has a pasta entrée that checked all the boxes.

The Cajun Voodoo (fettuccine) from Boscos

In getting the Cajun Voodoo, I was looking for a jolt of spiciness that would rock my senses. The Cajun Voodoo lived up to its promise of being spicy and flavorful. The combination of peppers, green onions and cream sauce made the pasta very lively. The cream sauce itself was thick and creamy, unlike many Cajun/Creole restaurants that serve soupy versions of it. The shrimp, Andouille sausage and blackened chicken were plentiful in the fettuccine, contributing to a very good meal. Although I have no complaints about it, it would have been nice if the pasta came with garlic bread that could have made it better. Despite that, I look forward to having the Cajun Voodoo again in the future.

The Crème Brûlée Grand Marnier from Boscos

The Crème Brûlée Grand Marnier was a nice dessert to end my dinner. Although I never had crème brûlée before, I mentioned it in my review of Alchemy several years ago when a wife beating child abuser invited me to dinner (I wish I could have that back). This time, I took the opportunity to try it out to see if it is as good as its pretentious name suggests. Putting the slice of orange aside that left a citrus aroma atop the creme brulee, I literally broke through the sugary hardened top of the dessert to get to the creamy custard. In terms of taste, it was both sweet and salty, sort of like eating a candy bar (Butterfinger specially, although the custard taste more like vanilla than chocolate). The French-inspired dessert turned out being very good, ending an overall nice dinner.

The Boscos Burger from Boscos

For some reason, I believed that Boscos had one of the best burgers in Midtown. I'm not sure if I read it in a blog or came about it through hearsay, but it was in my head when I got the Boscos Burger. Unfortunately, my expectations were dashed when I got my cheeseburger. The burger had all the requisite components like cheese (I chose Pepper Jack), lettuce, pickles (along with onions that I didn't have) on a Brioche bun. The Angus beef burger was cooked right (medium rare) and was decent overall, but it didn't live up to the hype. Maybe if the beef patty was bigger or better seasoned, or if the burger had tasty stuff like bacon or avocados, maybe it could have been better. Learning from this experience, I will try not to have high expectations whenever I dine out again.
The Midtown Brown Ale from BoscosWhile eating my burger, I had a couple of Boscos' craft beers with it.  Initially, I got the Midtown Brown (shown in the picture with my cheeseburger), a Brown Ale that's similar to Newcastle's popular beer. Like most Brown Ales, Boscos' version has a nutty chocolate flavor that pairs well with desserts and other sweet foods. Probably not the best choice for a burger but I rolled with it anyway. The other beer that I had was the Madison Blonde, a seasonal Blonde Ale that's more suitable with burgers.
The Madison Blonde Ale from Boscos
Picture taken from
Boscos' website.
Love the design!
To compare it with other Blonde Ales that I've had, the Madison Blonde has a stronger presence of hops than what I'm accustomed to for that style of beer. Although it wouldn't be my preference in the future, I know a lot of people who love hoppy beers so the Madison Blonde might be right for them. By the way, hops has a strong presence in most of Boscos' beers, as you will see in this review. I hope in future visits that I can get a "normal" Boscos beer that isn't hops-strong (would be nice if Boscos made a beer like Wisecre's Memphis Sands).

Found A Frittata!

In researching Boscos' brunch menu, I noticed that it had one of my favorite things. After The Majestic Grille discontinued its Sunday Brunch, I assumed that I would have to make frittatas myself. However, I don't have to do that because Boscos has its version of the Italian breakfast staple. A frittata is basically a crustless quiche with all the components enveloped in it, unlike an open face omelet. I got the Chicken and Red Pepper Frittata with grits because I was yearning protein. I had hoped that the frittata would in size and quantity be on par with the Majestic, but it didn't turn out that way.

When my frittata arrived, I was a bit underwhelmed. The frittata was a lot smaller than I would have liked. Not only was it half the size of Majestic's frittata, but it seemed to have less egg than a typical omelet. It seemed more suitable for a sandwich than as a standalone entrée. Even with the grits and gravy, it definitely wasn't enough for me. The frittata was okay with a decent amount of chicken and diced red peppers, but it left me wanting more. I eventually ordered sausage to make my brunch more complete.
The Oktoberfest beer from BoscosTo accompany my brunch, I got another of Boscos' signature brews. Because this is the first week of October, I thought it was appropriate to get the beer that celebrates the beginning of Fall (particularly if you're a Bavarian), the Oktoberfest. Typically, an Oktoberfest beer (also known as a Märzen (German for March) is brewed in the Spring and stored for six months) is a lager that typically is a bit more hoppy than an American lager. Boscos' version is far more hoppy than that, for the beer is comparable to an IPA (Indian Pale Ale). For those who aren't used to highly hoppy beers, Boscos' Oktoberfest might be a hard pass but I could put down a couple if I'm the right mood. As it relates to my brunch, I would have been better off with something like a Stella Artois that's more malt than hops. However, if I decide to get something meatier for my next brunch (like steak and eggs), I might opt for the Oktoberfest if it's available. All in all, it is a decent beer.

Good Enough

Boscos is known for its wood oven pizzas that many regard as being great. For me, the low bar to meet is the Memphis Pizza Cafe, the Huey's of Memphis pizzerias but worse. By comparison, Boscos far surpasses the "cafe" by even the most objective standards. Boscos' pizzas, from the crust to the tomato sauce and toppings are fresh, well prepared and genuinely authentic. Unlike the "cafe" pizzas that tastes more like cardboard with awful toppings, Boscos is the real deal.
The Spicy Italian pizza from Boscos
A good example of this is Boscos' Spicy Italian pizza. It's a meaty pizza loaded with house-made sausage, pepperoni, salami and hot peppers. Held together with mozzarella cheese, the Spicy Italian is a solid pizza that fares well against the competition among pizzerias. It's far better than anything you can ever get from the "cafe" on its best day. So if you're in Overton Square and yearning for pizza, I HIGHLY recommend Boscos.
The Skye Scottish Ale from BoscosWhile I waited for my pizza, I sipped on another of Boscos' craft beers. Looking for more "brown" action, I got the Skye Scottish Ale. I can't remember the last time I had a Scottish Ale (although I must have dranked a few during my many quests for "plates" at the Flying Saucer), I will say the ale is similar to a Porter, a lighter version of a Stout ale. Like the Porter, the Scottish Ale gets its dark color from grains in the malting process (the process that makes beer). Unlike either a Porter or Stout, the Skye Scottish Ale didn't feel heavy as I dranked it, tasting more like a brown ale. Unlike the Midtown Brown, the Skye has a more hoppy flavor without the harsh taste. Like the Midtown Brown, the Skye isn't suitable with most foods (including many pizzas) but it goes well with desserts and other sweet foods (of course this my opinion, The Famous Flaming Stone beer from Boscosbut I'm not discouraging people from pairing Scottish ales with whatever food they like). After finishing my first beer while halfway into my pizza, I got the Famous Flaming Stone for the second beer. The "Stone" is a more typical beer that most Americans can relate to. Well, "typical" may not be the proper description for the "Stone" because it isn't interchangeable with a Bud Light. However, its caramel-like taste isn't far off the mark from a typical American lager. It definitely goes well with pizzas like the one I had at Boscos. The restaurant is clearly first class as a brewer, putting out great beers that holds its own with the best craft breweries in America and rates among the best in Memphis.
After a few visits to Boscos, my overall impression of it is positive. The quality of the food is good and its beers are first rate. The service is friendly and knowledgeable, especially about Boscos' craft beers. The restaurant itself has a bit of a rustic feel to it, with an outdoor patio for those who want a dose of fresh air with their meals. Compared to other Overton Square restaurants, Boscos is on the lower end in terms of pricing, making it affordable for families and others looking for a good dining experience without breaking the bank. So far (as in thirty years), Boscos has been successful with this strategy. I hope it continues to be successful.


It's That Time Again!

With the midterm elections being less than two weeks away, I'm urging my fellow American citizens to vote. In Tennessee and many other states, early voting is underway for government positions on the federal, state and local levels. This election is one of the most important in American history (I know, you have heard that before) and this isn't hyperbole. Your vote could help determine the future of America, for there are people across the political spectrum who are fighting it out over American democracy and what it should be about. Now I will stop short of giving "Ken's Political Point" about who you should vote for (and trying to stay politically neutral on the blog), but with so many issues at stake, issues that will have profound effects on Americans, this isn't the election to pass on. So please, participate in the electoral process by casting your vote. If you need help in finding your polling place, go to the link below or click the "VOTE" image to get information about that and other issues related to voting. By the way, the actual election day is November 8th, but I highly advise you to vote early in case you encounter problems with casting your ballot. Don't get caught off guard with any complications that might arise when you attempt to vote. The best way to avoid that is making a plan to vote. This is important, for "America" is on the ballot in this election.

The 2022 midterm elections is November 8th. VOTE!


Boscos Squared Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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