Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To prove to the armadillo that it could be done.
This column presupposes that one of those armadillos decided it was safer to stay off the street, and instead opened a pub.
Over the Mother's Day weekend, me and mine found ourselves on 4th Street around lunch time. Being that I worked there one point, I'm familiar with a lot of restaurants on the strip, but the Armadillo was new to me, having moved in where Ouzo used to be last fall. It's a small space with lofty ceilings, dotted with tables (including one for pool), with fairly modern, unremarkable decor.
The menu is short, focusing on typical bar food, though some of the names might surprise you. "Armadillo turds" are a cheddar version of a mozza stick. When my pork-loving mother saw the pulled pork grilled cheese, she was sold, so we decided to share that and the trio of dips.
Of the two, the pulled pork was easily the better dish. I wasn't exactly sold on the concept, but the smoky, sweet taste of the barbeque sauce blended nicely with the cheddar cheese, the pork was tender, and the sandwich was pressed somewhat Cuban-style, so it was one of the tidiest preparations of pulled pork I've ever seen. A fair portion of crinkle-cut fries were served alongside. They were definitely not homemade, but they were well-prepared, crispy without being greasy and nicely salted. We both agreed we'd order the sandwich again.
The dips, on the other hand, were a dud. The hummus wasn't nearly garlicky enough. The avocado dip basically consisted of some chopped vegetables baked with cheese and served on half an avocado. Best of the three was a feta cheese bruschetta, but even that didn't cut it for us, as my cousin's wife Elaine makes a much better version of the same thing. The pita bread that came with was dry and chewy.
Overall, Armadillo's a nice little pub on a popular street. The service was pleasant, but the food's inconsistent and so the prices seem a bit high. It was $15 for the dip trio, which included no protein, and more to the point, we didn't like. Hopefully with time their dishes get more consistent, to the point where each of them is worth crossing the road.
On the ratings scale:
3 out of 5 Stars
Outdoor dining option:
Patio in front
Armadillo Watering Hole (no website)
2005b 4 Street SW