Broad Axe, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.
The Broad Axe is one of my favorite places to grab a sandwich and bowl of soup, yet the bane of my existence on my birthday which is the greatest holiday known to mankind and happens to be St. Patrick’s Day.
Unfortunately, for the past few years my friends of made it a point of picking me up at 11AM on March 17th and taking me to Hagerstown to bar hop and we always start at Broad Axe. This usually proves to be a bad mistake as I’m not in very good shape by the time 5:30PM or so rolls around, but I digress.
It was a mostly cold and rainy day out and I wasn’t feeling the best, but I decided that I needed to get my day started. I took off to Frederick, MD to purchase dart supplies and homebrew supplies for two of my hobbies that I was woefully under stocked. After stopping at the Flying Barrel in Fredrick and picking up another fermentation pail, keg posts and poppets for a leaky keg, and another disconnect with a picnic tap, I headed off towards Hagerstown. As I crossed over the second mountain on interstate 70, the rain had pretty much quit and the clouds were rolling back to reveal blue sky. What a good way to make to my most favorite sandwich place ever.
Not much later I was rolling into the parking lot behind the Broad Axe. Keep in mind if you’re going to visit this place, street parking in the front is almost nonexistent; You need to take your next right and turn into the big parking lot in the back alley that leads up to the back of the Broad Axe. I walked inside and pulled up a bar stool. Like most places, it wasn’t exactly busy at about 2PM on a Friday afternoon. The place does however have bands on certain nights and I’ve been here on some occasions where it’s standing room only.
My normal menu choices here are the crab florentine soup and the franklin, which is like a rueben with turkey, but this time the soup special on the board caught my eye. They were serving shrimp bisque. After a quick glance of the menu, I ordered an iced tea, the shrimp bisque, and a sourdough stack. I love sourdough bread and the combination of ham, turkey, roast beef, and bacon sounded pretty BA, so I was down with trying something new.
The shrimp bisque was up almost immediately. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. The crab florentine is the only soup I ever get when I’m at the Broad Axe as its delicious and I didn’t know if they could make me not regret my choice of going with something different, even if it was just the smallest twinge of regret. They did. There was no regret there at all. The soup base was nice and creamy and had the perfect texture with no chunks at all and the soup itself had small shrimp hiding beneath the surface. It really made my day and I’m sad that it’s not a regular item on the menu. But they say it’s better to have loved and lost than never having loved before.
After finishing the shrimp bisque and honestly asking myself, how bad of an idea it would be to ask for two more bowls, my sourdough stack sandwich was brought out, quickly quashing that idea. The sandwich was served with chips, a pickle, and mayo on the side. I applied a light coating of mayo to the top slices of bread and proceeded to test the waters. The temperature was perfect.
The sourdough bread had an amazing taste and was perfectly moist. I’ve said it in a previous review, I hate dry stale bread. If a restaurant serves your bread that reminds you of living in the Sahara, they should have their business license revoked and the owners should be forced to live off stale bread for a week. The rest of the sandwich was really good, as well. With just the right amount of lettuce, tomato and cheese to complement the meat, it was truly a great sandwich. This will be another “go to” added to my list.
After finishing up and paying for my meal, I headed outside into the sunshine to go grab my motorcycle and enjoy the rest of a day that turned from generally crappy to genuinely good. Thank you Broad Axe!