We have a lot of greatrestaurants here in the Roanoke Valley and we're welcoming a self-proclaimed expert to the Fox 21/27 Morning News to tell us about them.
You may know JD Sutphin better as the lead singer of Madrone, but he's more than that.
He's also a 10 year radio veteran at 96.3 WROV-FM.
With touring nationally with the band, over the past few years he's had the chance to try many new restaurants and has become quite the"foodie."
He joins us now with what he like to call his Rock-and-Roll restaurant review.
Established in 2005 by Roanoke native Jason Martin Martins Downtown is located at 413 1st Street in downtown Roanoke
Recently they won 2013 venue of the year by the Homegrown Music Network and feature live music almost every night they're open from national to regional acts
But, they are NOT just music - Martin's features an inspired, truly fun menu, good for any palate
Recently my wife and I joined several friends for a fantastic dinner at Martins. Here's our some of our selections:
First off - they have a great beer selection. The owner Jason is a craft beer lover just like me, so we sampled some awesome brews: Harrisonburg's 3 Brothers, Greensboro's Natty Greene's and a very interesting Tangerine beer.
A signature appetizer at Martins - the Martins Chicken Machos - yes Machos! With tostada style nachos, roasted chicken, mild green chiles plus pepper jack and cheddar cheese these are unlike any other nacho in Roanoke and the best feature, is they'll drizzle your favorite WING sauce to take them to uber Macho status - they're crunchy, gooey, and filling so share with a friend or make a meal from this plate as they are incredibly satisfying!
Our friend Mariah's shared with one of the coolest dudes I know, 1 year old Cormac Brady, her son. This is the Tri Tip Dip. And it's in my top 5 favorite sandwiches in town. House roasted tri tip sirloin - which is an epic cut of beef, layered in smoked gouda on a freshly toasted baguette. I don't even use the au ju, this sandwich is already that juicy and will melt in your mouth - it's heaven go get it you're stomach will love you
My wife's choice was the Sat. special, which is a filet and pound of steamed crab legs. Here's the thing with seafood specials at non seafood restaurants - they scare me, usually it's some cheap, frozen deal gussied up for an extra buck. Not here. Jason makes a ridiculous house-made boil for his crab with all spice berries, fresh lemon, cloves, mustard seed and more. It compliments the crab while showcasing its natural sweet, juicy flavors and is a 5 star example of Martins not settling for anything less than excellence.
And finally my order was the Pork Tenderloin Chops. Perfectly grilled to order with an apple cranberry compote. Some compotes are over cooked to the point of losing any texture or layerings of flavor. This topping still retains its bite, yet mixes with the natural juice of the pork, hitting every note you could want in great pork. A side note, they have my favorite green beans in town, French style with a heavy hand of garlic and just enough salt
Martins tag line is making Roanoke Cooler one weekend at a time. I'd go there any day of the week.