Botak’s Backyard

You don’t need us to tell you about Botak Jones. With 11 outlets on this little isle, they’ve already made a name for themselves selling good, affordable American classics. Although truth be told, we always thought that it wouldn’t hurt for them to have nicer digs. Enter Botak’s Backyard. (And yes, we thought the name was amusing to say the least.) Located just off the main Dempsey cluster on Minden road, their latest establishment’s got the laidback, casual vibe down pat (there’s even a pool table in the corner). We quickly discovered that they’d made some additions to the already extensive menu of burgers, steaks and sandwiches. The stuffed jalapenos called out to us, as did the Whoopass. Despite our waiter’s warning about how piquant they were, we ignored the well-meaning advice and decided to take on the spice challenge. First came the Mexican chilies—stuffed with mozzarella, then battered with panko and deep fried to form a crisp shell. The combination of the crunchy exterior, soft, yielding cheese and creamy, tangy sauce was incredibly delicious, albeit obscenely unhealthy. We only wished the jalapenos themselves packed more of a kick, through our spiced minced beef stew with tomatoes, jalapenos and pleasantly crunchy raw onions wasn’t pulling any punches, and made for a satisfyingly hearty eat. Our blackened basa fillet, with its side of cajun fries and double baked cheese potato, didn’t disappoint. The moist, well-cooked fish was infused with a smoky flavor that worked well with the blend of cajun spices, and our sides were as good as we remember from our other Botak Jones experiences. Let’s just say that we’ll be swinging around more often with our mates, or after a late night at the office.