Brady's used to be called something else. The Trackside maybe? I'm not sure if the place changed hands (confirmed: new owners) or just changed names, but, sadly, the menu remains the same. And when I say the same, I mean that my menu had stains on it that were clearly older than this incarnation of the restaurant.
It's the type of place that really should be good. It should be great. It's large, and it has a bar. There just aren't many bars in Bergen county. To my mind, it could compete on several levels: family-friendly, bar scene, pub grub, entertainment. But, alas, it really falls short. A recent meal went something like this:
We started with some wings. Sort of decent, in a somewhat sweet
sauce. A ramaken of horseradish-based creamy sauce masqueraded as the
requisite blue cheese dressing. Brady, please, if you're reading
along, don't get fancy: serve blue cheese dressing. Even crappy
jarred blue cheese dressing. That's what people want. That's what
Exactly 3 pieces of nasty celery rounded out the dish. Mmmm. Yummy. After 6 wings or so, we were done. 2 heinekens couldn't even make them better.
On to the burger!
My quest for a great burger in NJ certainly did not stop at Brady's:
A big ol' kaiser roll with a flat processed-looking patty of what I assume was beef with some filler. I was compelled to tear the beef to see how it would react to the stress. It made a sound that I would normally not attribute to tearing ground beef. I can't say that I had any firm expecations of what ground beef should sound like when it's ripped, but I can say that the sound this burger made while being ripped in half wasn't even in the ballpark. All-in-all this is a diner burger. Maybe an upscale diner burger. But, a diner burger. It had that weird "char-broiled" flavor that can only come from a bottle.
And, this thing, in the picture, managed to find its way onto my plate. I'm not even sure where one would buy something like this, much less what it's called. Does its existence make the plate pretty? Does it make the food fancy? Or is it just a little green reminder that you're eating in an upscale diner.
The fries were pretty good though.
Listen, I hate to be negative. I even waited about 3 months to post this, waffling back-and-forth. Brady's is probably owned by very nice people who know the niche. And since the place is generally doing pretty well, I'd say they know their business and their customers. It's just that I'm not one of them.
I just wish they could step it up a bit food-wise. As far as the bar goes, it's nice and long, and there's an equally long bar on the second floor, along with an outdoor deck for dining. They even have live music sometimes. Given all of that I'll return to Brady's, but probably after eating at Varka or somewhere good.
So go to Brady's, bring your kids for lunch or dinner, or have some drinks at the bar. Just don't expect to be blown away, and don't order that silly burger.
7 West Main Street : Ramsey, NJ : 07446 : 201.327.9748 : Brady's website