Another Scrantonia Gem.
Long over due for a hangout, BOOF Buddies, NinatheCavalier and S$, joined me one evening to a local favorite for dinner. All of us had been to Billy B’s before, so we were well aware of this tasty local establishment. I told you that they are a rarity but when you find them, you really feel like you have struck gold. Billy B is nestled in the municipality of Dunmore and like most good things in Scrantonia, you would be hardpressed to find it if you were not looking for it.
Billy B’s has actually not always been located in Dunmore, it was originally located down town but moved to Dunmore…sometime ago (I have no idea). It has been a local hot spot since 1985 and is a family owned and operated business, and you definitely feel that vibe when you walk in. When entering, you definitely feel like you are in a 1985 bar (circa CHEERS) and you can either enjoy your meals and drink there or head to two of the back dining room areas. The bar is extremely legitimate in its own right with over 25 beers on tap and over 200 bottled beers available, it would be difficult to find a place with both delicious food and such an extensive beverage menu…anywhere. They also have a extremely extensive list of Martinis…but we will get to that later. The lighting is dim in the dining area (not to a fault) and there is nothing to spectacular about the decor, but there are tons of old and new photos, sports memorabilia and all that sort of stuff lining the walls to give the space a tremendous amount of character. The dining area is both good for groups but the crowd is also respectful and “quiet” enough that it is a good place for a more casual date night.
They offer great Dinner specials on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (we went on a Thursday) in which you get an entree (chosen from a list), a cup of soup, a salad and dessert ALL for a measly $12.00. It might be one of the biggest steals on the planet because the food is also delicious, but I will get to that. Wednesday is also clam night which is $4.00 for a dozen (another amazing steal) and you should check in daily because depending on the season, they have various other specials going on.
To start, we all had a difficult time choosing which Martinis we would endulge in because the list is really that long. You think I am underselling this list but literally…at least 50 different martinis. And they all look delicious. Justsayin. I don’t quite remember which Martinis both NinatheCavalier and S$ ordered but they all looked pretty and were tasty and strong. I do know that I ordered the Mint Chocolate one and it was literally like a thinmint Martini. Essentially, it was like dessert+drink+girlscoutcookiescameearlythisyear which = awesome. It would be difficult not to order it again, but there are so many delicious Martinis to be had…
The food. The beer is good. The martinis are good. The food is good. It is a rarity that you will find all of those things wrapped up into one restaurant, but Billy B’s definitely has the winning combo. For our meals, both NinatheCavalier and I ordered the fish of the Day which was Salmon and was served with vegetables and your choice of rice or risotto. I ordered the risotto and NinatheCavalier ordered the rice, but both pieces of salmon was cooked so delicately and and perfectly, I do not know if I could have done a better job myself. The salmon was seasoned well and it had a good sear without being too try, which is usually the downfall of most people when they cook fish. The sides were really standard but the fish was definitely fresh and yummy. S$ ordered the Chicken and Shrimp stir-fry which was also cooked really well with a tasty sauce, fresh vegetables and a hearty amount of both shrimp and chicken. No skimping on Billy B’s watch. Oh! the Soup and Salad! The Billy B’s house salad is really good…better than your average house salad…I guess it is more the dressing that is winning. For the soup, I opted for the Soup of the Day which was a Roasted Red Pepper Bisque and both NinatheCavalier and S$ opted for Billy’s B specialty Seafood Bisque. The seafood bisque is always amazing with great flavors, chunks of different seafood and a solid amount of cream without making a lactose intolerant person run to the bathroom. Sorry, TMI. The Roasted Red Pepper bisque was definitely very “red peppery” and I enjoyed it, but I would have liked a little bit more of a spicy kick to it. I think that would have made what was a good soup, great.
For dessert, Billy B serves up their rice pudding. Most of my friends know that I am not a really big proponent of rice pudding but Billy B’s is not bad at all. Would I order it if it did not come with the meal? Probably not, but that is more a result of my apathy towards rice pudding in general.
All in all, I really do love Billy B’s. Many reviewers comment on the service but after talking to Billy on a visit, I have learned to let that slide because many times it is a result of his employees just not showing up and then he is under-staffed. Because this does pose an issue, I will have to dock BB’s slightly, but still the food, drinks and ambiance win out in the end of the day. I will say that this is not fine dining by any means, but if you are look for a casual but delicious home-cooked meal with good drinks at a extremely reasonable price, then Bill B’s is definitely your place.