Susan will back soon!!!
Known best for its offering of gourmet burgers and craft beers, Prime 16 has become a reliably popular spot in town since its opening in 2013. While the burgers, salads and appetizers on the existing menu continue to be well-enjoyed, the restaurant recently added a selection of barbequed meats to its menu. Ribs by the rack or half-rack, beef brisket, pulled pork and jalapeno cheddar sausage each come with a sweet Texas, tangy Carolina or smoky peak chipotle sauce. The meat, smoked over hickory wood, is cooked on-site at the restaurant.
“BBQ is something people are looking for now, and it seemed like a natural addition to our menu,” explained co-owner Bob Potter. To him, a ‘natural addition’ has more than one meaning. Prime 16 uses only all natural meats raised by a family of farmers committed to sustainable and humane practices. There are no added hormones, no antibiotics and are fed all-vegetarian feeds. “Our burgers are a proprietary blend met with our purveyors. The special blend not only adds to the flavor profile, but also meets humane requirements.”
Barbeque sides include jalapeno corn bread, macaroni and cheese, barbeque baked beans, coleslaw, fries and Cajun fries. “I think people will be surprised with how good our smoked meats are. We smoke them for 14 hours to give the best flavor of meat and smoke,” said Potter.
Earlier this month, the restaurant began to offer brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10-2. The menu offers a variety of salads, small plates such as ahi tuna tacos, marinated beets or avocado toast, salads, breakfast sandwiches (of course, there is a brunch burger), and for the heartier appetites, baked French toast, sausage and grits, brisket hash and eggs or a traditional breakfast platter of two eggs, apple wood smoked bacon, home fries and multi-grain toast. In consistency with Prime 16’s other menus, the focus is on satisfying and nutritional food for a good value. A brunch bacon, sausage or ham, egg and cheese sandwich with a side of fries, home fries or a salad is $6.95.
“For adults at brunch, we have mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange juice or Bloody Marys—cucumber infused, bacon infused or traditional—that are each made with 15 different natural ingredients. It’s a great Saturday or Sunday wake-up!” says co-owner Jonathan Bara. Keeping the all-natural theme across the menu, the bar does not use powders or artificial syrups in drinks.
For happy hour, the bar offers discounted beers, wines and craft cocktails. Each Wednesday Prime 16 holds Trivia Night, and on weekends there is usually live music at the bar, which offers 30 different craft brews, many from local and regional breweries. Selections vary by the day, according to Bara. “We try to deal with as many local brewers as we can, whether they are local like New England Brewery or more regional,” Bara said. Potter agreed, “Most of what we use across the menu is local. We have Foxon Park soda from East Haven, our rolls are from local bakers in New Haven and Branford.”
The restaurant has a nice sized bar area that is a hot spot among many local adults, and Potter considers the Prime 16 a family-oriented restaurant, with something that is likely to appeal to anyone on the menu. The best-selling burgers are the Smoker (smoked gouda, smoked apple wood bacon, sautéed onions, sautéed crimini mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli); the Cowboy (cheddar, Canadian bacon, fried egg, lettuce and pico de gallo) and the Maui (pepper jack cheese, bacon, maui onion, grilled pineapple, lettuce and tropical mayo). Potter says the half-bacon stuffed burger is also among the best-sellers and he is confident that soon items on the barbeque menu will be added to that list as well.
Prime 16 has a private room to accommodate up to 32 people and accepts reservations for parties of six or more. The barbeque menu is available for catering with meats served by the pound.
By Melissa Nicefaro