TLO Restaurant Review: Mathis Brothers Thirty Four Bistro
1:03 PM EDT on March 31, 2022
Editor’s Note: As Louis Fowler continues to recover and rehabilitate from a stroke, we’re going to republish – per his request – some of his classic TLO Restaurant Reviews from over the years.
Today we take a look at his March 2020 excursion to Thirty Four Bistro – a small eatery tucked away inside Mathis Brothers.
We'll have an update on Louis and his incredible recovery efforts soon. If you’d like to help out and donate to his Louis’s stroke recovery fund, please do so here. Now, to the review...
Sweet Lady Americana: The Passion of Mathis Brothers’ Thirty Four Bistro
As a self-proclaimed Latin lover, I thoroughly believe in romantic gestures like treating your special ladyfriend to the finer things in this life, like brand-name furniture, bottom-shelf steak and, in the case of Mathis Brothers’ Thirty Four Bistro, both.
I had heard rumblings about a snack bar tucked away in the famed sibling-based furniture store, but, little did I know that located in their wholly upscale Design Center, rested this French-style—I’m presuming it’s French-style, at least—bistro that, while at first glance might look like an employee break-room, was in reality a high-class eatery.
Under the smooth guise of treating her to a new Lady Americana divan or a Broyhill breakfast nook—if those things do exist—upon entering Mathis Brothers, you would think with a fully-operational kitchen inside that you’d at least smell the used grease from the fryer, but, instead, the scent in the air was a mildly woven ox-musk, probably from the hanging rugs that we walked by on our way to said bistro.
The somewhat darkened restaurant was filled with tables and chairs, all with affordable price tags clinging to them. As my special ladyfriend and I perused the menu that hung effortlessly on the wall, I firmly placed my hand in hers and told her this was “her night” so she could order anything on the menu she wanted…anything.
Thankfully, she ordered the starry-eyed Mathis Special ($6.00) with a Side Salad ($2.00), obviously impressed by my station in life. Overtaken by the surrounding ambiance, I treated myself to the masculine Sirloin ($12.00) with Sweet Potato Fries ($2.00) and, as a surprise treat, a lover’s single serving of Cheesecake ($6.00).
As we filled our fountain drinks ($2.30) with Diet Coke for her and unsweetened ice tea for me, I gently kissed my special ladyfriend’s hand, wrist, and arm in succession, the exotic smell of her possibly pricey moisturizing lotion filling my needy nostrils with a mixture of love and lust, one that had to last me the half-hour we waited for our maudlin morsels.
Fox News played on the multiple flat-screen televisions above us; sadly the only patrons that ever seemed to visit this bistro were various employees refilling their cups with more soda. A small klatch of sofa salespeople gathered near the refrigerator, laughing at what I assume are the foibles and fables of various dumb customers that evening.
I looked into my special ladyfriend’s supple brown (?) eyes, softly spouting lines of amor puro when our trays of food were brought out to us, the need for ketchup questioned and woefully rejected. The Mathis Special was a loose wrap, one filled with turkey, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, with the tortilla’s bottom soggier than expected. Even then, it was a decent enough burrito for most hungry non-Latinos.
My date also seemed to enjoy the good-sized side salad, composed of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and so much shredded cheese, eschewing the cup of ranch dressing; I teased her, suggesting using it for a sexy rendezvous later. She cooed closer to me, seductively feeding me one of my sweet potato fries, my mouth already full with about five or six of them.
Taking a bite of my steak, its rough-hewn leather-quality seemed more apropos for a BarcaLounger than a sirloin, necessitating me to ask the kitchen staff for the ketchup they originally offered. Spanking the sauce rather harshly, a deluge of the fancy tomato paste flew across my plate and onto her shirt; I took a sliver of meat and rubbed it on the red spot, my carne carnality on full display.
Taking the encased cheesecake to go, we walked around the various cells that Mathis Bros. had been broken up in. Agreeing on an Ashley four-piece traditional bedroom set in dark brown to take home and possibly test out that evening, when they ran my application for financing, my special ladyfriend learned the one thing that a self-proclaimed Latin lover doesn’t have: good credit.
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