I found myself up Oviedo way the other day and stopped in at Bleu 42, a curiously named sports bar and restaurant.
I say curiously because, well, bleu — American sports bars rarely embrace French spellings. Or anything French, for that matter.
And I can't find any explanation as to the 42. It doesn't have anything to do with the address, which is on State Road 426, as far as I can tell. Or maybe the 6 just fell off and someone liked the rhyming of 2 with bleu.
It's a big, open space with more televisions than you could hope for, although, oddly, from where I was sitting I couldn't see one whose screen was big enough for me to read the score of the World Cup match that was currently playing. I survived.
I ordered the Bleu 42 burger, because I often go with an item that bears the restaurant's name, even if I don't understand the name. I figure the cook must be particularly proud of a certain item to give it the house name.
I told my server that I preferred the burger to be medium rare. She scrunched up her face and I braced myself for the "We can only cook it medium to medium-well because of state law" lie, but she explained that this particular burger was difficult to cook below medium because it was stuffed with blue cheese. That was a reasonable explanation. I also had my choice of regular or Cajun fries. I opted for the latter because I wanted a bit of spice.
When my burger was served, I sliced into it and was delighted to see that it was a beautiful medium-rare. I took a bite and I liked the juiciness of the patty, although the bun was not very good — it tasted dry and stale. But there was something missing. That would be the blue cheese. I could detect none.
And just as I was coming to that realization, my server appeared at the table literally wringing her hands. She said that she was so sorry but that she had given me the wrong burger. She apologized profusely, then left to fetch the correct burger. This one was cooked as she described it would be, and was oozing with melted blue cheese from between the patties. And the rashers of bacon that crisscrossed the top of the meat was deliciously thick and had a smoky note. Unfortunately, it was all on the same disappointing bun. (It's really amazing how important the bun is to a good burger.)
Because of the mixup I also had the opportunity to try both varieties of fries. The regular fries were better because they were sprinkled with sea salt and ground pepper. Unfortunately they were a bit limp and oily (hotter grease might fix that). The Cajun ones really had nothing that would suggest anyone in Louisiana had been consulted.
My server apologized a couple of more times, and asked that I not judge the place based on her service (I'm fairly certain she did not know she was making the request of a critic). I did not; mistakes happen and she handled it beautifully.
But the burger buns are unforgivable.
Bleu 42 is at 2960 W. State Road 426, Oviedo. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. They are open on Sundays during football season. The phone number is 407-671-4334.