Thursday, October 6, 2011

Short Order Reviews

It's time for everyone's favorite Blackened Out segment - Short Order Reviews. Now with 50% off the length and even less depth.

That's what she said.

Palace Cafe - Group dinners are inherently tough to execute because it's nearly impossible to insure that all of the food will be served hot. Hence, it's not quite fair to judge a restaurant based on a special event meal, but that's all we do around here is judge. (Just ask Legend and The Pope.) All 120 of us started with the crabmeat cheesecake, which had a light and smooth texture, but not much crabmeat or crab flavor, sitting atop a ground pecan crust. The generous slice was topped with mushrooms sauteed in an overly salty meuniere that was the color of dark chocolate. More crabmeat, less salt, and this could be a really fine dish. Entree choices were drum and a petite filet, both of which were overcooked and served with jazzed up mashed potatoes that should have been left alone. Of course, we all finished with white chocolate bread pudding - rich, buttery, and no discernable white chocolate taste. Bogey/Par.

The Lucky Ladle - This sleepy little spot on Magazine Street specializes in breakfast, and The Folk Singer and I gave it a go for Sunday brunch. Menu is simple but to the point of being uninspired, and the prices are cheap. Breakfast panini ($6.50) had an excellent buttery crispy exterior and gooey filling of egg, bacon, and melting Kraft singles. Call me crazy but the cheese made the sandwich. Accompanying side of home fries were frozen minuscule dices of potato cooked on the griddle but soft and mushy instead of crispy. Grits were terribly bland, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a salt shaker. Bacon and brown sugar waffle was a thick, pillowy round with not much flavor from either of the namesake ingredients. Service was friendly, and the sidewalk table with blue plastic chairs are a nice place to take your morning meal if you simply don’t feel like doing the dishes. Bogey/Par.

Nonna Mia - A group of us were famished after unsuccessfully grazing at the Martini Madness event at City Park a few weeks ago, and Nonna Mia was the only restaurant which  was happy to seat a table of 16 at 10:30pm. There were no (perceptible) grumblings from the staff either, which earns extra points for service in my book. The courtyard was a nice setting on a cool September night. Peroni on tap - gotta like that. Salads and bruschetta used lettuce and tomatoes that were flavorless and poorly executed. The pizzas, on the other hand, surprised me. The crust was yeasty and pliable, the sauce and toppings of respectable quality, and the pies in toto tasted pretty good actually. Understand that Nonna Mia plays AA ball while Domenica and Ancora are in the major leagues. But I would put this pizza on par with your favorite local spot. Birdie for Ambience & Service; Par for Food.


Peter said...

Nona Mia? Seriously? Par? Yuck!

If I wanted tomato-sogged bread with gloppy cheese, maybe, but to call that pizza? ugh.

willifred said...

Got to agree