Monday, March 30, 2009
And at least in my book, when a new restaurant opens, it takes them a while to figure out exactly what they're doing and to get their legs underneath them. Given that, I will readily go back to the BGC and try out some of their other fare. And on our first visit, a friend did join us, so at least I can add his thoughts on a chicken dish wish neither my nor I would ever order.
The Cafe itself is a great step up from the taqueria which it replaced. It is a small setting, but it's been cleaned up nicely and is a welcome place to eat a casual meal. Orders are taken at the counter and then staff bring you the food. The menu is pretty extensive with several starters, meat, fish and vegetarian salads and sandwiches, larger platters and plenty of desserts too. One thing missing is alcohol. And I forgot to ask if they're planning on selling it. So for right now you're pretty much stuck with juice or soda.
We started our lunch with the trio of dips - we did hummus, feisty feta and tzaziki - served of course with soft pitas. I think we all agreed this was a wonderful way to start the meal. And it was definitely a good sized appetizer for three people. We didn't know it at the time, but we could have easily skipped the app since the meals were so big. But no worries, we just brought home a couple doggie bags.
We barely had time to finish our dips before our lunches arrived - was pretty slow that day. I was torn between the shrimp souvlaki pita and the falafel. Given that I'm huge chick pea (and garbonzo and ceci for that matter) fan, I opted for the latter. And this really is the crux of my mixed review. I did not love the falafel. I was told when I ordered it, the BGC prepares its falafel a little different than other places and I guess I'm just a traditionalist when it comes to falafel. I think partly it wasn't as crispy as like it and there were other spices added which altered the flavor a little too much for me. I wouldn't say I hated, but I don't think I'd order it again. It also lacked sufficient spiciness for me, even though I did add the feisty feta. I would have liked maybe some spiced peppers of some sort and probably more tzaziki as well. I would have sacraficed a bit of the falafel for some other add ons.
My wife ordered the spanakopita, which came with green beans and a salad. Again, this dish did not hit the mark either. While the spanakopita was good, it wasn't heated through. I think it could have used maybe 5 more minutes in the oven. So this is something that could easily be remedied. But I believe they need to rethink the string beans. These beans were cooked too long and were limp. They would have been better placed on a nursing home cafeteria menu. But this was mainly my wife's mistake for ordering them. I think I'd go for the rice or fries.
And last but not least - the chicken. Our dining partner ordered the Greek roast chicken with olive oil and herbs and I will say he was very pleased with it. He said it was well cooked and juicy. As you can see, it was also accompanied with a salad. I feel confident he would order this dish again. And while he ordered the shrimp souvlaki sandwich to go for his wife, I neglected to get her opinion on it. But he also ordered several baklava to take home too and I did hear those were a big hit!
So, if I did a star-based rating - which I don't do - I'd give the BGC 3 stars. I think in time they will correct/eliminate their sub par dishes and be a solid addition to the hood. And lastly, the place is pretty cheap too. Our dishes ranged from about $6-$8 and the staff themselves were very friendly. I hope you can make it out.
On a side note - a new pupuseria opened a couple blocks south from the BGC on Georgia Ave called El Oasis. My first experience was pretty good. More later.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Anyway, sorry loyal reader(s), but I missed the boat on this one? Did anyone go to this grand affair on 3/14 and try the new Pipe and Drum Irish Ale? And could you really drink all the Hook & Ladder beer you wanted from 3:00-8:00 for $10? If that is the case, I'm really gonna be po'ed, because I might have finished off a pony keg myself!
I guess I should sign up for the e-mail list since it appears that there was not a lot of advertising for the event beyond the list - and their web site too. But, so no one misses the next one on 3/28 Hook & Ladder Brewing Company will be at the 3rd Annual Kewaunee Lions Club's, Roar on the Shore Craft Beer & Wine Festival. C'mon, you know Kewaunee, right? It's just a bit NW of SoCo, maybe like 900 miles on the shores of Lake Michigan. If you happen to be in Green Bay that weekend, you should drive on over.
But for us locals, there is nothing set on the horizon for another event at the Old Firehouse. I was told however that there may be some kind of ceremony - with beer I hope - to be held when Hook & Ladder finally breaks ground on the brewpub. While the phrase, "in the next few weeks" was uttered during my conversation with Mr. Ladder, I was quickly told nothing is certain. They hope to do it then, but a few things things still have to fall into place. I'd be happy if we saw a groundbreaking some time this spring.
But we can look for the Pipe and Drum Irish Ale in six packs very soon and this summer H&L will be coming out with a summer variety pack. We can purchase these fine brews at one of our 25 County retail liquor stores.
All right, and sorry for the big lag between posts. As my wife says, I've been experiencing a bout of madness lately. I'm talking march madness for you non-college basketball fans out there. And thanks for asking, yes, I still have a chance at winning my pool.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Food & Friends is the only nonprofit organization in the Washington area providing daily, home-delivered, specialized meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to individuals in the community who are facing some of life's most difficult challenges. The funds raised through Dining Out for Life allows Food & Friends to continue to provide these critical services at NO COST to the clients.And if you want to dine out locally and help the cause, here are the local dining spots that are participating.
Ray's the Classics
and even Chick fil-A (I cannot believe I am including a mention of Chick-fil-A on my blog - kinda crazy). But I am glad they're helping out this worthy cause.
OK, get out there and eat on Thursday!