Monday, May 28, 2012

Again with the Farmhaus

Let me say that for the price, Farmhaus has some great food. I know that you can pay more at other restaurants but at Farmhaus, someone who makes less than $28K a year can have a nice night out and be treated like royalty. Not only were we treated nicely, but I asked to sit at the bar where we had perfect view of the kitchen.

In fact, the out of focus server coming up towards the camera was our server for the night. His name, as listed on the receipt was: Scratches. So, after a pleasant conversation with Scratches, we ordered our drinks, in this case, a bottle of their brew, specifically brewed for them. This one was called "Perennial Brew for the Crew".

The driver of that tractor, with the fish in his hand, was modeled after the head chef of Farmhaus. How cool is that? This drink was good, a nice medium bodied, full-flavored beer. Perfect for all of the pork products that I could envision eating from the menu.

We started our meal with their version of Scotch Eggs: Huevo Ranchero.

This was a large perfectly cooked egg inside of a sausage and bread crumb breading. There was a little micro-green salad, some awesomely tasty bean sauce on the bottom with some cotija cheese all around. This was big and good, a good size for two people to share. It was a good 4 out of 5 stars.

My wife ordered a fish dish showing off Halibut.
Besides the fact that my wife loved it so much that she tried to get as much of that sauce as she could, I liked it as well. More and More when we go out, I try some seafood. Now, to be honest, some of it I like and some of it I don't like but I don't feel bad about it because at least I have tried it. In this case again, I liked the fish. It had these large pieces of sausage along with it which went well with the seafood. A 4 out of 5 stars.

Now it was time for my take. I ordered the Pig Toast to start off my night.
The description on the menu said "Pig Toast" with the words "Butcher Sauce" under that. I had really no idea, but it said "Pig" in its name so it has to be good, right? This is what came out. It was a toasted bread with a pork sausage-like patty on it. On top of that was something reminiscent of a chicken salad and I still have no idea what it was and then some lemon greens on top. Sure, the toast may look burned in some areas, but that didn't take away anything from this dish and in some cases, added more to it. Each bite was first experienced with the hard crunch of the toast and then a perfectly melt in your mouth tenderness from the pork and finally cooled off with the white sauce on top and the greens. I would compare it to eating a piece of warmed foie gras on toast, with a lemon or acid on top to help fight the richness. A perfect 4 out of 5 for me.

I also then after this, received the Berkshire Porchetta. As Scratches told us, this was their version of a Korean steam bun and this one was filled with the most delicious BBQ pork as ever. This was a very tasty dish as well.
See those giant and fluffy white steamed buns? What about that perfectly cooked pork, complete with that super tender and melt in your mouth pork fat. Ahhhhhhhhh. (Insert sound or image of Patrick Star with mouth open and drooling.) So good, only wishing that places like Wei Hong would carry this steam bun. This one gets a 4 out of 5 for me again.

So, if you are in the South City area, please go to Farmhaus. They get the best local and seasonal goods for their food.

PS: I didn't list it up there, but this is the only restaurant that I have ever been to that allowed you to purchase beers for the kitchen staff. That's right, I added 3 beers onto my bill, and even watched the chef who was expediting orders take a swig or two out of his Corona. What better way to guarantee that your food would be delicious, than to allow the kitchen and dish-room crew to drink while they work.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sweet Home Chicago....

About 2 weeks ago, we drove up to Chicago, for business. But, we couldn't just eat anywhere. No! We had to eat at some fun places.

This was the 8 pound burger at Jake Melnick's. It was a weird night. We walked in, 7 or 8 of us and asked for one of the open tables. The hostess told us that all of the open tables were reserved and had people already there. We stood and waited and waited and no one showed up at those tables. I confronted the hostess and found out that the kitchen was short-handed so instead of just telling everyone that food was going to take a while or call in another cook, they decided to pretend that there were people sitting at some tables, so they wouldn't get real people in and ordering. The absolute stupidest thing I had ever heard of and I had to tell everyone. Their only savings grace, was their 8 pound burger which 3 grown men, 2 grown women and two kids ate for the night and we still had more than half to take home with us.

The burger was a cheeseburger and really wasn't that good, at least I didn't think so. I'd give the service and the food at Jake's a 3 out of 5. In fact, had I not asked the hostess about the invisible, imaginary people at the tables, we would have left.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back to Bravo, number 4

After 3 trips to Bravo, from my family, I was contacted by the manager. She seemed upset that we had a bad experience and like any good company which prides itself on great food and service, she apologized. Furthermore, she invited me back for a meal. Now I know that this is most likely an attempt to do-over my meal, I will review and explain everything that takes place as well.

To sum-up:

The first trip was just my wife and I. We had a server who was not only very friendly, but very knowledgeable. We had no issues at all and because of that first visit, we deemed Bravo a very fun and cool place.

The second trip, my wife and I had our two kids and a stroller. Not only did the server not know how to deal with the kids, but she also spilled a drink, a soda, all over the stroller and my seat. I remember cleaning up soda and ice for most of the meal. By then, I really didn't feel like eating because when the kids don't get occupied with their meals, they get bored.

This last time, the third time, was an issue where the sever did get the food for my two sons and was friendly, but seemed more interested in the large party next to us and chatting with the bartender near the bar. It was so bad that I actually had to wave down the hostess and ask her to get our server. I remember watching her walk up to the server, still at the bar on the other side of the restaurant, and tell him that we were waiting and ready. I remember him looking back at us, at our table, and then going back to chatting with the bartender. I hope he got her number, because he seemed more interested in chatting with her than dealing with us. As if that wasn't enough, when he came back, he didn't apologize. He acted like it was our issue "Are you guys ready to order now?" Of course we were ready! We were ready 15 minutes ago, when you walked by our table.

Anyways, that is where we are at now. Two bad times out of three. So, let's hope that this Saturday will change the ratio and give me some faith to put back into this restaurant.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This tastes just like girl scouts...

Cookies, that is. This tastes just like girl scout cookies. I'm a sucker for girl scout cookies and they are my weakness. I have seen copycat recipes online, tried them, and had to eat the failed result of a cookie. Nestle, did something evil, they made candy bars with cookie themes.

Ok, first off, the "Caramel & Coconut" cookie, taste just like the "samosa" cookies. Everything tastes exactly, EXACTLY, the same. The "Caramel & Coconut" bar was by far my favorite. (I actually purchased and ate two of them)

The next one was the "Peanut Butter Creme", which tasted just like the Do-Si-Dos™. I love me some peanut butter.

The last one was the "thin mints" and unlike the other two cookie inspired bares, in this one, they just called it Thin Mints. This was actually easy to do because the other two cookie names are trademarked and they couldn't trademark the name "thin mints", likely because it was too generic.

So, anyone reading this and anyone that loves girl scout cookies, I highly suggest getting these Nestle Crunch bars.