Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe

This was funny, because my wife and kids were originally sitting in the shade at a nice table in Kirkwood, with the intention of going into Kaldi's and picking some great tasting food. I hear that the food is great and while I only have tried a scone and some cookies, I was eager to try some more umami-related food. I was not initially impressed with their menu. Nothing against Kaldi's, really. But when I was looking for something more than just a veggie burger or spinach turkey sandwich.

So, I went to Pickleman's, next door. I liked the way it looked on the inside and found myself ordering some addictively good sandwiches for my sons: the Pizza Guy. The Pizza Guy is a sandwich where it has tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni on a bread that is then rolled through the oven. Not only does it look like someone folded over a a pizza slice, but it tastes, just like pizza. An awesome 3 out of 5 for me.

I looked around and wanted to have an adventure. I decided to get me one of their inventions. I chose the Pickleman's Italian Club, minus the cheese. I loved it, it was delicious and a good sized sandwich.

This was a really good sandwich. I would recommend this in an instant. An easy 4 out of 5 for me.

So, there you have it. If you are in Kirkwood and looking for a good meal, go to Pickleman's.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The best of Bravo!

Last Saturday night, my wife and I joined some friends for a night out.  We went, to Bravo, in West County, and was a time to erase all previous visit experiences.  There was a lot of different variables this time, that may have helped make the whole event better than previous ones.  First of all, it was in the evening, it was a nice night, and we had outdoor seating.  Then a few minutes after being sat, the Manager, Dan, came by and introduced himself to us.  That is a first and marks a great restaurant knowing that the Manager cares about the customers enough to at least say "hi" or introduce himself.  When I worked at Buffets Inc, so long ago, one of the rules we had as a Manager was called "The 6 foot rule."  The idea behind this rule, was that if you are within 6 feet of someone, say "hi" or ask "how are you today?"  It wasn't a big deal, but just having a Manager talk to you at least once shows that if you did need anything, he would help out.

So, as we were starting to look the menu over, we had perhaps the most knowledgeable and friendly waitress watching our table.  She was very friendly, gave us her favorite items on the menu, mentioned that she had just about tried everything on it and was overall, the kind of service that you expect in a super and expensive dining setting.

So, a sign of a great service staff is how far they are willing to go to help someone.  In this case, my wife didn't know which type of wine to get, so the waitress brought out 4 samples.

After we had made our selections, we ordered an appetizer: fried calamari.
They were good and soft, not too chewy like they are most of the time.  The spicy white sauce went well with them.  I'd give them a 3 out of 5.

I ordered the

Chicken Fra Diavolo Campanelle

Sauteed shrimp or chicken tossed in a spicy tomato cream sauce with bell shaped campanelle pasta.

Sounds good, right?  It was very good, no problems with anything on the dish at all, an easy 4 out of 5 stars.

My wife ordered the 

Citrus Crusted Grilled Mahi Mahi*

Topped with a zesty citrus crust served with sauteed fresh vegetables, farro, orzo and lemon butter sauce.

Now, to be fair, my wife did say that it was cooked perfectly and had great flavor, but only wished that it had more citrus flavor to it.  She gave it a 3 out of 5.

Here is the thing, the amount of kindness and expertness that we had at this dinner, made up and made us forget about past visits.  From the moment we walked in, there was nothing but attention on us, and the other customers.  I don't really don't know what else to add here, everything about this visit to Bravo was great.  No complaints.  Now, I would recommend that anyone in the area, go there some night when you want a nice and quiet meal on a nice evening.