|february - front porch
||[Feb. 29th, 2008|11:20 am]
The SF Bay Area Dinner Club
so i was super anticipating eating at this establishment for quite some time now since it was announced that we would attend here for DC on february to celebrate steve's birthday. when we arrived at the place, i realized that i've passed by this place numerous times, and was always curious about what it was, but never had the inclination to check it out. it just looked like a front porch and people just put a sign there, but after our visit yesterday, it cleared up my curiosity!
the decor is supercute. it blends well with the neighboring houses (literally, i think it's a converted house turned restaurant). the inside looks supercozy, and i loved the fact that our big group got a corner booth. it just made the atmosphere seem that much cozier.
the drinks before our dinner were quite tasty. i had the champagne cocktail, jolene had the sangria and annie had something that i didn't know the name to, but the drink suited her quite well.
the waitstaff and hostess were quite accomodating to us. they didn't give away our table even though people were streaming in and our party was late, but they were kind enough to seat us even though our entire party wasn't there yet.
once steve arrived, we decided to order the bucket of chicken in advance because it would take 20 minutes to cook, and once everyone arrived and ordered their dishes (which was a span of 15 minutes after the initial bucket of chicken order), the bucket of chicken came out in less than two minutes after. talk about perfect timing!
so here's the rundown:
fried chicken - extremely juicy, well seasoned, skin is incredibly crispy. probably one of the best fried chicken i've had in a really long time.
macaroni pie - don't be fooled by the portion of the sides. even though it may look small, it's incredibly rich, and between the six of us, a spoonful and a half of each side was quite filling and flavorful. the breadcrumb crust added great texture to the smooth consistency of the macaroni and cheese and the macaroni and cheese itself was quite cheesy and full of flavor. the fact that the ability to scoop the macaroni pie and not have cheese goo go all over the place but to actually be able to cut it in a solid piece allowed for easier and more precise eating.
grits with chili sauce? - while i've had grits that were flavorless and almost inedible, these grits were full of sweet corn, chili oil and flavor. the creamy consistency remained that way for quite some time, which surprised me because i was expecting a clump of grits after 5 minutes of being exposed to the external environment. i must say, these grits changed my mind and i wouldn't mind giving grits another chance.
cornmeal crusted oysters - they came out in two pieces, with a side of braised pork belly and frissee to accompany. the oysters were fried just right, with a hint of lemon for acidity. they were still juicy after being fried which i'm a big fan of. i've never had braised frissee and i must say, it was quite delectable. i didn't get a chance to have the pork belly, but it sure did look good.
cornbread - complimentary. looks like long ladyfingers. not warmed and kind of cakey. chili butter that accompanied made it quite tasty. they should have warmed it up. but i can't complain. i love cornbread. end of story.
escaveitch fresh fish
this was probably the healthiest (and lightest) thing on the menu. i was torn between the fish and the porkchop, but from the recommendation of the server, i chose the fish. it was pan fried just right, with the intact skin being crispy and the fish quite flaky and tender. they could've fried the skin side just a little bit longer, but now i'm just asking for too much. the rice and beans didn't stand out very much, and i didn't see any hints of chayote, but the pickled veggies are what made the dish. it complimented the fish so well that it reminded me of a soul version of eating anything meat related with some pickled mustard greens at home. the picked veggies provided a nice acidic contrast to the fishiness of the fish, and it made my tastebuds quite happy.
island pepper pot stew - i wasn't too keen on eating wild boar and goat, but i tasted a little. presentation was quite interesting because it came out in those clay pots that asian people cook their herbal medicines in. the flavors itself were quite rich, but the only thing lacking was that it's supposed to be a STEW, so there's supposed to be stewey sauce in there!
pulled bbq pork sandwich with fries - i liked the fries. i'm a fries whore (before 9pm that is). they weren't salted too heavily, which was nice for a change, but they were just regular french fries. i didn't try the sandwich, but it did look quite tasty.
black eyed peas - yum. that's all i can say about that.
crab and grits - so apparently, this place is known for their crab and grits, and half of our party ordered this dish. i've never seen a dish own dinner club so bad, but it did. it doesn't even look like it's going to do much damage because it's basically a bowl of grits with crab in it, but it's so much more than that! it was extremely flavorful and deliciously creamy, but after a couple of bites, there was visual confimration that people were going to call it quits. it's extremely filling (and heavy to say the least) but i say, if you're going to eat something extremely bad for you, go all the way! so that's what crab and grits is. an extremely hearty and filling porridge that is probably high in calories, but probably worth every fatty calorie. i loved the hint of corn and the consistency of the grits, and really, changed my perception of grits in general.
next month's dinner club: let's set a date. march 25th? that's the last tuesday. it's my spring break. are people free?