I finally made it to the other restaurant in the Bugg's Temple building. I have been wanting to try this place for awhile--the menu always looked quite intriguing (if not a little overwhelming with so many choices). So we went for lunch--last weekend when it was so nice out (not as chilly as it currently is). We sat outside with the kids which was nice because they could sort of run around and look at the canal. It was doing pretty well for a Saturday I thought, since not as many people are downtown, although since it is on the Clarian monorail route, and hospitals are always open, I guess it makes sense. It is cute the way all the servers, including some rather muscle-y men wear little aprons like Grandma used to. And the restaurant itself has that very eclectic, cutesy decor with flowery chandeliers and things like that.
To start they bring you a unique twist on the bread bowl-- some finger length croutons made from various types of bread. They were tasty, but really could have used something to dip them in. Hubby ordered the housemade chips which came with a blue cheese sauce that was quite good with the croutons--which were better than the chips I think.
It was lunch, so I only ordered one thing--the black and bleu salad. I have to say, it was outstanding. My sister had mentioned she had had it (she is one of those Clarian employees) and liked it, and it sounded so good, I followed her advice. And she was right. It was a long rectangular plate with chopped romaine and a few other mixed greens, steak which is cooked to order, blue cheese melted on the steak, walnuts and more crumbles of blue cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette. Really really good.
There were a lot of things to appreciate about this salad--first, the way it was laid out on the plate made it easy to eat and get a little bit of everything with each bite. I don't know about you, but when I get a massive deep bowl of salad, I find it hard to eat it without making a mess, and it is almost impossible to get everything the salad has to offer on your fork. Plus, I find these salads are usually either under dressed, or they serve the dressing on the side which makes it hard to get it properly dressed. This salad came well-dressed and there was not too much lettuce and too little goodies. It is just right. The second great thing is that the meat came cooked to order. One of the downfalls of steak salads I find is that the meat is almost always overcooked, particularly if you are one who likes it medium rare. The next good thing was the dressing was properly tangy which paired so well with the richness of the other ingredients.
Hubby had the mini pulled pork sandwiches and wasn't as impressed. He said they were good, but not overly exciting. He definitely preferred my salad. The kids had cheese quesadillas and seemed perfectly content. They do have a very nice children's menu, with more than the usual options, which I always appreciate.
I poked my head in again later in the week and let me tell you, this place was jammed. They are obviously doing well with the downtown lunchtime crowd--they servers seemed a bit harried and they have a "help wanted" sign posted for all front of the house positions, so my guess is, it may be a bit slow sometimes. All in all, definitely worth a trip for a great lunch. They also serve dinner, but the menu is very similar and a little "lunchy" for me to drive downtown for in the evening. Plus, no liquor license means no wine...
On a side note, it looks like the upstairs restaurant (Euphoria will be the new name) will be re-opening October 21st. With the mussels and the cheese selection (oh, and of course the Chef!). I can't wait.
337 West 11th Street