Ok, as for the review, I have been mulling this place over in my head for the last week or so (I actually went twice because I am so torn about it). Here's the thing. There are many things I like about it--the ingredients are really fresh and high quality...the interior is modern and clean and the service staff is pretty spot on. And even the menu is really appealing (and quite large). But here's the deal, the food just didn't wow me, you know? There was nothing that was downright bad, and a few things that were interesting and good, but overall, I can't get myself really excited about it.
So the "AK's grilled cheese" ($9) was actually melted brie and mozzerella and baby spinach with what are described as balsamic marinated portabella mushrooms--all on whole grain bread. So here's what was missing for me: the flavor of balsamic. All those other ingredients were there--and I enjoy them all. But when you have two very rich, thick creamy cheeses and then some veggies...without the flavor of the balsamic coming through, it kind of gets lost... you know what I mean? I did like the heartiness of the bread to break up the smooth texture of the cheese and mushrooms...but it wasn't enough to make me want to order it again.
|AK's Grilled Cheese|
They also served housemade potato chips as a side with the sandwiches. The chips were thick and hearty, cooked a little darker than your average chip. More like kettle chips. The thickness made them just a teeny bit chewy. Nicely done though. Hubby thought they were better than the fries, but I was torn a bit on that question.
|Munchie Supreme and Fries|
So for my second meal, I went with a cup of the mushroom soup and a half a chicken salad sandwich. The mushroom soup was described as mushroom Brandy soup, and was aptly described. And despite the fact that our server highly recommended the potato soup (which the BFF ordered and promptly salted and peppered), I think the mushroom soup is better. It is still quite rich, and again, I like that they don't do pure purees, and that their soups contain some nice chunks of, in this case, mushrooms. The soup had a nice flavor from the Brandy without being overly sweet. Again, I crumbled up the slice of bread toasted with cheese on it and liked the extra bit of texture variation.
I also had a half of the chicken salad sandwich because it sounded interesting. It was described as chicken with celery, pancetta and mayo and a touch of Dijon. I was intrigued by the addition of the pancetta---I had a sandwich at Nordstrom the other day with crispy prosciutto on it and really enjoyed the crunchiness of it. However, I didn't even get a pancetta flavor (which is more bacon-ish) from this sandwich. Honestly, I didn't get a lot of any flavor other than the greens and the bread. There wasn't a lot of the chicken salad and it wasn't overly flavorful.
The BFF got the chopped salad ($7) (which I would have done if she had not, but since she was, I knew she would share, so I went a different direction). It was chopped romaine, sopressata, pepperoni, artichoke hearts, red onions, hard boiled egg, blue cheese and the house vinaigrette. So her thoughts were, wow, there was way too much meat. My thoughts were, wow, there was way too little dressing. So somewhere in the middle, was a decent salad, that either needed more dressing to balance out the heaviness of the strongly flavored cured meats, or less of the meats. Or maybe a little combination of both.
So again, the ingredients in the food were good. I loved the pickles and the soups were interesting and obviously being made in house. The sandwiches were clearly homemade too, but just lacking a little in the pizzazz that for me, makes a sandwich great. But there are a lot of things on this menu, and the second time I was there, there was not an empty seat in the house. So let's hear from you guys--obviously some of you all are eating there--what is your favorite thing and why?
6515 North College Avenue