Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Three Latest and Best

Michael Paley's Proof: On a recent trip to Louisville to tour the 21C gallery, we stopped off for a drink and nosh at Proof on Main. This trendy eatery would look just as at home in NYC or Chicago and the menu offered a fresh and welcome change. In the bar, while sipping unusal cocktails (mine, a "Sweet Tea" with green tea vodka, chambord, and muddled basil), we snacked on housemade pates as well as a quartet of unique vegetable spreads. The star? The green pea and mint puree with pancetta (although the grilled fennel with orange was pretty damn good, too.) Perfect for Louisville in the summer.

Prime Rib Sammich at Harry and Izzy's: While I'm not wild about Harry's (and I'm sure Harry's not wild about me), I am learning to find a few things to appreciate. Over lunch, I took the opportunity to try the highly recommended burger -- and I agree! Finally, a great steakhouse offering! And while opinions differ, I liked my friend's prime rib sandwich even better. More like really juicy roast beef (bordering on fatty) with au jus and horseradish, I'll get my own order next time.

Smoked Jack from Trader's Joes: Nothing says love like the cheese case at Trader Joe's. And my latest infatuation? The smoked jack cheese black on the outside with a slightly burned flavor. Great melted on French bread and really great just eaten in thin slices while waiting for dinner.

Two-Minute Warning: Yes, I know. I had no business going to La Jolla to begin with. I *know* the food is terrible! But the weather was so nice and we were so tempted by that big see-and-be-seen open deck in Broad Ripple that I thought I could stand it. (I go through this *every* year.) However, you'd think I would have learned long ago that getting what you want (say, a Barbie Dreamhouse or an ice cream maker) isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. And somehow, even knowing I hate everything at La Jolla, I returned, thinking that maybe this one time, I'll find something that doesn't suck. Alas, not this time. The drinks? Famously weak. The food? Notoriously horrible. Salsa? Straight from the jar. And the chips? Stale as a week old loaf of bread. When we asked our waiter if they had any other chips, his answer? They're all this bad. (Dude, how is it possible that they're all stale if they're coming fresh out of a bag or warmer each time you bring them to my table? Shouldn't they at least be fresh for half an hour even in this humidity? Don't answer. I think I already know.) After our meal and two margaritas, I left sunburned, buzzless and having learned my lesson for another year.


Brendan said...

I suffered the same painful lesson (again) at La Jolla at the beginning of May. I'm on the fence re whether it's the worst restaurant in the city, or merely the most disappointing. Can't we get the city to exercise its eminent domain powers to release that wonderful patio for a higher and better use?

CorrND said...

I've only been to La Jolla once to meet someone for a drink, so maybe I shouldn't make this statement without having eaten there, but I think the worst restaurant in town is probably Acapulco Joe's. Squeeze bottle salsa? Come on! That's sorta like Ray Liotta's line at the end of Goodfellas, "I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup."

My only hope is that El Arado in Fountain Square, Cabo Mexican Grill and (hopefully) a new Adobo Grill can put them out of business.

Speaking of Cabo, I went there for the first time on Monday. Pretty tasty (the meats were a little dry), good value, much more nicely decorated than I would have expected. It's basically a variation on Qdoba.

And in case anybody else is wondering -- I was curious myself before I went in -- it is NOT connected to the gas station the way McD's, Subway, Arby's, etc, are sometimes connected to the convenience store part of a gas station. It's just housed in the same building.

braingirl said...

It's hard for me to judge Mexican food because I grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. I much prefer good Tex-Mex, none of which really exists up here. As far as I'm concerned, places like Adobo don't really serve what I think of as Mexican food. It's their sylized version of a regional cuisine (like Oxahxcan or Sonoran) modified to a corporate concept.

I like Qdoba -- it's my quick food of choice, but it's not Mexican food any more than Taco Bell is. Places like that are fine for fast/fresh. (Chipotle is owned by McDonald's after all.) But it's still a serialized Mission burrito place. We made it through the dot-com boom fueled on Mission burritos in SF.

To me, Acapulco Joes is like La Piedad in Broad Ripple. Sort of the right idea when I'm in the mood for hangover green enchiladas but always leaves me feeling a little nasty. I've had that egg-noodle-and-ketchup feeling there before, too.

I haven't tried Cabo yet, so we'll see. But from what I hear, it's a Mission burrito place. I'm always happy for the variety. But still not what I was hoping for when it comes to Mexican. I'll make a point to get to Cabo this week to check.

And El Arado is the place open near (or in) the Murphy building, yes? I just saw them a couple of weeks ago and put them on my list to try.

braingirl said...

Oops, and I misstated. McDonald's is completely out of Chipotle now. They're on their own (and a public company, in fact.)

Anonymous said...

Next time you visit Proof- try the baked octopus. I've never had octopus so wonderfully prepared. I crave it. I've dined there for dinner and for the bar nibbles a handful of times and have yet to find something that dissapointed, and the drinks are fantastic!

Jim said...

No question that La Jolla's food is horrible, a fact that we didn't discover until we took my nephew out to eat in Broad Ripple and he chose La Jolla because of the deck. We'd never eaten there before and we certainly won't go back again.

I wonder how they stay in business in the winter, given that the only attractive quality of the restaurant is the deck.

Anyone know what the deal is with El Sol de Tala out on East Washington? I've driven past there on my way to Irvington several times. It looks like the building is remodeled, but they're still not open.

Jason266 said...

I've had the Prime Rib Sandwich twice now. Can't get enough.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather eat at LaBambas than La Jolla!

Anonymous said...

I truly hate Acapulco Joe's, or as I call it, I-could-puke-o Joes. I agree that it is the worst restaurant in the city.

scubachef said...

Man, LaBamba's gristle/fat-logs-as-big-as-yo-momma's-fat-ass, La (heave..heave..)Jolla, and I-Could-Puko-Joe's (good one), what a craptacular trifecta!