Saturday, September 01, 2007

Three Latest and Best

Smelt at The Oceanaire! Now there's some upper midwestern food I can get behind. It may not be on the menu, but Chef Ryan Nelson has a fantastic supply of fresh smelt in at The Oceanaire. We munched on the yummy little fried fish from head to tail. If they're not on the menu, ask.

Portabello Mushroom Fries: Love fried mushrooms? Wait until you have these perfectly crispy portabello mushroom slices, breaded in panko, ginger, rosemary and more then fried to crunchy perfection. Top it all off with a thick horseradish sauce and you have the perfect combo. All at Peterson's.

Pretzel Rolls and Fried Biscuits: My first fried biscuits of the summer! Had lunch at Chancellor's (at the University Place Hotel) the other day. The best treat? The pretzel bread and fried biscuits on the table -- complete with thick apple butter. They'll only give you one of each so ask for more!

Two Minute Warning: OK, more like a smaller, one minute warning, but a warning none-the-less. Chancellor's is an oasis of civility on a bustling campus and perfect for a business lunch, but a few issues will keep them off the "top notch" list for me -- for now. After being blown away by the wonderful light sweetness and incredible texture of the tomato watermelon gazpacho at a tasting downtown, I tried it, knowing it was a signature dish. Sadly, it was a thick, deep red concoction with tomato seeds and almost none of the fabulous watermelon flavor I remembered. Sandwiches and salads are big -- but expect a liberal interpretation. My "Cuban" was merely pork, cheese, and a few dill pickle slices on overtoasted French bread. (Delicious but impossible to eat without crumbling it everywhere. Not great in a business suit.) Our other issue was a ... well, a fragrant one. The expediter who brought our food had the most pungent BO I've ever smelled on a server. It was thick (clothing and person) and lingered long after he'd brought our food. I was pretty surprised that a manager hadn't sent him home to clean up and change! Once the air cleared, we were able to continue our meal, but everyone at the table commented on the extra aroma -- and not from our food! Don't forget to have them validate your parking.


Ben said...

I had a similar experience this week @ the American Restaurant in KC: the server, who made an otherwise quite positive contribution to the dinner, had one of the most severe cases of halitosis I can ever remember. When he came to pour the wine on one occasion I needed to wait for the odor to clear before taking a drink!

Andrea said...

Your description of Chancellor's could describe every experience I've had there. Every year or so I give it another chance and it fails time and again. This has been going on for 10 years. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. My last meal there included a waiter who could not describe the menu items. I ended up explaining to one of my co-workers and him what the offerings were, based on the descriptions on the menu.

Chancellor's is simply a bad hotel restaurant and will never be anything more.

Russ said...

Smelt is awesome, but why buy it at the Oceanaire when it's on the weekly menu of about every American Legion hall in town?