More food…I know. I’m only on day 3 and I’m not sure how I’m going to last until the end of the month…we’ll see!
Anyway, M had a bad day at work yesterday so I offered to take him out to dinner. My reasons were a little less than altruistic – we don’t have much food in the house right now and I didn’t feel like cooking, plus I’d scored a 20% off coupon for Hyde Park Bar & Grill from work. We managed to snag a nice window seat right at the front of the building, which meant (hooray!) that there would be enough light for me to take some photos! So I did! We decided to forgo appetizers, but I ordered a frozen strawberry margarita, just for kicks. Sweet and tasty and you’d never know you were ingesting alcohol until you turn your head real fast and the world slowly spins back into place.
M ordered a country fried pork chop or some such thing, and it arrived lounging on a large bed of creamy mashed potatoes with some macaroni and cheese hanging out beside it. I can attest to the tastiness of the potatoes and the mac & cheese, but I’m not a pork chop lover so I’ll just say that M polished it off and was quite happy to do so.
I ordered the sautéed crab cakes which came with spiced roasted sweet potatoes and my choice – creamed corn. Yeah, I know, creamed corn sounds a little strange. But the one time I had creamed corn there before, and it was a good long time ago, it was heavenly. Absolutely delicious. And now they’ve apparently changed how they handle side dishes – it used to be that they made two or three sides every day and wrote them on the board in the entry way in colorful chalk. Creamed corn always went quickly and I could never manage to get it by the time we had dinner. Now they seem to have a set side menu and you get to choose which one you’d like. Corn! But, unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as I remembered. Oh, the tragedy… It was still tasty, but it didn’t have the thick, creamy texture that I remembered from several years ago.
The roasted sweet potatoes, however, were delicious. A refreshing alternative to the frequently overcooked-on-the-outside-undercooked-on-the-inside chunks of pale potato that so often accompany a plate of otherwise mouth-watering food. I’ve only recently begun to appreciate the humble sweet potato and if I had ordered my meal a year or two ago I probably would have asked to sub out the sweet potato for something else. I’m glad I didn’t!
And the crab cakes. What can I say about the melt-in-your-mouth wonder of crab cakes? Born and raised on the coast of Maine, I am an avowed fish lover and have long suffered the lack of seafood in my current living situation. (And no, catfish most certainly does not count.) In addition, I live with a man for whom eating fish is about as pleasant as eating sand, which means I don’t often get to cook it at home. So, crab cakes. They weren’t the best crab cakes I’ve ever had, and I’m always a little disappointed in the crab-to-cake ratio, but they were still a balm to my poor, seafood-less soul. I even went so far as to eat only one of my precious crab cakes, and half of my sides, so that I could extend my lovely meal into lunch today. Oh, the discipline! (Plus, I really wanted to eat dessert…)
And what a dessert it was.
Upon sitting down, I had the bright idea to look at the dessert menu ahead of time to see if I should save room for a tasty treat. And I saw this: strawberry-white chocolate roulade. Strawberry jam and white chocolate mousse rolled up into a white sponge cake, topped with vanilla buttercream. Heaven. It was…wonderful. It could have been a wee bit better with a few minor improvements. I would have liked it to be a little colder upon serving, but maybe that’s just me. I also would have liked a little more substantial cake. The firmness of the white chocolate mousse was at odds with the crumby, squashy, delicate sponge cake. Which is all to say that it tasted phenomenal, but if I had to make it at home (hmmm…) I would make a few alterations.
I hope all you folks not in Austin will indulge my local restaurant review, but if you’re ever here visiting maybe it’ll be handy!