Monday, December 1, 2014

A String of Disappointments

We've been in a restaurant rut lately, mainly because we've had a string of disappointing meals. We try to be optimistic when it comes to new dining ventures but some meals just don't live up to their expectations. So what's been on our list of duds lately?

Shirley's Restaurant: The poutine saga continues. The curd flavor was there and so were the crispy hand-cut fries but the sloppy mess of a neon orange gloop of sodium-laden gravy just didn't cut it. We even tried ordering the cheese on the side to test its squeakiness but alas it was a melted mess which I suspect is from reheating a frozen batch of cheese. At least the Montreal smoked meat was spot on.
Burger 21: The first time wasn't half bad. The beef version was juicy and flavorful and ok for a fast food chain. I'd almost pick it over Five Guys. The second time I thought I'd be adventurous and try the Ahi Tuna burger which I immediately regretted at first bite. Sushi-grade? I don't think so. The poor fish was fried to oblivion, leaving nothing but a flavorless soggy greasy patty of panko slathered with a cloyingly sweet caramel soy sauce and stuck on a cold buttered bun. I'm sticking strictly to sashimi from now on.

Pho Yum: With a name like that I expect a pretty good bowl of pho. Alas, it was not yummy. The broth was ok although a tad too sweet for my taste but not all the elements melded together. The noodles were too soft and the meatballs had a super rubbery consistency. We finally even found tripe but it had a very sour, off-putting taste. Phail.  

Smashburger: Why not try another burger chain. The Local burger--NY Cheddar, garlic grilled onions, spinach, tomato, and peppercorn garlic aioli--sounded promising but really there was nothing to rave about. Too many ingredients and a lackluster beef patty. We'll just stick to the generic greasy Five Guys.
City Bar Line and Grill: Don't promise me crispy, crackly pork belly and present me with this sad excuse of a fatty mess slathered with chef's tangy chipotle chili sauce. We didn't bother taking snapshots of our entrees because it was that bad. My pecan-crusted chicken sandwich was burnt and leathery and J's Bullet burger overcooked and flavorless. This was probably the most disappointing, expensive meal in awhile lacking execution and finesse on all levels. 

Maybe after this streak, we'll come across some better bites. 


  1. Phail is right. We will not be going back to Pho Yum after one recent, similarly disappointing visit.

    We've had better luck at Burger 21, but I can believe the inconsistency. They can also be S-L-O-W there! This isn't like going through the drive-thru, but seriously, get moving, people! Too many people working there look like they were just roused from a deep slumber.

    Our food on our one visit to City Line wasn't so bad, just plainly mediocre. Maybe I'll go back for drinks with colleagues at some point; at least it's a place near UAlbany that should be solid in that regard (though a few extra minutes to the Pour House is probably a better idea).

    1. Thought we were the only ones with terrible luck. Sorry you had the similar experience but at least we can commiserate.