Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to the Stables...

When I review a restaurant, it is impossible for me to test everything on the menu.  I do not make much money at my day-to-day job so I cannot afford to go to a great place like The Stable and order 10 dishes for myself. So, if I am not with a large group of people, I have to go back to a previous location. Going back serves two purposes: first, it allows me to try something new and different and secondly, it allows me to track any changes the restaurant has made, be them good or bad.  This  past Friday, I gathered some friends and foodies and went on a return trip to The Stable.

 People have read my past blog and have started to go to the Stable and I have been asking what they have ordered and what they would recommend. A friend of mine suggested the house beer and the gumbo. Now, I did order the house beer and it was awesome, and of course a basket of bacon was ordered, and then the gumbo.  A fellow foodie and I were very disappointed in this gumbo to the point where I was unable to finish mine. From their menu, the Sicilian Gumbo has salsiccia, shrimp, fava beans, roasted peppers, ground beef and risotto.  While that description sounds good, that is what both of us hoped for. The first bite, was not a very good impression, however. My first scoopful of gumbo, and every bite thereafter, tasted like tomatoes and vinegar. It was a strong, sour taste that I was not looking forward to as I attempted to find those other ingredients in my cup.  I admit that it wasn't the best photo above, but it is enlarged to show that the items listed, were not in my gumbo.  It tasted like someone made a quick tomato sauce for pasta and placed it in a cup. There was ground beef, tomatoes, and a single slice of sausage.  There was no beans, no shrimp, no pepper, and not a single grain of risotto.  I kept talking with my friend, asking him if he has anything in his and he didn't find anything.  Every bit to him tasted like vinegar and with me only have taken 6 or 7 bites, I called it quits.  In my book, that cup of gumbo, read, in the menu as something very tasty, but what we were given, gets about 1 star out of 5.

On the upside, what The Stable really shines at is the variety of their Chef, whether he was in control of our gumbo/vinegar soup, we do not know, but the rest of the food was delicious. The Stable has an entree', so strange and unusual that my friend and I had to order it.  We decided on the Plate of Food. This entree', says that it is the Chef's selection, changes by the minute, changes by the hour, we don't know, $8.95 and no refunds. How much more manly can you get by having a beer, a basket of bacon and a plate of food. This wild card item was ordered by both of us, within a few seconds of each other and ideas began to fill our heads about what it could be.  What was more interesting was the thought that the Plate of Food could be two separate dishes and each of us would receive a completely different dish. Think of the possibilities and in particular, think of how many different possible dishes the chef could create and piece together.  If the chef has the components for every one of his regular dishes, in house, then would else could he have for the Plate of Food?  Are you ready....?

My food turned out to be a giant plate of two large slabs of a spicy meatloaf, a heaping scoop of a red skinned, cheesy mashed potatoes and a side of steamed broccoli.  The potatoes were creamy and rich, the meatloaf had a spice to them that was enhanced and brought upon by some extra richness in the gravy, and the broccoli had a dash of butter on them. My dish was a 4 out of 5.
My friend's dish came out as a breast and leg of an herbed, baked chicken, some mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli as well. I think he gave his meal a good 4 out of 5 as well.
The moral of the story, live dangerous, take a risk, and try the Plate of Food.

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