Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A saving's grace...

My previous visit to the Stable, for brunch was so bad that it seemed to have garnered the attention of the restaurant's owner.  Upon being asked if there was anything he could do to make my dining experience better, I responded that the menu items that needed a change, NEED to be changed.  I don't ask anything for myself, as the money I spent on that fateful day was a loss and I just have to accept that.  While not entirely a trip back to re-try the brunch, I did get a chance to go back to the Stable, again, for dinner.

Originally, I was to try the Blackthorn Pub as the pub is continuously being written up in the RFT for their great pizza.  There was a few issues with me dining in the pub, this past Saturday night.  The first and foremost being space.  The small pub is home to perhaps 5 booths and about 6 tables, together seating probably no more than 40 people, if packed like sardines.  The bar had every seat taken and since there is no seater or host or hostess, you basically have to either stand in a line or stand across from the area that you want to sit at.  This reminded me of my time at Old Country Buffet when old people would make snarls and strange faces at the people who were in "their" spots until those people finished up and left so the "regulars" could have "their" favorite spot.  I saw an old couple at the pub, staring at couple, likely on a date, attempting to intimidate them to finish up quickly so they could have that booth.  After watching a small party of people leave from an 8 person table and then watching 4 people take that table and use the extra seats to house their coats and purses, I felt like we would not get a seat within the hour.  It was already 7:15 and after waiting for 5 minutes, as our stomachs growled, we decided to leave. 

I don't know if I will get a chance to dine there at the pub again, unless I come about 2 hours before I intend to eat and then when people stare at me and try to get me to feel uncomfortable enough to leave the pub, I should stare back at them with this "I will take you down" look and hope they stand in front of someone else's table.

Lucky for myself  and my two buddies and fellow foodies, The Stable, was about 5 minutes away and maybe longer as most of the city's residential roads were about as clear as mud.  After finding a lucky spot right in front of The Stable, we went in.  We were seated quickly and greeted just as quick.  The waitress was very patient with our slow choice of beers or drinks and even food.  She even played along with our random decision making as my father asked her to pick a number, in order to make his beer selection. 

We started with some starters: like the basket of bacon, which is always good.  But also added the bacon wrapped dates and the Cajun steak bites.  The bacon wrapped dates were juicy and sweet.  The bacon's maple flavor brought out the sweetness of the dates and added to the juiciness. The dates changed the bacon from a savory dish to a sweet dish, even when dipped into the red pepper sauce.  The bacon wrapped dates was easily a 5 out of stars as it just blew each of us our of the water.  It was the highlight of the meal and after we had finished our entrees we still came back and finished off the dates.
The other one we had, were these Cajun steak bites. What it was, was basically the most tender, mouth watering, fall-apart in your mouth piece of not too spicy but full flavored steak that you have ever had. They took about 3 chews to swallow and the flavor was not too overwhelming but also not deaf but just right.  These were a 4 out of 5 stars.

Next came the entrees and we were set for something different.  I really was caught between making the choice of the "plate of food" or one of their sandwiches.  I chose the sandwich.  One of my friends chose a different sandwich and the third picked a plate.  My father chose the Mixed Grill, which was a mix of sausages and some home-made res skinned potato salad.
My other friend picked the steak sandwich which was then topped with onions and peppers and cheese.  I appeared to have been good enough that he ate the whole thing and left nothing, not even a crumb.

I picked a grinder, which is a sandwich made up of ground beef that is stuffed into a piece of French bread.  The one I ordered was the Pizza Grinder, which had pepperoni and mozzarella cheese on top.  It was awesome.  It wasn't what I was expecting but definitely good. The ground steak, wasn't too flavorful but in a good way because if it was, it may not have worked well with the pizza-like theme.  I gave the sandwich a 3 out of 5 stars.  Overall though, even though it wasn't Brunch, which I have yet to re-try, I will say that our dinner selections were very tasty and helped convince my father that The Stable could be trusted again and should be visited again.

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