Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I present to you, the Iron Fork

What is it about St. Louis and events?  Why are they always so crowded and why are there always so many drunk people around?  Iron Fork, advertises itself as a food sampling, bartender and food competition and a night of fun.  For $35 you got tickets to allow you entry as well as a single beer, glass of wine and a rum cocktail.  This event was held at the Marriott at the Union Station, downtown.  The night was nice and we made our way into the ballroom for the event. The first thing that hit me was the amount of people.  When you offer alcohol, in any amount, you are going to get tons of people, in St. Louis.

First of all, besides the large amount of people, there was a small problem:  people were running out of food.  The event started for VIP's at 6 and everyone else at 6:30.  By 8:00 there were restaurants that were out of food.  How can you be a restaurant giving out samples and be out of food just 2 hours after open, when the event was supposed to go until 11:30???

Now, what we did try was a good selection of foods from a variety of places that I wanted to go, so we did pretty good on the samples and made some quick decisions on what to do.

The above picture was a chicken piece cooked in a mole' sauce from Milagro.  The chicken was fall-apart tender and the mole' sauce was very tasty.  It was sweet enough that you could taste the cocoa and spicy enough that you could taste the chilies. This made me want to visit them. A 4 out of 5 on the sample.

River City presented us with their own version of a roast beef sandwich.  The beef was extremely tasty and was not dry out as well.  A simple sandwich, mustard on one side and butter on the other doesn't really give me an idea of what the restaurant does, unless this is one of the main dishes.  A 3 out of 5 because it was good.
House of Savoy, which we did think about going to before, had their Head Pastry Chef, giving out some basil and tomato bisque as well as a salad with chicken and cherry tomatoes.  The salad was bland and the soup was good so what should I give them?  I did a 3 out of 5.
Okay, here is a fun one.  This is the Station Grill, the restaurant at the Union Station Marriott hotel.  They presented us with a spoon with a nice sauce, like a mustard sauce, with a fried shrimp in the middle.  I took a chance and ate it.  The shrimp, tasted good.  I could tell that it wasn't chewy, crunchy or even 'fishy', so that meant that it was somewhat fresh from somewhere or handled and cooked perfectly.  The spoonful was great, a 4 out of 5.

For a dessert sampler, there was The Cup, and from what we could tell, was a cupcake bakery.  We had a piece of white cake and chocolate cake and let me tell you my honest opinion, which was also a thought of other people around us: they didn't taste all that great.  I heard someone else say that they have had good box cakes that taste better. Also, the bakery charges more than $2.50 per cupcake!  Um, I give it a 2 out of 5 and unless I win the lottery, I will not be at that bakery anytime soon.

 A lot of people tend to want Thai food, as a healthy food choice and more places are springing up.  Pearl Cafe claims to be run by real Thai owners and chefs and it claims to have real Thai food.  I'm a strong proponent of the Thai House, in Columbia Illinois, which is also run by a Thai family.  This Thai Family, from the Thai House, has their main chef go back to Thailand at least 3-4 times a year, for sometimes months at a time.  This means that the food tastes as good as it really is in Thailand.  Pearl Cafe gave us some curry and after trying it, I felt like it was a sad representation of their version of curry. It was bland, had no spice and was very watery.  A 2 out of 5 comes from me.

Square One Brewery, which I have already reviewed, sent out some dessert bruchetta.  This was some goat's cheese with a sweet basil sauce and some strawberries.  It looked like the savory counterpart but tasted better and fresher.  I gave it a 3 out of 5.

Ka-Ka-O, gave us something of a treat.  They had two mini desserts, like petit fours.  The first one was a melon gelled thing that tasted like honeydew melon.  The second was a homemade coconut marshmallow and after making marshmallows a few nights ago, I know how hard they are to make. This was an easy 4 out of 5.

  The Wildflower had a perfect piece of BBQ rib as well as some bread pudding.  The bread pudding was great and the BBQ was super tasty and tender.  So, they got our attention with this 4 out of 5 dish.

RFT.  Having an RFT event and then having a writer from the RFT as a judge looks bad, like they couldn't find anyone else.  And who is Patrick Clark?  Here is the deal, it is a food and foodie show, why isn't there some celebrity that holds their status due to food? 

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