When I think of the lunch I had Saturday at the new Everett St. Bistro, I can't get REM's song "Shiny Happy People" out of my head.
Shiny happy people holding hands,
Shiny happy people laughing.
Yeah, a lot of self-satisfied looking trendoids in a very pretty new setting.
Only one problem: the food. Oh, and one other: the prices.
I had a mascarpone, bacon quiche. It was the only thing that really struck my fancy on a dismal Saturday noon. I am not going to swear to it, but it sure had that reheated fresh from the microwave texture. It, plus a little NW greens side salad, was $10.
La nina had her typical--the cheeseburger (plain and dry) that came with fries. The burger was OK. The fries were some of the worst I have had in a long time. Pale and frozen tasting, they were completely unappetizing. And the lemon aioli that came with the fries burned with excessive raw garlic flavor. What little lemon I detected tasted more of pith than juice--bitter and awful. A remarkably dreadful combination. I had to sample it three times to make sure it was really as bad as I first thought. For the privilege of consuming this delightful dish, I paid $14. Even with the trimmings that normally come with the burger (bacon and sauteed onion), and even if the fries and dip were decent, this was not a $14 dish.
On the positive side, our server was very nice. This was a contrast with the several mostly hipster types standing around not doing much when we came in, none of whom seemed interested in communicating with us about seating protocol until I asked.
Honest to god, the whole place reminded me of a movie prop. Nice looking, seemingly authentic on the surface, but no substance behind it.
Am I being a bit harsh here? Try it for yourself and let me (and everyone else here in internetland) know. For now, I'm placing this place, in kind with Balvo, on the "wait two months and try it again" list, though I might not bother.
(cross-posted to portlandfood.org)
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