The one restaurant dish I miss most of all is the old vegetarian platter from City. I am a vegephile and I while we don’t eat the smoked meats that are the specialty, I was looking forward to trying Ford’s Filling Station because I had heard young Benjamin worshiped at the same produce altar as my homegirls, Alice Waters and Deborah Madison and I happily ordered a roasted vegetable platter and the curried lentil salad and my mouth watered, in anticipation, hoping the dishes would be inspired and raise my spirits sufficiently to forget the icy hostess who refused to seat us on the nearly empty patio.
Himself ordered the fish and chips which arrived cutely basketed, sort of meager for the price, with a surprise of deep fried asparagus and two sort of limp steak fries masquerading for chips. Work-a-day and pleasant enough but certainly not worth ordering again.
The lentil salad was o.k. Nice. Too much frissee. Too much olive oil. And way too similar in composition to the quinoa salad which came on the roasted vegetable plate, which a competent server would have noted when I ordered. The other ingredients of the plate made me nearly weep in disappointment. There were four oily red potatoes and an ear of corn and the aforementioned quinoa salad. They should call it the starch platter. There were some very plain Brussels Sprouts, nice but except for an oily unctuousness naked, even of salt.. The other green item on the purported vegetable plate was a messy glob of oil sodden scallions. A heartbreaking tragedy. I ate a few bites and then sat for ages, mocked by greasy pile of carbs but no one inquired as to our satisfaction. When the waiter asked finally if I wanted a doggie bag, I said no, and added, politely that the dish had not met my expectations. He carried my full plate to the manager who shrugged and then he returned and placed the bill, including the veggie farce in front of us. I asked if I could talk to the manager. He ambled over to our table, and grudgingly agreed to take the dish off the tab after condescendingly explaining that they buy what’s in season.
I will add that I hate those endless “They are so rude at…” threads on Chowhound. Like the Sweet Lady Jane one for crissakes… If the folks at the Filling Station had just been full of ‘tude I would have simply checked the place off the list of overpriced snooty places I had dragged my husband to. My ego is tough. I have been dissed at many a restaurant and now can report with schadenfreude that most of them are now long gone, despite my silence. The vegetable however is incapable of speaking on its own behalf and therefore I feel it is my obligation give voice and expose this travesty.
And where oh where can I get a decent vegetable plate?
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