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Chef Tony Kurzinski; Feedback Lounge's Second Chance

seriousaboutfood | Dec 2, 2009 05:12 PM

Okay, so this is how the night played out...

I've heard quite a bit of buzz lately about the Feedback Lounge in West Seattle and I have to admit that my curiosity was aroused, as I have not been back since I was served a charbroiled hockey puck which was being passed off as a cheeseburger their opening week several months ago. The fact that this place even advertised food was enough to knock the wind out of me... and in hindsight I am thankful for that as it helped to dislodge the piece of burnt rubber from my throat. I would've written a review on it, but several others had already beaten me to the punch so I figured why waste anymore of my time on this place than I already had.

But, as one who frequents the West Seattle bar and restaurant scene I keep hearing things about the Feedback Lounge and their new menu (which I couldn't have cared less about until I heard they also have a new chef) even from servers and bartenders at other establishments. It is, in all honesty, the buzz at the moment. So, disregarding everything that I had previously held on to as truth I decided to venture in. What I found was pleasantly surprising.

I sat at the bar and the conversation of a few others revolved around none other than the cheeseburger. Someone had ordered it and others were warning this man of impending doom. I would've gladly jumped in on the bashing, except that I was there for the exact same reason. I would wait. I knew it was only a matter of minutes before I too ordered a cheeseburger and would make the decision to either sing the praises of Feedback's food or make it my life's mission to awaken the masses and laugh at the downfall of a struggling bar that talks a great game and who seems to really truly believe they could be as amazing as they claim to be but, unfortunately, they just can't seem to get it right. What they don't understand is that while trying to carve out a niche you cannot expect the public to suffer through the growing pains with you. EIther bring it or don't. Just don't string the public along with one epic fail after the next with a few glimmers of hope in-between. This has been the general consensus of West Seattle, which is unfortunate as West Seattle tends to really stand behind their own. But, West Seattle is also honest.

Shortly after I ordered my burger the fella next to me received his. Not only did this look like a mouthwatering mountain of goodness which I was highly impressed with, just on presentation alone, but it was clear that something had changed for the better. I guess there has never been a problem with their drinks but I don't care about that. I will drink whatever wherever I am at. But food, I will go out of my way for food. The burger-bashers were also silenced as we all awaited the official word... and I assume he enjoyed it as much I enjoyed mine as I played catch-up. His official word never came after the first bite as he did not pause long enough to even breathe.

Nor did I.

This thing was delicious. Now, I'm not a food critic nor am I a "foodie". But I do enjoy good food, and this was good. Really good. Quite possibly one of the best burgers I've ever had. I would love to give you more than that but there are no words. I then ordered the garlic-mango prawns off of their happy hour menu which were also delicious. I asked if I could look at their dinner menu and that also looks like they have something going for them. It has a few signature dishes I'm told, and a couple of classics which fit perfectly with the type of place they are. Chicago Dogs (no special orders allowed and I can appreciate the integrity) which the bashers were pleased with. Cuban sandwich. Pulled pork po' boys, and alot of original recipes from the chef who leans more toward the cajun side of things. The food here has definitely been turned up several notches. I can only imagine what the rest of it tastes like, but, judging by the seriousness of the burger I can't see them missing the mark on the other food.

I will go back. I'm giving it 3 stars based on the food alone. The ambiance still needs work. The servers are not quite what you'd expect from a Rocker Bar. I mean, groupies are great but if that's the look they're going for they should focus on up-to-date hotness rather than a "where are they now?" approach. And the music is schizophrenic. I asked about the music and was told that alot of work goes into the playlists. I couldn't tell. I'm not a fan of trying to figure out what Boy George is saying on a DVD with no volume while the playlist switches back and forth between Motley Crew, Rush and Kid Rock (?). Meanwhile there is an Alice in Chains display in a showcase but no Alice in Chains playing from what I could hear. They should invest in satellite radio. I left confused... but I did leave full.

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