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Downhill Alert: Oak City

Dee Glaze | Sep 27, 2004 01:33 AM

My companion and I have been to Oak City on a good number of occasions, enjoying the wonderful, rich mac and cheese, good fish, and interesting wine list. Last Thursday, our visit was a disappointment.

We ordered the beet salad, which is usually brightly colored and flavorful. When it was delivered, the salad greens were so dark it was clear they were in the initial sages of decay. The beets were dull, dark red, and overcooked so much that they were mushy in the mouth. Gone were the beets of all other shades.

After one bite to ensure the dish tasted as bad as it looked, we sent it back. We discussed that it could be that beets were at the end of the season, but if this was the case, the salad should be stricken from the menu. The ribs we ordered in place of the salad were flavorful and delicious, falling off the bone.

My companion ordered a burger, which was OK, but accompanied by fries that were so overcooked and dry they practically crumbled to dust. We gave them back to our waiter to get them off the table. We didn't want to deal with sending them back for another batch.

Eventually the chef came over to visit our table. She told us that she had tasted the salad and the fries and that she didn't taste anything wrong with them. In fact, she was going for crisp, matchstick style fries. We supressed the urge to tell her she succeeded -- so well in fact, they were just like cardboard minus the sulfur end. We were incredulous that the chef made the trip over not to apologize, but to defend the dishes. My companion graciously suggested that perhaps we just had different tastes.

As we were leaving, a couple at a neighboring table shared their shock at the gumption of the chef and what she had said.

Maybe we'll be back when they change chefs or when the current one has an attitude adjustment.

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