Thanks for your tips yesterday about clothing and appropriate times for dinner at Palena Cafe. We went last night at about 6:45 and had no problem getting a table.
There was only one waiter for the cafe area which was alright in the beginning but as the meal wore on, he was a bit scattered. I will say this: it was a nice touch that he let us know the chicken would take 40 minutes and asked if we wanted our fry plate before or with the meal. We opted for with the meal and asked for bread.
The bread was delicious, a wheat/sourdough (I think) and a white, both crusty and warm. We tried to hold off on too much to save room for the chicken. After about 40 minutes, out they came, two perfectly golden half-chickens, and a plate of fries. My chicken was outstanding with a crispy skin and a great brined flavor. Really juicy. My boyfriend's wasn't as great, with spots of blood still inside. I don't mind that too much but he does so it put a bit of a damper on things.
The fry plate...the lemons were unbelievable. I've never tasted anything like that before in my life, crispy, sweet, pucker-inducing. I could have eaten a plate of those. The onion rings were good as well. I'm not normally a fan of thick onion rings because the onions tend to be too raw inside the crust but these were perfect. The fries and the dauphinoise potatoes were another story. The fries were limp and lukewarm, and a darker brown than fries I saw at other tables later on, which led me to believe they had been re-heated rather than freshly fried. The dauphinoise potatoes were so-so. Some were crispy, some were doughy and greasy. Plus, everything was way too salty. I'm a salt person but it was too much for even me.
So there you have it, half good, half eh. Yes, we could have sent the chicken back and we could have sent the fries back but didn't. Unless something is really egregious, like my burger comes well done when I ordered it rare, I tend to just go with the flow. Oh well. This won't stop me from going back...the burger looked great, as did the hot dog. Everyone else seemed thrilled with their food and I'll go back to try again.