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A Not So Prime Evening at Taylor’s

Tusc | Dec 20, 200404:36 PM

We went to Taylor’s on 8th Street this weekend for dinner, and I have to tell you it was not a wonderful evening out.

The adventure began when we pulled into the parking lot and saw the attendant yelling at a customer for parking two spaces past where he was directed. The customer began yelling back, which is always a nice way to begin a dining experience.

We were seated promptly and the staff was courteous. But we asked our waiter to expedite our 6 year old’s order of fish and chips; unfortunately she got it 45 minutes later, which did not sit well with her. That both the fish and chips were completely inedible added to the bad feeling. I’m a guy who regularly cleans his plate and even I could not get more than 1 bite of either down. It was incredibly dry, burned black on one side, and I think it may have been cooked quickly and then placed under a heat lamp for a long time. Clearly, there are few french fries I’ve encountered that I simply couldn’t consume, but these were really bad.

I’ve been reading how others on the board have been disappointed with the Culotte steak, and I guess I should have listened, but it’s so unusual a cut I decided to try it for the experience. Having done so, I see little reason to try it again. It had an interesting (read: gamey) taste, but it was a rather tough piece of meat, and though I ordered it medium rare, it came closer to medium at best. And while the taste of the Culotte was “different,” I would not describe it as “better.”

To be fair, others in my party had the Ribeye and the New York Strip, and the reports (and brief tastes) I had seemed like they were pretty good. And for the price – which included salad and two sides – was pretty reasonable. The Molley salad was good, a variation of the iceberg wedge with bleu cheese, the spinach and baked potato were both fine as well. The desserts were barely average; in my opinion there is no reason to serve sub-standard chocolate cake. The waiter also forgot a couple of desserts but at that point, and after two hours of being there, we were all more than ready to go home.

So overall this was not the best dining experience I’ve ever had, and it’s too bad because I really wanted to like this place. It has that old fashioned 1940s charm, the Raymond Chandler-like feel to the place, and you could easily see the Rat Pack calling this spot home. But the whole experience left me thinking that the only reason to go back here would be if I lived in the neighborhood, parked on the street, ordered something other than the Culotte house special, avoided dessert, and brought Chicken McNuggets for my daughter.

Which is to say I guess, there’s not much reason to go back, especially since there are other places around town such as the Sherman Room, Billingsley’s, the Arsenal, etc. which can provide the same atmosphere, and a shorter drive.


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