hubby and I had dinner at Chenery Park tonight...my third or fourth time there. it is definitely not my favorite place in my extended neighborhood, but we like it on occaison on Friday nights. After a long week at work (in Oakland) it just feels good to get on the BART, and know that when I get to Glen Park, hubby will have parked the car and be waiting for me, ready to have drinks, good conversation and dinner before the short drive home...
and today was a celebration of sorts: hubby the mid-life student just finished his last final of spring term!
So anyway: Chenery Park Pluses: full bar (and they know how to make a martini); friendly, warm (if not always polished) service, and when you reserve on Open Table and ask for a certain table (I like to sit next to the rail upstairs on the third level balcony and spy on people below, and got what I asked for), they honor that request.
Food: over two of those martinis, we split a vegetable 'antipasti' plate with asparagus, olives, eggplant, pickled onions and more. Nothing fabulous, but it felt virtuous despite all the olive oil. (or maybe because of it :-)) Hubby had dungenous crab cakes special, which I would have ordered had it not had (advertised, fortunately) taragon in the cakes and in the sauce. I have an averson to taragon, but he liked it. I had a scallops, catfish and shrimp gumbo off of the regular menu. Slightly spicey and pretty good. Half bottle of Grgigh Hills Fume Blanc, which went nicely with the gumbo. In keeping with our virtuous theme we skipped dessert, but I still left feeling uncomfortably full.
which leads me to my musings: even if I had wanted dessert, I was absolutely stuffed, after splitting an app and one main each. The size of my gumbo was about twice what I expected. Hubby only had two crab cakes, but they were big and round and served with a LOT of pea sprounts. And that one app was quite large, defintely more than enough for two. Moreover, there was a large group on the mezzanine level, and during our spying we saw the servers bring them salads. They were huge! Servings of some of the other main dishes seemed huge as well.
I certainly don't remember such big portions during my last vists to Chenery Park. Is my appetite decreasing now that I have passed the 50th birthday, is my memory going, or are they just trying to attract customers by increasing the amount of food rather than the quality? (just a philosophical question, but thoughts from other Chowhounds are welcome).
oh,and by the way: no surcharge,and the place is cheaper than Incanto. mains are almost all under $20; my gumbo was $16. very reasonable for the ambiance, quality of food,and of course the guantity. So why is it that they not only don't see the need to impose a surcharge due to the living wage law, or raise prices, or at least lower the quantity?