hearing at Judge Vardigan's chambers
Well I had been meaning
to chow down at Chow for quite some time. Since Judge V. moved around
the corner, I finally got a good excuse. As did he, apparently, since
he seems to eat two out of three of his daily meals there. But I'll tell
you what, Chow has some serious chow know-how.
They sure as hell
know how to whip up a tasty appetizer, like the mushroom-goat-cheese-toast
thing we got. Hoo wee! Some hunks of French bread with what I guess was
garlic and olive oil on them, melted blobs of goat cheese, all smothered
with three kinds of exotic sauteed mushrooms. Good stuff. Had to eat it
with forks and knives due to the mound of 'shrooms.
For the main course
I chose the 1/2 grilled Sonoma chicken with lemon, herbs and garlicky
mashed potatoes. Sounds good, huh? Well it was. Big slab of a bird, all
browned and grilled and herby. One thing I seriously appreciated about
this bird was its lack of bones. That is to say, all the bones had been
removed, save the "drumstick bone." Nice! Like having a big chicken steak.
And, it was grilled to perfection, crispy-charry outside, tender-juicy
inside. All lemon-herb-garlic infused from top to bottom. Excellent. Beside
that was a pile of "garlicky mashed potatoes" that were decent. They were
garlicky, but perhaps a bit dry. The only other thing I recall on the
plate was a hunk of cranberries, or cranberry sauce, like from Thanksgiving.
Frankly, I hate that crap and barely tasted it.
Did I mention that
the plate cost $9.50? A bargain, at that price, for a big perfectly grilled
half-chicken and mashed. And if you like cranberries you'll be in heaven.
They've got a big, varied menu with dishes from various cuisines, and
plenty of American-style rib-sticking food, so pretty much everyone can
find something they want.
Chow now, brown cow.
Even if you're not a brown cow, check it out.
I'd already glowingly ExhiBited Chow a while
back, so my feelings on the restaurant were pretty well-established. And
now that I live around the corner from it, they keep getting reinforced
the (Much Kinder Than Ty) Cobb Salad roughly eight times since moving
just a few weeks prior, prompting special counsel and new/old roommate
Ask Andy to threaten contempt of court if I ordered it for this review.
So I did not. With a trembling lip, while silently asking Cobb for forgiveness,
I called for the Thai noodles ($8.95), a nice soupy bowl bursting with
steak and chicken. By the bottom of it, as I eagerly sopped up the remains
with my bread, I was relieved to know I could indeed, from that point
forward, happily order things at Chow that aren't the Cobb.
McC has thoroughly described the toasty appetizer, but I'll give it another
shout. Sauteed mushrooms are always fine by me, and they triple the pleasure
with three different kinds. You'll be savoring the stray 'shrooms that
fall from the goat cheesed bread.
chocolate milkshake is my only complaint. I've had a good one there before,
but this one was not so sturdy. And they don't give you any steel extras.
gives you very good füd at very reasonable prices. You may have to
wait -- that's okay. Enjoy a drink out back at the Pilsner next door and
they'll grab you when the table's ready. A hint: They almost always overestimate
the time you'll have to wait.
Judge Vardigan brought
us to this spot, right around the corner from his new digs. If he owes
you money, hang around awhile and he may just hop on by. Chow is true
to its motto or slogan or whatever is written below their name on the
menu. They have food, drink and a good-time taste I can relate to. Everything
I tried, I liked.
We started with an
appetizer of "Fall mushrooms and goat cheese on grilled toast" ($5.75).
I'm not a big fan of the mushroom but they don't frighten me either. The
toast was pretty well smothered in 'em, with a layer of cheese securing
the 'shrooms in place on the crunchy toasted bread, and adding some nice
flavor and creamy texture. Since I'm no fanatic of the mushroom, when
the waiter told me the types used Chanterelle, Crimini, and Oyster
I had no idea what to make of it. Altogether the combination made
for one fine way to start of the meal off.
Judge V. had been
raving about and was actually banned by a roommate from ordering
the Cobb Salad. I guess he just can't get enough of it. Well I
just had to give it a try and flaunt it under his yearning eye. It was
incredible with the lettuce, chicken breast, bacon, avocado, blue cheese,
tomatoes and egg. Sound good? Well, it is. Mix it all up with some Mayo
type dressing and you have a meal on your plate. I went for the half order($4.50),
knowing I had more chow coming. I definitely think that a full Cobb salad
($7.95) would do you right. One thing though: If your not into creamy
dressing steer clear or ask the friendly waiter what they can do about
Next I enjoyed Rose's
Sunday meatball sandwich, served only on Sunday of course. It's topped
with arugula and melted mozzarella. What a flavor treat on a freshly baked
(I do believe) sorta flat bread. As meatball sandwiches go this is tops
and don't forget the delicious thin cut fries that go with it, oh yea.
I hear it's often crowded at Chow and our visit was no exception. We only
had to wait about ten minutes though and they encourage you to pop next
door for a drink. They'll zip on over when your table is ready, but will
you be ready for it? The folks are friendly and seem more than happy to
discuss the food and its preparation. Both Judge T. and Judge V. seemed
to enjoy their meals but I'll stop rambling and let them tell you more.