Tuesday, January 25, 2011
San Diego, dat you? A field trip to Craft & Commerce
The buzz about this restaurant had me feeling so not cool enough to go.
On our precious date nights, we don't want a scene and we certainly don't need attitude or pretention. But the menu was deliciously similar to Freemans Restaurant in NYC, and they have cornmeal fried pickles for gosh sakes (a favorite at this local spot, but you have to pick through the other veg to find the pickles)!
The are-we-cool-enough factor was compounded when we pulled up and a private stretch limo was at the door. Then I was like, are we mogul enough?
Decked out in my mostly-thrifted outfit (rockin the boots!) I faltered for a second, then smacked my self-esteem upside the head (I have to do this a lot) and decided that nothing is out of my league. I make my own league and my league wants pickles!
A cute boy in pork-pie hat and suspenders greeted us (sweetly...oh darling shy hipster boys!)
I think the interior is meant to be "rustic/industrial speakeasy". There are tiny Old West oil lamps(the kind you would use to go out to the barn and check on the horses 150 years ago) as lighting on the rough-hewn tables.
The waitresses all wear suspenders, too, and cute little tooled-leather Western purses (maybe for cash and what-not?)
Our waitress was gorgeous and funny, and we kept teasing her by asking for "more ketchup and more vodka, please"...they don't serve it (although they have burgers and fries on the menu, this rule is straight out of the hipster handbook, which we are, thanks to my tireless research, familiar with). They won't serve vodka since it wasn't available during Prohibition. Or coffee, but this is one they're working on. Maybe they'll really get into the spirit of things and make cowboy coffee over an open fire...
We bonded with the couple next to us after, over the course of their meal, they attempted to order all three of these items and were sweetly denied by the waitress. I finally couldn't suppress my laughter, and we ended up in a conversation that lasted through dinner and kept us there ordering more rounds of drinks so that we could keep talking.
By the time we were leaving, it had most definitely become a "scene". But in our little dark corner of the Old West we parted as with old friends, full of good honest food and warming ale. And pickles...I'll be back.
What we ordered:
Devils on Horseback (which included requisite dates but also asparagus and blue cheese apples!)
Brisket Sandwich with onion jam (OMG)
"Fried" Chicken (don't expect nasty grease puddles-this was likely brined and lightly oven fried and fabulous)
Delirium Tremens (besides loving the name, it was a gorgeous, smooth carmelly ale)
Allagash Curieux (a slightly more bitter drink for the huz)