Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eating Out Rogue Festival

Our own internationally famous Rogue Festival is about to kick off this Thursday.  And we're doing our part by make sure to sleaze our way into the booths and tables of the unsuspecting Tower eating establishments to leave them in complete disarray.  Covered and smothered in a film of crumbs and mysterious viscous fluids.

For the performers and volunteers of the festival, the work has already begun.  The setting up of venues, the plastering of flyers, online promotion blitzes.  Final rehearsals, tweaking costumes and art projects and itineraries of which shows are a must-see.  And speaking of a show that you simply must see, I must shamelessly plug and pander to friend of the blog Captain Scurvy's Apocalypse Hoedown Revival

Vaudevillian humor and miracle alchemical healings.  Chills!  Thrills!  And absolute abject terror!  Guaranteed to make Bob Hope roll in his grave every time you see it!  So go see it!

Pandering over.  Back to our regularly scheduled snark.  We kick off Eating Out Rogue Festival by doing what we do best.  Getting drunk!  So we're off to the The Sequoia Brewing Company for some beers and some snacks.

Sequoia is a more recent incarnation of the beloved Butterfield's brewpub.  As I understand it, along with the business, Sequoia also bought Butterfield's recipes.  I was always a fan of the tower dark, but I'm more in a refreshing beer kind of mood.  So I order their German kolsh, called the Sequoia Gold.  It's pretty damn good!  It's got the lightness of a pilsner, but the bitterness is mellowed to a mild afternote.  The flavor is almost sweet, just teasing that line from the dark Munich malt.  I loved it and will certainly wind up regretting drinking plenty more.

The last 2 minutes of the USA vs. Canada hockey match was on, so we were decidedly distracted during the ordering process as we cheered the tying goal.  Poor thing, she dealt with our sophomoric bellowing in stride.  Our group ordered: potato skins, chicken fried steak, green salad, sausage plate appetizer (a re-tread of a Butterfield's favorite) and garlic fries. 

The food arrived in good time.  Especially given how busy it was on a Sunday afternoon.  The potato skins appeared fairly average.  Not exactly artful presentation, but they had fairly generous toppings.  The chicken fried steak didn't really appear to be anything special.  By appearance alone it seemed to be a pre-formed and breaded frozen patty tossed in a fryer.  However the sweet potato fries that came with it were quite good.  They come with a rather tasty aioli.  The salad was salad.  Pre-mix with bottled dressing, croutons and a few raisins.  Nothing to write home about, but adequate.

Now we come to my old favorite.  Once upon a time, this plate introduced me to amazing and wonderful sausages I had never tried.  And it allowed me to try each as an individual, similar to a cheese platter or beer sampler.  Not any more.  What I got was a red, greasey mess of muddled flavors.  The plate is supposed to come with andouille, italian and bratwurst sausages.  With all the brick colored grease, it's obvious that they've thrown all of the sliced sausages in to fry together with the onions and jalepenos.  Sadly, this results in a poorly muddled mess that, while edible, does nothing to enhance the enjoyment of a good sausage.  The fries were all right, with a dusting of parmesan and parsley, though lacking in any real garlic flavor.  I'll address the real outrage next.

Prices!  Oh my god!  This is the most lopsided menu I have ever seen in my life!  Eight dollars for french fries?  NINE for fried pickles?!?  What planet are we on, where two of the cheapest ingredients around can run you just as much as an entree?  It's fucking potatoes and pickles!!!  A burger is a buck fifty more and it COMES WITH FRIES!  I'll concede that the food is edible, even tasty in some instances.  But if I'm paying entree prices for some damn french fries there had better be some sort of magical theater or art applied to them.  Send out a crying mime to weep over my empty wallet.  Instead of ranch, send them out with some lidocaine booty butter lubricant so we don't need butt doughnuts to sit down after we get the check.  Tickle my no-no's!  Something!

All in all, Sequoia is a fine brewery that still serves cold and tasty beer.  As a restaurant though, they need to make a decision to smarten up their menu as well as their presentation.  The sausages were a mess, the chicken fried steak was an embarassment and the price gouging for seasoned fries was outright astounding.  If you're peckish, their chips and salsa are only two bucks.  Is nothing complimentary any more?  Sheesh!  The dinner menu appears a little more on the reasonable side, but the appetizers just aren't worth what you pay.  So, you might want to toast your friends on a full stomach.