12/9/09

If only we all had that Italian grandma ...

This has got to be one of the best-written reviews I've read in a very long time. I was laughing so hard! And yes, I did catch the Pokémon reference. Boss Man's son is a huge fan. (I enjoy a little Johto League myself ...)

We were not prepared for Sacred Chow. We really should have had a better pre-game warm up.

We live in California: we are used to leaving a place with our wallets kicked and stripped. There was no way we could have braced ourselves for the portions and experience here.

Wanting to try as much as possible from their extensive menu, we started with two draft beers (both delicious and well worth the $6 per topped up pint), followed by a trio of tapas, and a half-hero/soup combo.

Here is where the belly beat-down begins.

The "half" hero arrives -nearly 8 inches long, and filled with tempeh, kraut and their homemade reuben dressing (which took an original liberty with a more tomatoe-y taste. A nice diversion from the norm.). It was massive. And magnificent. I shudder to think at the damage a whole one would do. At our request, we were also gifted with the Chow slaw and spicy pickles (normally not with the combo, but we had to Pokemon it...catch 'em all?...beuller?... come on, lads, pop culture! keep with me...). The slaw was dressed with nutty, toasted sesame oil, and paired nicely with the briskly spicy mixed pickled veg.

Paird with the hefty hero was a full-on bowl of soup -not some sissy cup. A deep pool of homey white beens, greens, and thick broth. It was what I would want my Italian grandmother to make...if I had an Italian grandmother.

Then, the tapas trio comes.

Now, tapas, to us Californios...are small plates. Little bites. A few morsels. Tastes of this-and-that. At 3-for-$15, I ordered the Root Vegetable Latkes with Indonesian Date Butter, Orange Molasses BBQ Seitan, and the special, cornmeal crusted brussels sprouts.

Those things were not small. Not little. Not bite-sized...none of that. They were each enough to make a meal of...and I am truly ashamed that after tasting each...I finished them all. I really mean it. I cry. They were each delicious -and different than I expected. Apart from portion size, the latkes were earthy and not greasy-fried (a plus to me), the seitan was sweet and sweeter still with the caramelized onions atop the massive pile of wheat-meat (pair with Chow slaw to balance the sweetness. Trust.), and the brussels were perfectly tender, with a good smattering of crispy bits from the cornmeal coating.

Then the service. The helpful young man who happily gave us all the time in the world to order, helped with directions, and whose pleasant mood kept the vibe relaxed and welcoming.

Regrets include: not being able to order a vanilla stout float, any of the sweets, or brunch items (which I saw..and were also RIDIC in portion). Oh, and then, the marathon of eating. Not saying when. Crying uncle. Crumbling under the temptation.

How it hurts to think of it. I blame that Italian grandmother who pinched my cheek and smacked the back of my head when I did not finish my food...

Oh, wait a minute...I forgot..
I can't wait to show Boss Man the review.

B.T.W., Boss Man had a "real"Jewish grandma who used to prepare soup akin to an Italian grandma, the thick broth in the above soup comes from his memory of her warm and nurturing soups. We should all be so lucky. Well we are, we have Sacred Chow!

UPDATE: Showed Boss Man the review. He seemed pleased. :)
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