I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holding my PubBelly...

I really don't want to be blogging right now.

I really don't.

I've just finished two full dinners. And I'm drunk.

But that's because the first dinner left me... wanting.

To quote Monica, "We put the "full" in awful. 2 dinners for the price of...2. Dangit." ~ Stolen from Facebook.



I was supposed to go there with Colin from Eat It, Miami, but we're going to go bowling tomorrow at Lucky Strike, and he is quick to wear on my nerves (KIDDING! I could hang out with him FOREVER! [Call me!]) and so I didn't want to ruin tomorrow...

So Monica and I went to PubBelly tonight.



I want to like the restaurant... but the truth is... I'll probably never go back. Maybe the space is cursed. Shiso, which used to be there... I never tried their food. But I did drink many of their sake drinks, which were always underwhelming... but which would probably leave me less hungover than the delicious sparkling rose we enjoyed tonight at Pubbelly.

I should love PubBelly, as it seems to revolve, primarily, around pork belly, which, when done right, is the most magical ingredient, EVER. Because it's fatty and salty and smoky and rich and unctuous, and wonderful.

We had the McBelly (porkbelly), which tastes exactly like a dish at Sakaya and the pork buns at Gigi's, in an unfortunate way. I'm tired of pork belly in five-spice powder with a cucumber kimchi pickle, and... barbecue sauce? Whatever that flavor-combination is - I'm over it. That was the second thing we had after an order of Brussels sprouts carbonara, that came with a sous vide duck egg.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm not a huge fan of uncooked eggs. They skeeve me out, but if it's just a quail egg, I can deal. A duck egg, however, which seems to be about as large, if not slightly smaller than a chicken egg? is a different story. I do NOT want to crack one of those into my food and stir. It is not exactly what I want to mix, gently poached, into Brussels sprouts and bacon. I had two bites, before pronouncing that dish inedible.

We also got the pan con tomate, which was bread rubbed with tomato. This was the highlight of the meal (toast + tomato), and our waiter managed to upsell us, making a $2 dish into a $12 dish. Good for him. (We added Serrano ham. Mmmm. Except, it came with black bean... mustard? That was a fail.)

We figured we should fail big or go home on our last course, so we got some...yaki udon noodles that... were mushroomy... and covered in corn fungus... we were warned by the waiter that the dish was "earthy," ... and we didn't listen.

They. were. awful. Like worms in dirt. Monica didn't even put a chopstick-full into her mouth before spitting them back on the plate (they were removed by our loquacious waiter and canceled from the bill).

It grieves me to say that I won't be going back to this place; it was pretty expensive for food that... missed the mark.

There are a lot of pan-whatever restaurants opening these days, and either I don't have the palate for it, or they're a bad idea. I like to think that generally, as I go to a restaurant and get drunk before eating, I should love EVERYTHING I eat, so when I don't, it's a mark that the place isn't that wonderful.

I love the concept of PubBelly. I love that it's a local restaurant. What I don't love is that everything comes off... overwrought. As Monica said, there was "too much going on." She noted that Sugarcane does that Pubbelly is trying to do, and does it well, but that PubBelly... lacked.

I agree with her.

I'm sorry, Colin. I'm not going back with you. Tell me how you liked it. Hopefully they'll change the menu... and... yeah. Maybe when they change the menu, I'll try it again. After we sent back the dirt-worm noodles, we scoured the menu to try to find something else to eat and we couldn't justify ordering anything else.

So we paid the bill, tipped our waiter well (he talked too much, but was a sweet guy) and... went to Burger and Beer Joint... to finish dinner -- two beers, fried pickles, sliders, and a fried Twinkie.

Go ahead and judge... but I knows what I likes. And I likes B&BJ.


Anonymous lauren said...

disappointed. i thought it was a-mazing. maybe you went on an off night?

9:24 PM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

Sometimes the food descriptions sound so random-like the chef said "let's mix this with that and see what happens" and that's all the thought that goes into it. Or maybe "Anthony Bourdain said something about corn fungus, let's try that with noodles" I made a birthday confection for my kids when they were little, called Worms n Dirt...made me think of that.
Anyway. I'm having lunch today at Lady&Sons...even tho you aren't here.

7:20 AM

Blogger Colin said...

Great post, SB. You're far more talented as a writer than a bowler. Zing!

I contend that PubBelly is popular because of it's adorable name and logo. If they don't sell t-shirts with that pig face thing, I don't know what to say. They're leaving slop in the trough.

10:28 AM

Blogger Colin said...

By the way, I think there should be a restaurant called Porqueria or maybe Porkeria. They could do pig stuff but it would have to be really good lest patrons exclaim "cual es esta porqueria?!"

10:37 AM


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