Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A tale of two restaurants

Last Friday we returned to Grilla Bites on Cohasset and enjoyed a pleasant “birthday” meal. Since it was my birthday, I decided to splurge with the Organic Bison Rib Eye steak. (Is bison ever, not organic?) Anyway, the meal included fresh sautéed vegetables and garlic mash potatoes. We sat outside near the fountain and enjoyed the splashing sounds that masked any noise from street traffic. The restaurant is located so far from the street; there is very little noise anyway. The bison was delicious as were the vegetables. The garlic mashed potatoes were smooth and creamy…but where was the garlic? All in all, a good meal and the tab for the steak was $19.

On a different note, we tried the newest restaurant in Orland last night; the Farwood Bar and Grill. First, the surroundings. The building immediately to the south is condemned and has a large sign on it to indicate that it shouldn’t be occupied. Parking for the new restaurant was absent as the parking lot hasn’t been paved yet. So far, not so good. We were greeted courteously and shown to the table that had been reserved for our party of 5. Oops! That was going to be a tough fit. So we were shown to another, near the front of the restaurant. As it turned out, the table would fit two diners nicely; so why were there 4 chairs? And 5 diners make for a very crowded dinner. And since they hadn’t included window shades in the design, the two of us had to squint or shade our eyes with the menus. We ordered and I had a small sirloin, some vegetables and a baked potato, while Laurae had Mahi Mahi. (Dorado) We struggled to enjoy the appetizers which had taken up all available table space. Dinner arrived after a reasonable wait and it was fine. Except for the vegetables, which were al dente…but cold. The size of the sirloin was right; maybe 6 oz? Laurae said the fish was dry, a symptom of overcooking.

Although the restaurant is lovely to look at; the back bar is magnificent! There are too many failings for us to try it again this year. The place is extremely noisy; as there are no soft surfaces anywhere and the bar is separated from the diners by a low wall. Maybe, after they have had some time to correct things, we might try it again. But, with the $$$ dollars that they have invested in the place, they may not make it till next year.

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