Sunday, August 2, 2009

Prairie Ink - food that tries to be more than it is...

Hi ya'all,
So, it has been a while since I have written anything, and I think I have found some motivation to catch up now. Guess I was going through a bit of a funk, not personal, but a foodie funk. After a glorious trip to the Brickworks Market this weekend (good food, good friends,and fab local produce), I think I have found my motivation again. Summer seems to have showed her head for a bit, so these things make me happy.

So without further ado, here is a recent experience I had at the Shoppes at Don Mills at the newly-ish opened McNally Robinson bookstores Cafe dubbed Prairie Ink. I believe most of us read a certain food critics trashing of this establishment for its horrendous service, and mediocre food, giving it an unprecedented 0 stars. I would not be so unkind.

The service is bad, and the food is nothing special, but we did enjoy our time there, despite these things. I will preface all of this by saying that I do know the Chef, but that does not skew my judgments contained within. I have eaten at every establishment that he has cooked at, and by far this was not his best effort, I think this is a step down in terms of cuisine, but he is earning his stripes and this is a good opportunity for him. I know he can do better.

To continue, one sunny afternoon 3 cousins ventured out to the Shoppes to check out the buzz, and were slightly less than impressed. It is a nice place, but I will say that im not rushing back to that area of the city any time soon. McEwans was interesting, and somewhat impressive, but for those prices I would go to Pusateris or Whole Foods, and skip the schlep to pay that money. As far as shopping goes there werent any stores that I would rush back to, and my female cousin did enjoy herself more than the boys did. This being said we are all shoppers, and I would prefer Bloor or Queen any day.

For the sake of condensing my thoughts, and get a few more blog entries done today, I am going to review in a list form (besides I really like lists in an OCD kind of way).
1. The decor is unimpressive, bland.

2. The hostess was wearing a silly looking Lulu Lemon headband. Major fail. She was pleasent however.

3. The patio is quite lovely. Nice tables and chairs. Good view of the square, and the action.

4. Server was very pleasant and tried her best to be attentive, but I believe she is new and was trying a bit too hard. Also, she disappeared for quite a while after our food came.

5. Food:

Pulled Pork on Multigrain, fries.
Not awful, but not stellar, the bread was decent and not soggy, some roasted peppers added into the mix, and not over saucy. Would not recommend unless you like mediocrity. Fries were good. Not great. Overall I give it a 2.5/5.

Mac and Cheese
Hot, cheesy, and a decent crust on the top. This was shared by the three of us as a starter and by far was the winner. Again not "wow" but good enough, we were very hungry. 3/5.

Duck Breast, with a Blueberry Sauce on Pureed Cauliflower
This was the looser of the trip, good in theory, and recommended by Chef, but failed miserably. Over cooked, rubbery meat, and the sauce lacked a certain something. Mash was bland. 1/5.

Dessert was good but pictures got lost in a recent migration from one blackberry to another so sadly, I cannot post. A good Key Lime Pie served in a ramekin, was a nice balance of sweet and tart. We had something else, I cannot remember what it was. Obviously not memorable.

If you are at the Shoppes and ned a snack and a drink I would say that you might pop in, but choose carefully as the menu seems to be very hit and miss. Note to Chef "you are growing with every move you make, and will be a great chef, one day. I love your food, but dont try to hard. Simple is best IMO." When I am next up there, if ever, I will try Linda, the menu looked great. But then again Salad King is much closer, so why schlep when you dont have to?

Peace, Love, and Ice Cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment