Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Disappointing lunch at Steelhead Diner

When I reviewed this upscale diner at the Pike Place Market a few months ago, I found a lot to like. The chef grew up in Louisiana, and cooked in New Orleans, the most flavorful city in the country, so it was surprising that his gumbo and greens struck the right notes.

But yesterday, tried the new halibut preparation and it was a disaster. First, the price: $22 for a four-ounce portion. Which was overcooked and dry. There were two slices of nice summer tomatoes on top, a few slices of cukes and a sauce that was described as having watermelon as the featured ingredient. Didn't taste that. Did taste the raw garlic for hours afterwards. Major bummer.

Other disappointments: the salmon rillette I had enjoyed before, pinwheels of delicate salmon and cream cheese had been turned into salmon salad, not my favorite texture. Fried corn was on the cob, drowing in butter. Peaches on the dessert were sweet, but underripe and hard. The pecan pie filling was too heavy on the Karo. The server never brought bread. The diner's version of a po'boy was tasty, but was light on the remoulade and had pickles on it. I've been spoiled by the sandwiches down South, and I don't ever remember pickles on a po'boy.

The tab for lunch for two, no drinks: $70-something.

Didn't see the chef in the kitchen, but did spot one of the cooks eating something. Isn't there a rule against chowing in full view of the dining room?

Still, I like the energy in the room, and the chef/owners dedication to some good causes. There was a card on the table explaining the need to save the region's steelhead population.


Carole H said...

Leslie, do you consider a Cuban sandwich a po' boy? If so, they have pickles on them.

Whining and Dining said...

I think of a Cuban as more of a pressed sandwich, more like a panino. And I want one right about now. Sure wish I could pop into Soul Fish!