Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The British are coming... in the form of Commonwealth Gastropub

Jamie Leeds (the woman behind Hank's Oyter Bar and now the brand new Commonwealth Gastropub) has certainly accomplished her goal of a neighborhood pub. The place was so packed at the soft opening that Erin and I went to last Wednesday, that I would have sworn the whole neighborhood was indeed in attendance. I even ran into 3 people that I knew, which never happens to me. I am nowhere close to cool enough to be one of those people with acquaintances around every bend, but I guess the Gastropub is just one of those places where everyone knows your name.

The downside of this, though, was that the service was slow and the staff seemed completely frazzled, but I will give our bartender and the (very cute) host their credit. They were trying their best to keep up with everything, and no matter how crazy it got and how many people were asking for something (aka me asking for beer samples because I am indecisive and annoying), they remained patient and more pleasant than I would have if the situation was reversed. Bonus points: once we finally got our order in, the food came out at a reasonable pace and all together. I was pretty starved so this was good news. If the food had come out slowly in bits and pieces like it did when we went to Sticky Rice right after it opened, I would have probably eaten Erin's left arm off.

As for how all the food tasted? Well definitely an improvement from Erin's left arm, but not the best food ever. I had the beef and pork "pasty" (silly British word for pot pie type thing). Erin had the fish and chips, and we split the "bubble and squeak" (silly British term for potato, carrot, and cabbage-y cake thing... No clue why they call it bubble and squeak. Neither it nor us bubbled or squeaked.) It was all good, but not great. Basically it tasted exactly like what I remembered British pub food tasting like. The only thing that wowed me was their tiny side salad. I am normally not into the foliage that comes on the sides of my plates, but serendipitously I munched on it that night. Whatever they dressed it with was amazing. If I went back, I'd get a salad with that dressing instead of another "pasty" (and something other than a bubble and squeak... maybe something with a less ridiculous name).

Those mashed up looking green things on the side of my plate are actually the really really delicious salad.

Also if you are into taking a bunch of shots that you are probably going to regret, Gastropub appears to be able accommodate that. Erin and I had one of them all... haha noooo. We only had the bottom row.

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