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May. 9th, 2010

So, the kimchee came out rather more like hot pickled cabbage than a kimchee. It smelled right, quite deeply pungent and rich in garlic and ginger. The flavour, unfortunately enough, wasn't nearly as rich. Will be trying the cooked method for this next time around. That said, the hot pickled cabbage is quite tasty. I'd originally thought I under-salted the cabbage, but it was still just a bit too salty for my tastes. I've been thinly slicing the hot pickle for garnish or to throw in various things of cookery all week. They went into rice balls I made tonight for tomorrow's breakfast.

You may have noticed I haven't said much about food I've found lately. This is largely because I hadn't found any food I thought was worth reporting about, until a chance walk into Bruno's this last Friday. For the past couple of years of living in this neighbourhood, Bruno's was an upmarket, somewhat shady bar. On Friday, we were starving and giving the long lines outside most of the restaurants in our neighbourhood the hairy eyeball, and pretty much just looking for the first place close by we could duck into when we encountered the sign outside Bruno's that said, "Tasty Eats!" Sometime since November, that suspicious-looking bar with lines of hipsters out the door had changed hands, and was now serving respectable meals. A glance at the menu told us they had etouffee and battered, deep fried okra, and that was good enough for us. It turned out the menu inside was slightly different from what they had tacked to the wall, but it was still all tasty. Seth got a mac and cheese appetizer, which confused me -- mac and cheese? As an appetizer? I got the hush puppies. Hush, you. Menu's all good Southern food, by the way, oyster po' boys and delicious braised meats flavoured with Cajun.

When the mac and cheese came, it was good. It had a creamy cheese sauce that wasn't too salty or too strong, sprinkled with the perfect amount of crunchy panko. Finally, I understood what Americans meant by mac and cheese. My hush puppies were also very good. Crsip on the outside, chewy on the inside, served with a vaguely citrusy butter that tasted like it had a hint of sweet chilli sauce mixed in. For entrees, Seth got the oyster po' boy and I got a smoked beef brisket pot roast with spicy grits on the side. I like grits, I'm told that's a little odd, but I like the texture of soft, plumped cornmeal. I wasn't entirely sold on the spicy edge to the grits. Felt like it should've added something, but I think grits should be a more subtle flavour, and the use of paprika didn't seem to help bring out its essential creamy mildness. The smoked brisket was amazing though. Like, so amazing, I couldn't stop picking the beef drippings off my plate even when I was so full I couldn't eat another bite, and was trying to pack the beef into a box for home. Bruno's smokes its own meat on its premises, that's how awesome that meat is. The sauce was a perfect balance of dark meatiness, sour hits and sweet notes, and the beef just so very, very tender, with the tendons and fat melting away at the touch of a fork. The po' boy was also really good. I'm not an oyster person, but it was very tasty, none of that odd metallic aftertaste oysters sometimes seem to have for me. It was sweet, slightly buttery and mushroomy (the good flavour of oysters).

scanner_darkly washed his meal down with a cocktail called Dapper Dan, filled with various freshly squeezed fruit juices, which tasted like what whiskey tastes like when it's actually drinkable. This is unlike the gentleman's drink that smells like bog made from pickled swamp water that whiskey usually aspires to. He had two, that's how drinkable it was. I tried (and mostly failed) to finish my barley wine, which tasted largely like despair (or Guinness). The barley wine was quite richer than I expected, like the brown, tasty coating off a pretzel in its concentrated liquid form. It was nice for the first couple of sips, then developed a pretty frightful aftertaste. If nothing else, it helped cut down the greasiness of our dinners. Then I went home, and inadvertently napped for four hours, as is what happens when I am exposed to any mildly alcoholic beverage.

But yes, Bruno's. I would go there again. Maybe next time, I will have room for dessert. Our dinners made us loll about like beached whales, we were that full. Good food. A little loud, since it still has a large bar that gets quite filled up with drinking types, but if you're there for food, it's not terribly busy for that even on a Friday. I could get cravings for that beef, I really could. And they have tempura okra, dammit.


May. 10th, 2010 11:51 am (UTC)
*is hungry*

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