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Graze

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

Re: Graze

Postby TheBookPolice » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:40 am

At Isthmus, we wait a month. My first look piece was more food-descriptive than those early coverages tend to be.
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Frites and other scattered thoughts

Postby kulgar » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:30 am

I've had frites twice at Graze and strongly maintain they are much, much better at Brasserie V.

Remember that the existing wait staff from L'Etoile and the Cafe didn't use a POS. Learning Micro$ale and getting the bugs out of it will take a bit of time.

I simply love the sidewalk cafe view compared to any others in town but the noise level inside Graze is near deafening and I will probably avoid it during rush hours for that reason.

Love that they serve all afternoon and a fall afternoon in the sun will be wonderful. Baking in the sun has not been.

Here's hoping they get the landlord, ULI, to upgrade the plantings in the courtyard. Those scraggly dying plants don't warrant paying $19 for a burger.
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Re: Graze

Postby Kovalic » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:16 am

TheBookPolice wrote:At Isthmus, we wait a month. My first look piece was more food-descriptive than those early coverages tend to be.


Yeah...I noticed the "First Look" pieces seldom (if ever) contain any opinions on the merit of the food/service. Kudos for that.
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Re: Graze

Postby Thusnelda » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:08 pm

We went for lunch last week, and although it was tasty I was pretty surprised at the service. I know kinks are inevitable, but it seemed like they had some rough edges where there shouldn't have been any. Like... oh, I don't know, misspelling "banh mi" (borderline excusable) and "Reuben" (totally not).

We arrived around 2 (on a weekday) and traffic was pretty light. Unfortunately, I couldn't see a host. Nobody was at the stand and the hipsters in a little clump by the bar weren't wearing anything that might identify themselves. The host eventually came over, but he was wearing a plaid shirt with no identification (unlike the waitstaff, who wore half-aprons and Threadless-type t-shirts with "Graze" on the back).

We ordered a couple of appetizers. The deviled eggs were okay -- $2 was fair for three halves, and my partner will eat pretty much any version -- but the piped filling felt a little bland and commercial for my liking. A bit overmixed, perhaps. Still, the smoked paprika sauce on the plate was good, and easy to wipe up with the egg.

We ordered cheese curds, and they arrived when we were about halfway through our entrees. Sigh.

I got the grilled cheese sandwich, which was okay -- good enough, but when you put tomato AND caramelized onion in a sandwich, it gets a little drippy. But the part that made me grumpy was that they wouldn't substitute a cup of soup in. It only came with options of fries or mixed greens, neither of which I felt like eating, and the corn chowder sounded delicious. On the menu, a cup of soup was 4 bucks, while a side of fries or a mixed green salad was $5. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask for a substitution, but the server was firm that it wasn't an option. I ended up ordering the soup on the side, and had a mixed green salad that I could have lived without. Whatever. I wish the soup was an option, even if I had to pay a buck or two more to get it.

And then I had to wait for a spoon.

The corn chowder was, in fact, delicious. The corn was tender but not soggy, and the shrimp were perfectly cooked and worked well with the rest of the soup. But I thought it was supposed to come garnished with "house-made chili oil," and I neither saw nor tasted anything remotely like that. Without that, the flavor was a fairly light.

The cheese curds were pretty good, albeit different from what I was used to (read: from a freezer). I liked the accompanying buttermilk chive sauce.

Our server apologized for the curds taking so long and offered us our choice of cookies. Unfortunately, she didn't get our preferences right and we ended up with a scone that neither of us wanted, but it was free, so we didn't say anything. The other cookie was a "chocolate sand cookie," which led me to expect something thinner and perhaps dusted with sugar. It was actually a thick sort of double chocolate cookie kind of like the ones you can get at Sundance. The edges were nicely crispy without being brittle or dry. Sea salt dusted the top; it set off the chocolate wonderfully.

So it was certainly good food, but I expected a bit more from the service. Then we came back down to our car in the lot under the building and had to pay for parking, since they don't validate tickets and probably never will. One other note: their kitchen and bathrooms are located up a flight of stairs. How tiring must that be for the servers? (And how annoying for those who need them that the bathrooms don't seem to be accessible -- though, really, this is coming from L'Etoile, which was completely inaccessible for its entire tenure down the street).
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Re: Graze

Postby Kovalic » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:59 am

Had lunch there again yesterday with a friend. The banh mi and moules frites, again. Both were excellent, The moules frites were a marked step above the the first time. I can finally see why the folks raving about the fries rave about them.

Service was also getting quite a bit better. As one would expect.
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Re: Graze

Postby MadtownFoodie » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:56 pm

Fries, onion rings, cheese curds? Graze, Old Fashioned, Cooper's, CULVERS. Way to go chef. :cry:
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Re: Graze

Postby TheBookPolice » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:55 pm

Yup. No difference at all. Hell, Shake Shack in New York is pretty much McDonald's. Kogi BBQ? More like Taco Bell-BQ. Y'know, really, all food is pretty much comprised of the same basic elements, so let's not distinguish between any of them. It's all heavenly, and it's all shit.

:roll: x1000
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Re: Graze

Postby cubanat » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:07 pm

MadtownFoodie wrote:Fries, onion rings, cheese curds? Graze, Old Fashioned, Cooper's, CULVERS. Way to go chef. :cry:


dude you are bitter about something aren't you? if it's not ramen stealing it's fried food bashing! get a grip.
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Re: Graze

Postby gargantua » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:27 pm

3 out of my group of four ordered the $19 burger last week, and it was truly the best burger any of us ever had. We did not have any service problems during our visit......at about 7 pm on a Saturday evening.
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Re: Graze

Postby rabble » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:07 pm

gargantua wrote:3 out of my group of four ordered the $19 burger last week, and it was truly the best burger any of us ever had.

I finally have to say it. If I were to pay twenty bucks for a burger, it had damn well better be the best burger I ever had.

And that would count the five dollar burger I had in the Kohala Rainbow Cafe in Kapaau on the big island in Hawaii in 2003. I still dream about that burger and I've had quite a few ten or twelve-dollar burgers since.
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Re: Graze

Postby TAsunder » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:40 am

They streamlined the dinner menu a bit. It is more clear what each section contains. They also updated a couple of menu items and added a new entree - zucchini fritters. Loved them.

Kind of bummed that you can't order a side of collard greens anymore, though. The greens they have are some of the best I've eaten. Guess I have no choice but to order pork cubed each time I go...
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Re: Graze

Postby Thusnelda » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:18 pm

Went there for dinner last Monday with family.

My mom ordered the zucchini fritters, which I tasted. She liked them, and I probably should have ordered them myself. But they were really not anything like what I would expect a "fritter" to be -- more like a batter-heavy pancake. But still tasty, and nice presentation. I think my mom went for it because of the sun-dried tomato sauce drizzled around the edge, along with the bed of faro underneath.

My dad had the aforementioned $19 burger, and danged if it wasn't incredibly good. I didn't taste it, but he and the others who did raved about it. Same old fries, though, if I remember correctly. (My uncle had the regular burger and it was fine. Nothing to spotlight.)

My aunt had the salmon, which she enjoyed quite a bit. I think that was the sustainable catch of the day.

I had... well, half of this was my fault for ordering off the all-starch menu, but I wasn't thrilled. (And BOY, I'll bet Graze is just going to go UNDER when I tell you about it!)

I ordered two starters. I had high hopes for the mac and cheese, as it supposedly contained Hook's 10-year cheddar. It came in a little iron skillet, with the option of pulled pork on top (which I chose to go without). Unfortunately, I couldn't taste the cheese at all. I was really looking forward to a nice sharp bite, but it was an awfully bland dish overall.

My other starter was potato croquettes, which came with a goat cheese dipping sauce. This one, too, was ultra-bland, but for a different reason. The croquettes were actually barely-breaded balls of mashed potatoes, and all I tasted was mush. The goat cheese sauce was quite mild and didn't cut through the potato, and the coating of the croquettes wasn't stiff enough to swipe up enough sauce to make an impact. Not sure if this one failed in concept or execution.

But overall, the meal was still quite enjoyable, with better service than our first visit. We were full and didn't stay for dessert.
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Re: Graze

Postby jman111 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:28 pm

Thusnelda wrote:I had... well, half of this was my fault for ordering off the all-starch menu, but I wasn't thrilled. (And BOY, I'll bet Graze is just going to go UNDER when I tell you about it!)


AX GRINDER ALERT!!
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Re: Graze

Postby john_titor » Thu May 26, 2011 10:39 pm

20 minute wait for Cooper's, 45 min wait at Old Fashioned. Went to Graze.

Graze burger was not worth $19.

We did go to Old Sugar Distillery before and it was awesome and worth the $6 drinks.
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Re: Graze

Postby greeneyedlady » Fri May 27, 2011 7:20 am

My favorite is the pub burger, and it's a bargain at $10--has bacon, side of great fries. I like the Graze burger but prefer the pub.
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