So, we had plans to go with our friends Mr. IIY and Valley Girl a couple Sundays ago. This is the couple who are always busy so when we get a chance to hang out with them we grab it. They had to back out. So we decided to go out anyway to Neighborhood in East Village. We had been one time before, and we liked it. It's almost in our neighborhood, and it's comfy and low key.
We're so dumb, because we walked out and got in the car, and we couldn't remember what street it was on. I thought it was Market or Island, some street parallel to Broadway - but it was not. So we drove around until we found it. On G street. And then we had to park like 4 blocks away.
So, we got there and it wasn't very busy. We sat at one of the island bar tables until a space opened up at the bar when a couple left. This place is interesting because it seems so very disorganized, and the girls who work there make the place being half full or less seem very busy. I'm not sure why - they're hungover, the shift before them didn't finish sidework, there was a rush earlier which they never caught up from? Anyway, it took a while to get to us, which was fine because they have so many beers that there is so much time to change my mind. Which if I were famous, I would be famous for my indecision. Although, I read the list several times, reading the descriptions of pretty much all the beers, even though I knew exactly what I wanted Duchesse de Bourgogne . I remember this beer from The Delachaise in New Orleans. Ah, the Delachaise. Alas, twas a shame that by the time I ventured into the bowels of the Delachaise I was not nearly as alcoholic as before. So the Delachaise is a bar that made sure they never had any big big big mass produced alcohol behind the
bar. No bud, coors, miller, busch, etc. Sometimes they had Abita for private consumption in the walk in. Anyhoo, the kitchen being busy was hit or miss - so I spent some down time at the bar tasting different libations - one being Duchesse de Bourgogne. It's sweet and sour. Not for everyone. Not even necessarily a good beer to drink with dinner, but that's what I wanted. The Food Pimp had a Stone beer - surprise surprise. It's funny how since we've been here, Stone has simply become a default beer to us.
So getting back to the food. We really were more interested in the appetizers than the entrees, as is usual. So we finally decided. Then the food came out, almost too fast.
So we got the devilled eggs. I love devilled eggs. They were good. The eggs seemed small, but it was a good portion to easily eat. The pickled salad that came with it - cucumber, carrot?, radish, etc - is what made it really good. The egg was rich and so salty with the olive sliver on top, but when you took a bite of it with the salad, then it was perfect. I love pickled shit. Well, I don't know about "shit" literally, but you know.
Then we got the big Crispy IPA Buds. $8. I think there were 8 to an order. I would personally take a few out and lower the price a few bucks. So these homemade tater tots, well, they grow on you. They are big and cheesy and starchy and creamy. And the jalapeno cheese sauce is like velveeta. But it's really good. We almost ate all of them, when at first we thought there was no way. I guess the one thing I can say negatively, is that I thought the batter would be a little more bitter - like IPA - which would have been nice to cut through all the richness, but I'm not complaining.
On our first trip to neighborhood, we got the steak tartare. I guess they like putting egg shaped food on the small skinny plates. This shit was the bomb - off the hook and the chain. Just the right amount of everything. These little eggs of raw meat had just the right amount of caper for salt, onion for bite, the right amount of the red pepper remoulade - and four toast points for 3 eggs of tartare. Because you always want at least one more toast point than they give you.
We both at the same time came upon the conclusion that we wanted a burger on our second trip to neighborhood. I like a good burger, and the FP is not a burger guy. But the last time we went to neighborhood we had a great burger. So we wanted to have another great burger. This time we ordered the mushroom marsala burger. Medium.
It was a little mangled and folded over and thin, so it didn't cook very evenly. And the mushrooms weren't as marsalay as the FP had hoped for. The waffle potato chips were okay. It was just an okay burger. I think our expectations were too high.
Here was the "neighborhood burger" which we got the last time. This one comes with carmelized onions, blue gruyere and pepper greens. I think the toppings really seal the deal. This is a more exciting burger. But this one was cooked perfectly. Burgers are not nearly as easy to cook as one thinks.
Last time we went, we got the mussels - butter poached. Yeah. Not just a sauce finished with butter, a butter poach. Yum. These were huge mussels, but they were good. I liked them a lot.
So, on our second trip we decided we wanted something healthy, like a salad. So we got the grilled cheese salad. This must be one of the healthier salads on earth (read in sarcastic tone). Just the name is ridiculous in itself.
So the grilled cheese was great. I believe it's made with gruyere and cheddar, and tomato. Melty and warm. So good. But then the salad. It was a huge mound. Ridiculous, really. But yeah, we ate most of it. Butter lettuce, pepperoncini - could have been more of these, julienned salami, provolone, olives. So good. I miss big filling, not really healthy salads. They have a lot of those in Louisiana. I mean, I've heard of a fried chicken salad. For realsies!
So anyway, I've heard just average reviews of neighborhood, but I like it above average. It's not cheap though - I'll say that. We can't really afford to go there all the time, but every once in a while, I can justify shelling out the mula. Then there's also the business of the speakeasy next door, which has an opening in the back by the bathroom through a fake wall. The guys who opened that place own El Dorado. I don't know much about it, but interesting idea. I give the place \/\/\/ six out of eight chopsticks.
777 G Street
San Diego, 92101