Once again it was my monthly lunch date with S. As we really only have an hour for lunch, we always have to pick some place near our work. This time S chose Parkerhouse after I gave her three restaurants to choose from. I actually had no expectations for this restaurant b/c I’ve never really heard anyone I know talking about it. I do know the atmosphere is very business and corporate like and they seem to be packed every time I walk by the restaurant.
Here’s what we ordered today:
Roasted Beet Salad – $13
lingonberry vinaigrette, arugula, goat cheese, candied walnuts
As I love beets, I just had to give the salad here a try. This can easily be my favorite beet and arugula salad! The lingonberry vinaigrette was amazing – it was sweet and tart at the same time and neutralized the peppery taste of the arugula really well. The red and gold beets were sweet and tender but there were only a very small amount of it – this should be called arugula salad with beets instead! There was just enough goat cheese so it added some savoriness without being overpowering. Another favorite on the plate was the candied walnuts – they were very sweet and crunchy and I was happy with how much was on the plate! I would so order this salad again.
Shrimp and Avocado – $19
open faced brioche, hand peeled shrimp, mango, sliced tomato, wasabi, chili oil
This was S’s order. With their sandwiches you have a choice of fries or salad as the side. I had a bite of the shrimp mixture and really enjoyed the creaminess of it. There was a generous portion of all of the above listed ingredients, neatly piled on a very thin piece of brioche. S couldn’t stop telling me how delicious the sandwich was. The only disappointment were the fries. I didn’t try them but S said they were very bland, way too chewy and just wasn’t good. She only ate a few and left the rest untouched.
Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf – $20
brandy peppercorn sauce, roasted creamer potatoes, broccolini
This is where things fell apart for me. I opted for extra vegetables and skipped on the potatoes. I have to say this was really interesting. I was not expecting such a small piece of meat but I end up not liking it at all and actually had trouble finishing it. I always associate the texture of meatloaf to be moist, fluffy, soft-ish and flavorful enough to be eaten without sauce. Yet for this one the texture was very firm, packed, crumbly… and although it wasn’t exactly dry it was nowhere close to being moist. There was also a lack of flavoring – I had to keep dipping the meat into the peppercorn sauce in order to finish it. I think perhaps it was overcooked, or the meat they used was too lean. The bacon was also quite overcooked as it was dry and crumbly. The broccolini still retain its crispness so no complaints on there.
Service was another factor that didn’t earn a vote from me. It was pretty meh. Our server barely smiled nor really interacted with us so I didn’t feel we received any good service from her. It was pretty much… she came over, took our orders, someone else delivered our food, and then she showed up when we were done. Somehow I would expect way better service for a restaurant of this caliber, but the reviews on Urbanspoon shows that I am not the first one to encounter service issues. I really think the lack of attention stemmed from the fact that we didn’t order drinks. I understand they are a huge revenue-generating item for restaurants, but there can be many reasons why a patron wouldn’t order a drink and the level of service shouldn’t be dependent on that! Quite a shame, really, as the beet salad is enough reason for me to go back, but perhaps I can try ordering it to go and skip dealing with the service.