|Burgers at Bistro Blanc|
The mass email on Wednesday promoted half-priced burgers, and I made an impulse decision to go to Glenelg for gourmet beef and beer.
It could have been great. The pickle was awesome. The dehydrated mushrooms were inspired. Some of the fries were the perfect execution that you'd want in a high-end restaurant -- scattered with melted parmesan and served with sweet roasted garlic cloves.
But the night had collapsed by the time those arrived.
Five minutes waiting for them to set the table we had reserved. Five minutes standing at the empty bar hoping in vain someone could tell me about the beers. Forty minutes after ordering that we waited for our meal.
Forty minutes, and we weren't alone. At one point, there were only two tables with food, and everyone else was waiting. The table next to us waited longer than we did, and they were actually told "We ran out of buns. They're bringing more from the supermarket. They'll be here in four minutes." Then the waiter promised a cheese plate that no one delivered.
By the end, the entire staff had given up. Our waitress just apologized. Clearly, something had gone wrong in back. Really wrong. We knew immediately that the burgers were medium rare, not medium well. We just couldn't endure sending them back. Mrs. HowChow ended up leaving the raw center on her plate. One of the "supermarket" burgers must have been similar because the other table did send it back.
We have friends who really enjoy Bistro Blanc. We even loved bits of the meal like those pickles, the mushrooms, sprouts and lettuce garnishes, and the bread basket. But we have had a series of sloppy, disappointing dinners, including an epic failure in 2009. We couldn't get over last night's experience -- a lonely 40 minutes and badly-cooked meat.
Most of the time, poor meals just disappear for us. We recommend good things on HowChow and just don't mention the disappointments. But Bistro Blanc wants to be something special. That burger normally costs $14. It can't be raw on the night when they invite people over for burgers.