Chomp! Let's get some new restaurants in the Crossroads
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ADDRESS: 6220 N. Navarro St., Victoria PHONE: 361-575-2333HOURS: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday
THE EATS:PHILLY CHEESESTEAK
THE EATERY:BEEF 'O' BRADY'STHE ONE SENTENCE REVIEW: CHECK, PLEASE.
I grew up in the kitchen helping my mom and dad cook Filipino food from scratch and learning the fundamentals of cooking. I learned how to cut vegetables, make rich stocks, slice meat and portion a whole chicken just from watching them.
As I got older, I found myself working different positions at restaurants from washing dishes to prepping onions to serving customers. I've probably filled each position at a restaurant (sometimes unofficially) at some point in my life.
One of the things that I've walked away with was the notion that food should be good and worth the customer's time. Why waste your time at a place if it's not going to be good and the service is horrible? Sure, you might get a chance to people watch, if that's your thing, but why spend $10 on a plate of something that is subpar?
I met a friend at the new Beef 'O' Brady's in the Whispering Creek Shopping Center and was looking forward to giving it a try.
Before the restaurant had even completed its renovation of the building that used to house Greek Bros., I kept seeing on Facebook that friends of mine had already given the restaurant a "like." What were they basing that on? Maybe it was a Google search and a quick glimpse at the menu. Or maybe they had visited a restaurant in some other city.
Upon my visit, I was disappointed when I noticed they didn't have anything remotely Irish on the menu but also saw Beef's signature items were marked with an unfitting green three-leaf clover.
I ordered the "signature" roast beef garlic melt for lunch and was doubly disappointed when my server returned to tell me they they were out of the ingredients to make it.
Scratch that, then. On to my next choice - a Philly cheesesteak. I ordered it with fries and swapped out the bell peppers for mushrooms.
It was when the server came back to our table, hands full of food, that I decided I wouldn't be missing anything if I didn't come back for a while.
The Philly was lifeless, and the pile of fries equally unexciting. The cook hadn't touched a salt or pepper shaker while preparing the plate, so it was bland. The meat was a little dry, aside from the portions with melted cheese over it. In his (or her) defense, he probably did exactly what he was told and made the plate match what the photo on the wall above him directed him to do. Use an oval plate, pile the fries on one half, cut the Philly in half and put the halves side-by-side on the plate and call it a day.
The point that I am trying to make with this is that the Crossroads doesn't need another chain restaurant. We need restaurants that are led by people who love food - people who have a passion for cooking and sharing that passion with people who love to eat.
We need other restaurants, too. No more Mexican restaurants or Chinese buffets, please - it isn't that I don't like them, we just need other options. Let's get an Indian food place or a Korean barbecue restaurant. We've got two Thai joints, and they are doing wonderfully. There's room for French, Italian, Jewish bakeries, Czech; the options are endless.
And Beef 'O'Brady's, where are the bangers and mash or the corned beef and cabbage? If you're going to have an Irish theme, at least have Irish dishes.
Jessica Rodrigo is in limbo. Help her out of the dining rut to find a place to visit that has great food and great service. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @eatseatseats.