Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Henri's counterpoint

Last week, we ran a rave review of Henri's by Jorge.

A few days later, we received this negative Henri's experience....

My husband and I stopped going to Henri’s some time ago due to the poor service, lack of cleanliness of the restaurant and poor food quality. I was pleased to see an article on Henri’s Reborn in the Friday Go of the Gazette. My husband, adult daughter and myself showed up at Henri’s at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, 13 Oct. There was no hostess to be seen and two other parties waiting to be seated. One employee walked by one of the other parties and stated that a hostess would be out soon to seat them.

About 5 minutes passed and finally a hostess came by and said to us “sorry we are closed.” My daughter stated that another worker had come by and said to one of the other parties that they would be seated soon. The hostess replied very curtly “I am the hostess and I am telling you that we are closed.” We did not argue and promptly left. It was 7:50 p.m. when we drove away from the restaurant. Hours of business listed in the Gazette article were Monday thru Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

As you would expect, it will be a long time again before I step foot in Henri’s.

Susan Matejka

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brazilian steakhouse. I don't think so

I was thrilled to hear that what had been Orange Oasis, 5934 Stetson Hills Blvd., has been transformed into a Brazilian steakhouse.

I love Brazilian steakhouses. I've been to Rodizio Grill in Denver and Texas de Brazil in Miami. The way it works is that after loading up on a high-end, tremendous super salad bar, you flip your shaker-like device from red to green. That signals the gouchos, men carrying meat on giant skewers, to visit your table and offer you one tantalizing entree after another.

You keep it green until you're about to die and then you flip it over to red, meaning you're done.

With apologies to Lloyd Benson: "Alpha Grill, I've been to Brazilian steakhouses. I love Brazilian steakhouses. You, sir, are no Brazilian steakhouse!"

This is like a Brazilian steakhouse, as imagined and designed, by somebody who ran a Hometown Buffet and once visited Rodizio. (I don't know this to be the case, I'm just saying it tastes like that.)

The salad bar is like Home Town. The meats are all low-quality, tasteless slabs with no trace of Brazilian spices.

I'm still waiting for somebody in this town to open a real Brazilian steakhouse.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gross Guinea Pig story

As any journalist knows, the most interesting bits in any story often end up on the editing-room floor.

Nate recently filed his review of Sabores del Peru, and it included this wonderfully horrid little anecdote about his first experience with Peruvian cuisine. Wearing my hat as "taste policeman," I cut it from the review. I know the argument that "people are eating breakfast while they read this stuff" can get old. But there you have it.
If you've gotten this far, and you don't mind being grossed out, here's Nate's anecdote, a little story I like to call "Soylent Green: Guinea Pig Edition."

I was on a trek in the Andes to climb a 20,945-foot mountain called Ausangate. Well beyond the last roads, and even beyond where the locals reliably speak Spanish, we stopped in my guide’s mother’s hut for dinner. She had prepared a special Andean treat: a stew of yellow potatoes, quinoa, vegetables, and guinea pig (tastes like squirrel.) She made no effort to disguise the guinea pig. Each rodent was cut into five pieces – four quarters with skin, feet, nails and all still attached, and the head. My first spoon of stew came up with a head. I picked it off the spoon and, to be polite, started nibbling the skull like a chicken wing. The old lady also dredged up a head and, without a thought, crunched it up in one mouthful, spitting the teeth on the dirt floor. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I did the same. And you know, it wasn’t half bad.

When we finished the meal, she tossed the food scraps on the floor. Suddenly, a herd of guinea pigs swarmed from hidden corners of the hut to devour the scraps. They lived there full-time. When they got big enough from eating scraps, they went in the pot.

Monday, October 01, 2007

New cuisine for the Springs

Peruvian! Yes, we now have a Peruvian restaurant in town. It's very good, and you can read the review on Friday. I'm also excited that we got our first Brazilian steakhouse -- Alpha Grill at Stetson Hills and Powers. I'm a big fan of Rodizio Grill in Denver.. and I tried Texas de Brazil in Miami, which was phenomenal (and phenomenally expensive). Let me know if anybody has tried the new place.