December 11, 2006

Screen Door (2337 E Burnside)

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On their PBS cooking show, Caprial and John Pence often talk about what it is like to be a chef and the skills you need to be a chef, such as flipping food in a saute pan, mincing garlic sans a garlic press, and grabbing meat off the grill with your fingers ever so gingerly. One thing they talk about a lot is the ability that a chef should have to season food with salt.

Chelsea and I went to Screen Door, a restaurant boasting a Northwest twist on Southern food, this weekend - we were excited to go because we had read so many good reviews. The first thing we ordered, the mushroom beignets, were interesting - doughnut like on the outside, but filled with a mass of cheese, perhaps gruyere, and mushrooms. Despite the opportunity of such a combination, they were bland. We sprinkled salt on them, but it wasn't enough to fix the problem.

I was disappointed when my meal came to find the same problem with the spaghetti squash, flavored only with unsalted butter and my cornbread, though moist, was clearly made without any salt. The collard greens were excellent, though. (They were cooked with a lot of bacon. Salty bacon.) My duck hash was good, only after a significant amount of salt and pepper were added.

The service was flavored just right. Excellent, prompt service and a waiter that would even engage in a faux argument with a customer regarding the Civil War and the horrors of those damn yankees.

I probably won't go back to Screen Door - there's just something about food that's not flavored enough with the basic elements, like salt and pepper. I don't want to pay $15 for a dinner that is missing the base of all good food.

2 comments:

Chelsea said...

I was SO excited for the mushroom beignets...and SOOOO disappointed with my first bite

Ansley said...

It's not as fancy but is sooo good and really greasy southern food. The Delta Cafe on Woodstock around 45th. Hush puppies and cheese grits!