May 30, 2007

Rialto Poolroom Bar and Cafe (529 SW Fourth Ave)

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I read somewhere that Rialto had the best bar food in town. I decided to check it out for myself on Saturday.

My first impression of Rialto went like this: the waitress came up to my table. "Hi." [Fake smile] "Are you going to start a tab or pay with cash as you go along? Because we've had a lot of walk outs lately and she makes us pay for them out of our paychecks and I just can't afford it. I'm not taking any chances." Okay then. I gave her my card.

The HR person inside me wanted to say, "you know, you can report that to the Bureau of Labor and Industries. It's illegal for employers to make deductions from employees' paychecks without their authorization." But then I thought, nah. I don't feel like talking HR on Saturday.

I ordered the Salad Nicoise, which had house-poached tuna along with everything but the kitchen sink, including potatoes, lettuce, onions, boiled eggs, tomatoes and I really can't possibly remember everything that was in it, but it was a lot. Dressed in garlic vinaigrette. Sounded good and mildly healthy. Oh and I also ordered onion rings, just so I could check out the bar food part of the menu.

I got my big fat salad and here's the thing: I like garlic. If a menu item says it has garlic, you should be able to taste it. I don't think it was actually garlic vinaigrette. I think it was vegetable oil poured over the salad. And it wasn't good. There was no taste. I added salt and pepper just to get through it. It was a boring salad, despite the promises of exciting ingredients, and I kind of resented that.
The onion rings were good, but then they went and poured excessive amounts of table salt on them. That made them not so good. But they were better than the salad. (Of course that's a ridiculous statement because when are onion rings fried in beer batter NOT better than any type of salad?)
I did enjoy watching people play pool while I ate and enjoyed the almost disasterous encounter with another pool hall patron who nearly fell on my table as he stumbled out the door to call it a night. That was fun.

I would go back to play pool and eat on the side, but probably wouldn't go back just to eat. They do have pool lessons, which might be fun (and necessary for me!)


Distilled said...

I have often wondered how that remodel went. I was a big fan of the old smokey place before the big change. For me it was a real character bar. Good to know at least the pool is still there :)