Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bar Snacks at Bottle Cap

A few months ago, I met some friends at Bottle Cap for Happy Hour, during a special event with a guest bartender.  As part of the event, they were serving bar snacks communal-style for everyone seated at the bar.  It was a great chance to try out some of their food, as I hadn't ever been there before.

The dinner menu at Bottle Cap sounds great: grilled cheese and tomato soup! Periogies!  Cheesy shells!  Burgers!  The desserts are even better sounding, and I wanted them all.  But I was there just for drinks ... and whatever appetizers came our way.

The bar food menu sounded good too: sweet potato fries! Papas bravas! Seared scallops! Pizza bread!  Unfortunately, we didn't get any of that.  How they managed to choose to serve only the dishes I'd never order I don't know.  I didn't really like any of the food, but, as I said, it wasn't items I would pick myself.

The service was good, the bar was cozy and neighborhood-feeling, and I'd consider going back, but I certainly would not order any of this again.
Tombo Tuna Poke: scallions, seaweed, red salt,  sesame, taro chips, soy.  $8.
The taro chip was flavorful and crisp, a nice vessel for the poke.  The fish was a little mushy and not that flavorful on its own, but was dressed with something that gave it a slight kick.  The sesame seeds and scallions added a little additional flavor.

Not bad, but not standout.  My favorite of the bar snacks.  But really, I would have loved to just have a bowl of the taro chips!
B.L.T. Bites: pork belly, sweet gems lettuce, roma tomato, aioli, sourdough.
We saw these adorable things in two preparations, some like this, open faced, and some had a second slice of bread on top.

I liked this far more than I expected to.  I've really only liked pork belly twice in my life, once at Chez TJ as part of an incredible meal, and once at Alexander's Steakhouse, where I first learned that I could like pork belly.  This pork belly didn't measure up to those preparations, it was a little tough and stringy, but had good flavor.

It was served as the "bacon" in a B.L.T., with a very flavorful slice of roma tomato, some shredded lettuce, and a generous helping of creamy aioli, all on top of a sourdough crostini.  You know how much I dislike sourdough, but it wasn't very sour, so it didn't bother me much.

Overall I didn't care for this much, but the tomato and aoili were both very good components, making it my second pick of the night.  I would gladly have eaten it without the pork belly at all!
BBQ Pulled Pork and Slaw Sliders.
The bun was soft, with a slightly glazed top.  Inside was pulled pork, not a favorite protein of mine, but it had decent bbq flavor.  The slaw added some crunch.

Overall, fairly generic, but not bad.  3rd pick of the night.

[ Not Pictured ]
Fried Chicken Thighs with Dill Yogurt Sauce.  $6.

I've been really down on chicken lately.  I just haven't really liked any chicken I've tried.  Not that I ever loved chicken, but I used to at least tolerate it, particularly white meat.  So when chicken thighs came out, I passed on the first order.  Everyone seemed to love them though.  I tried the accompanying celery sticks in the dill yogurt, and liked the yogurt quite a bit, it had an incredibly strong drill flavor, but I wasn't tempted by the chicken.  Then another order came out, fresh out of the frier, piping hot.  Everyone around me devoured them again, commenting on how good they were.  So, I had to try them.

They had a very thick breading on them, incredibly crispy, slightly salty, very well done.  I'm not a huge fried chicken fan, but this was really well executed.  The chicken inside was moist.  But ... it was chicken.  And it was thigh meat, which I rarely like.  So not something I liked, but I appreciated that it was well done for fried chicken.  Least favorite of the night.
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