Monday, July 20, 2009

The Farmhouse Affair

It started with a Tweet, "Anybody want to grab lunch" and ended up at The Farmhouse, a new restaurant in the River Market (in the old Delaware Cafe location). Meesha and I decided on Farmhouse to get our hands on the chicken fried duck sandwich. We showed up separately, Meesha had beaten me there and was sitting in the little waiting area of the lovely little restaurant. The hostess asked us if we wanted to sit inside or outside on the wonderful little patio. Our eyes met as we said "outside" in unison, both of us thought the same thing, the patio promised to be much more romantic.

Our lovely waitress brought us a wine bottle filled with water and poured each of us a glass. She was a lovely young lady with a very flattering cut to her top that might make some men stare, but not this one who had his eye on one person, Meesha. I felt Meesha might have lost some interest in me as he asked our waitress about her cowboy boots. I smiled and listened but really, my heart was breaking. It was quickly becoming obvious that the only reward in this lunch was going to be the lunch.

We each ordered the chicken fried duck sandwich, I got mine with fries and Meesha sprung for the extra couple of dollars to get the cold potato and leek soup. When our sandwiches arrived they looked wonderful, not as wonderful as my companion, but wonderful nonetheless. I was less impressed with the brown state of my fries. I certainly didn't foresee getting some limp brown shafts with my lunch, but that's exactly what I got in those fries. Meesha actually received a salad with his sandwich. Our waitress very graciously got him his bowl of soup and let him keep his salad, game, set and match to our lovely waitress.

We both whipped out our cameras to photograph our sandwiches. Meesha was caught by the lady at the next table and asked her if she wanted her picture taken too. I wasn't asked but I've fantasized since about exactly the pose I would seduce with. My first bite of the sandwich brought disappointment. Not the disappointment that I was feeling for not completely engaging with the Pitch's blogger of the year, but the disappointment of knowing that this sandwich wasn't going to live up to the hype that the Farmhouse has been receiving.

The chicken fried duck was topped with a sweet and hot pepper relish and some arugula. Matched with the duck these are 3 ingredients I can get behind. However, the duck was mostly flavorless and not that indistinguishable from a pork tenderloin sandwich, though the sweetness of the duck could be tasted. The arugula was a bit annoying on the sandwich as I really had to cut it with my teeth everytime I took a bite so I didn't pull it all out. The relish was rather sparse and I don't think it tasted that great when I was able to notice its flavor. As mentioned above, the fries were even disappointing. They were quite brown and not quite as crisp as one would expect from this type of fry. They definitely wouldn't meet the snap test (snapping in half when bent over 45 degrees), they might go to 65 degrees before snapping (I knew high school geometry would come in handy someday). The homemade ketchup was quite nice though, and I didn't try the pickles on the plate, I had my mind on a different kind of pickle.

It was supremely disappointing that my Meesha fantasy didn't work out because it had so much promise. Farmhouse was disappointing in the same sense, a lunch place with good, fresh and local high end ingredients not delivering a great lunch experience. I think if you walk in expecting decent food you're going to get it. If you go in with heightened expectations based on hype, you'll be as disappointed as I am about losing out on Meesha.

You can read Meesha's thoughts on lunch here.


m.v. said...

sorry I don't put out on the first date, especially if I have to pay for lunch myself

Chris said...

I'm really glad I didn't go with you guys now. I hate being a third wheel.

Donna said...


GB, RN said...

That is the last time I drink and read blogs at the same time.

You owe me anew keyboard!

Waldo Oiseau said...

I will be sure to keep my expectations in check when I head there for lunch this Thursday! Good to know.

Faith said...

This post was disturbing. The accompanying photo of the plate with the brown fries was equally disturbing. What cook in their right mind sends out fries that look like that? Are they supposed to look like that? If so, WHY?

I don't like chicken fried things, so I'd probly try something else on their menu anyway. Sounds like an interesting place! And those pickles look delicious...fuck the fries, gimme a big side of those. YUM.

m.v. said...

I had the pickles they were pretty much cucumbers soaked in vinegar. I didn't like them.

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is wrong with those fries? That's what happens when you have old shitty rancid oil in the fryer. What a joke.