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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Parish: Fried Oyster Poutine Anyone?

It was a blessing in disguise when we heard that Perch was too full and had to head to the Parish instead. Perch has a great view, I hear, but Parish probably has better food. Indeed, I was impressed with the interesting takes on classics and the modern and swanky redo of the former Angelique Cafe space's interior (RIP).

The drinks weren't as impressive, however. The Russian Tulip was a glass containing 99% ice with a splash of some vodka, lemon juice, grenadine and bitters. It tasted like diluted lemonade.

We had the slow cooked pork shoulder with some greens and more interestingly, paneer, chunks of the delectable Indian cheese that comes with super soft spinach at your fave Indian restaurant (yes, saag paneer is the one).

In case you haven't noticed, we ordered a bunch of fatty, luscious and crunchy goodies to go with our drinks. We'd had a long day, damn it. We deserved it. So the slow cooked pork dish was soft and a mix of healthy and meaty for a fine balance.

Next up: fried chicken with some greens, grilled peaches and grape tomatoes. What better way to enjoy a big old chicken leg with a crunchy crust than with healthy greens and fruit? Again, the balance. The chicken wasn't as good as at Son of a Gun (I know, broken record) but it was decent.

We even had fried oysters, which I would never order but was pleasantly surprised at how good they were. Not only were they fried oysters, they were in poutine form, which signficantly ups the decadence ante to the whole experience.

Poutine is a great Quebec tradition that consists of fries smothered with seemingly whatever your heart desires (or fears), although traditionally it's usually been gravy and curd cheese. Animal has a great version with pulled oxtail and Biergarten did for a while with short ribs but I no longer recommend it. There was a dearth of fries in this oyster version but I appreciated it for its novelty value.

It's hard to talk decadent, the overused food blog term of the century, without mentioning roasted bone marrow. It was a tad disappointing, especially compared with Church and State that's also all about super heavy and delicious stuff.

The bread was crusty enough but the marrow wasn't as spreadable. It needed work.

Last but not least, what's a happy hour without a blood red burger split amongst the group's carnivores?

I was glad the patty was cooked medium rare, red enough in the middle to really taste the beef, with epoisses, a soft French cheese that was a good counterbalance to the pickled carrots' tanginess.

The bun was soft enough but I wasn't crazy about this burger because you guessed it, while above average, it was no Houston's burger. But one recent burger had in SF was not bad, but more about that later.

We also had a burrata salad with greens and grilled peaches that was good but not enough greens. Loved that peaches were grilled as they brought out the fruit's natural sweetness.

Service and ambiance were great. Parking is a bit of a pain as you have to use a lot nearby, pay and walk, God forbid.

I'd like to return to check out its other bar food classics like fish and chips, balanced out by the very healthy chopped kale.

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