I was excited to finally go to the restaurant that I’ve heard so many people rave about, but as I sat in my booth and read the menu, I knew I was in over my head. It became abundantly clear that Sweetwater Tavern is a fancy place.
I work for a company that loves to treat its employees to fancy fare. And most would consider that a nice perk, to be able to eat at Clyde’s, The Capital Grille, or Bob Kinkead’s Colvin Run Tavern on the company’s dime. But not me – I’m more than happy with a kid’s meal and some cheesecake from Chick-Fill-A.
I ordered the grilled salmon, and was surprised when the waiter asked how I wanted it cooked – the menu clearly stated that it was grilled. When he clarified that I could get it cooked to order like a steak – medium rare, medium, etc – I asked him what was best. I went out on a limb and ordered the medium he recommended, and made a mental note that at fancy places, you don’t have to have your fish thoroughly cooked.
When my food arrived, it was arranged on my plate in a rather odd manner. My mashed potatoes were dead center. My salmon was draped over the mound of potatoes. There were 3 sweet potato chips stuck into the left side of the potatoes, where they emerged from underneath the salmon filet. And the right side of my plate was covered in mustard sauce for the fish. It was very artistic and all, but food is … food. I want to be able to eat my potatoes without disturbing the fish. And without mustard sauce running all over everything. And without having to remove sweet potato chips.
I suppose the atmosphere was … fancy … and the food was … fancy … and I suppose the food was even pretty good. But I was so out of my comfort zone, that I couldn’t wait to get out of there. (I took half my food home in a box, and had it for dinner – it was much better the second time around, in the comfort of my own dining room, after the microwave nuked that medium salmon to completely cooked.)
I have to say, though, the best food I’ve had recently is Kenny’s Barbecue. Never heard of it? That’s because Kenny is my father-in-law. Any time my husband’s family has a big get-together, Kenny barbecues up every kind of meat known to man. Chicken, brisket, pork loin, sausage in a variety of spiciness levels, you name it, he’s barbecuing it. And not only did I get to enjoy his barbecue, there’s always all the ‘fixins’ that come with it, prepared by the rest of my husband’s family: butter potatoes, rolls, black-eyed peas, bacon-wrapped asparagus, apple pie. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, Texan cuisine is something I missed out on – but I’m trying to make up for it on every trip to Texas.
All in all, I’m sure Sweetwater Tavern is a fine place. If you’re in to that kind of thing. As for me, I’ll take Kenny’s Barbecue any day of the week.