This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Blasts From The Past

The blasts being postings I have made before blogging hit my radar.

Mainly, I wrote to triangle.dining, a local newsgroup to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. Over the last couple of years, it has declined greatly in participation. It is sad but I keep my eyes on it and will post a comment if anything interesting comes around. But there were a select few regulars that I could read to 1) get peeved at or 2) enjoy their restaurant review.

This is a review I posted on January 12, 2004. Both places, I am happy to say, exist today!

Review: Mo's Diner and The Pour House

Mo's Diner
306 E. Hargett Street (City Market)

The Pour House
224 S. Blount Street (City Market)

I decided to take the husband out on a date, instead of going to another company function this past Saturday. I noticed Mo's Diner in a recent post on t.d. and decided that would be the placeto go. Made reservations and posted a request for something to do afterwards, mainly dealing with pool. I got two great responses, but decided to follow Heidi's advice on The Pour
House, mainly because at least two other people I talked to also recommended this place. *Plus* I didn't realize that Mo's Diner was within City Market and as Heidi mentioned, The Pour House (among others) is within this 'district'.

First, dinner at Mo's was *W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L*!!! My husband was so impressed. He decided it was one of the finest meals he's had in a very looooonnnnggg time. It was a night to be different, so I ordered a bottle of Zinfandel (instead of our usual Merlot or Shiraz). We started off with
Baked Oysters, which were four very plump and baked to perfection oysters. Mmmmm...I wanted MORE! The bread was also very good and very soft. The herbed butter that accompanied the bread was perfect.

There were three specials that evening: Rack of Lamb, Duck-something (confit, maybe?) and Chilean Sea Bass. As I said, a night to try different things, so I chose the Chilean Sea Bass (sidenote: I'm not really a fish person and only recently found an appreciation for it...mainly after a trip
to West Coast FL and everything is grouper-this, mahi-that). The waiter was enthusiastic about all three Specials, so he seemed pleased that I selected one of them. My hubby decided on the Fried Catfish dinner, which I recall reading on Citysearch's review as being a local favorite.

Both dishes were out of this world. The sea bass was delicate and a good sized portion of it. I believe it was on top of a small layer of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I didn't notice it until I was almost finished with the fish. On top of the fish was fresh crabmeat and a bit of butter sauce. Also included was a mixed veggie medley that was done to perfection. My husband's catfish looked great and he just loved it. I tried it and it was good, but to me, my dish was just awesome.

Despite being pretty full, we couldn't walk away without trying dessert. We ended with a crustless chocolate torte that was to-die for and went well with the last few sips of our Zinfandel.

Service was unobtrusive. The waiter kept our wine glasses full and the wine bottle was never on our table. We spent nearly two hours there, just enjoying the food and being able to converse without spelling words out (two kids at home). The host was gracious and warm. Our jackets were taken when we got there and we were promptly seated, by our first names (Cindy and Mr. Cindy, since that's the name I made my reservation in). And when we left, they were laid out for us nicely. Just really nice personal gestures that went above and beyond my expectation,
along with great food.

I would say the only drawback was that the tables are a bit closer together than I thought they would be. It is still an intimate setting, but I bet if I wasn't so into my husband and his conversation, I could eavesdrop on others. Not a drawback for me, but just thought I'd mention it for others as an FYI. Total before tip was $98 (bottle of Zinfandel, appetizer, two
entrees and one dessert).

Afterwards, we decided on The Pour House. I had e-mailed them earlier in the week to try to get an idea of how crowded they may be on a Saturday night. The reply was that may be this isn't an ideal place to go, if I just want to play pool, because they would have a band. Well, I knew the
party usually doesn't get started for some people until 11PM and I knew this yuppie couple would be ready to get home by then...

We got there about 9PM and a band was playing. I asked the bartender what she recommended for draft and it was Boddington and Blue Moon. I enjoyed my wine buzz for a bit before I tried the Boddington, which was GREAT! We played several games of pool and enjoyed the not-too-crowded 2nd floor. I noticed, when I went down for a 2nd Boddington, that there was a crowd forming on the first floor. I had one more beer, the Blue Moon, which was good, but to me, it has a perfumy taste...which is not a bad thing...but the only way I could describe it. The bartenders/staff were awesome and called us a cab at the end of the evening for us. (We had a great cab ride
home too. :-))

I found out Sunday morning that I had two too many Boddingtons, or one too many Boddingtons & one too many Blue Moons, but still...a great date night for this gal. I'd definitely hit this place again too.

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