At least I enjoyed the sandwich

The crowd outside just before opening.

So here’s my new theory–places with fancy graphics in the title worry too much about appearances and too little about the restaurant.

Tonight, we went to Flour + Water, an astonishingly hot new place in the Mission district in the City.  That’s right, +.  Not “&”, not ” ‘n”, not “and” but “+”.  Very trendy.  Tres chic. If only the restaurant could live up to its graphics.

There were 5 of us, me, Gail, Dick and Joyce Hart and Lorene Lamb.  Probably shouldn’t really count Lorene, she’s great company but eats like an anorexic canary.

Reservation for 5:45.  Too early, to be sure, but the only one available for such a hot place–and we made the reservation weeks ago.  We left early in case there was traffic trouble–the Prez is in town to raise money for Barbara Boxer, which isn’t good for the rest of us peons when it comes to traffic.  But the Prez was downtown and we weren’t, so no problem.  We got there at 5:25, and saw this huge line of people waiting to get in.  Turns out they offer reservations for half of their tables, and walk-in seating for the rest.  Hence the line.  The walk-ins mostly get either the bar or a large communal table, we at least had a table for ourselves.

Decor is nothing fancy–some impersonal  modern photos, very high ceiling, wood tables, no linen.  Music way too loud, but the average age in the place was maybe 32 (without us it would be 29) so the volume is appropriate to the crowd.

Service is much too casual for my taste–I don’t really want to see the server’s underwear through the holes in her jeans, and her bra straps hanging out beyond her halter.  No uniforms, that would be too “establishment” for the joint.

The menu is my next problem.  We eat out alot; I should be able to understand what is on the menu, but no such luck.  We had to have the waitress explain each and every dish on the menu.  Everything had to have obscure ingredients, pastas you’ve never heard of, preparations created just for that meal.

The grown-ups ordered wine–nothing you might recognize, of course.  Everything from a tiny winery in Umbria, or Alsace, or somewhere.  I ordered iced tea–and all they have is Tejava, which I buy in Lundardi’s.  Sweetener?  No way–“we only have natural brown sugar”.  I love it when they decide what is good for me.  Thanks, mom.

Salads came out fairly rapidly, but the entrees took forever.  When you completely fill the restaurant at opening, everyone orders at once, and the kitchen can’t keep up.

Food was mostly good.  Different, innovative, well prepared.  Portions weren’t all that great.  Gail says she likes the pasta I make at home more than what she ordered tonight, but maybe she just likes me.

I didn’t recognize anything on the dessert menu, either.

For this precious, self-righteous, hipper-than-thou experience, the bill was about $50/person (adjusting for the anorexic canary).  Not cheap, not atrocious.

Here’s the good news: we had left over roast beef in the refrigerator at home.  I stopped for a loaf of bread, and we had sandwiches at 10 o’clock.  Nothing better than warm roast beef sandwiches.

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