Not by the book
Dinner last Thursday night with our friends John and Becky, and their beautiful 3 year old, Daphne. We wanted to try someplace different, and decided on the Library on Main. Sorry, I wasn’t impressed.
In 1916 Walnut Creek opened a Carnegie Library on this site at the corner of Civic and North Main. That building lasted until 1961, when a new library was opened a block away.
More recently, the restaurant Eleve was there, featuring modern Vietnamese food. The owners closed that business last year, and now operate the bar/dance part of the business and have pop-up restaurants providing the food–at least, that’s what I think I understand from their website. There is some plan to have a different activity on the second floor, too, but I really didn’t understand that.
In any event, the food is currently being provided by 310 Eatery, which was a restaurant on Locust Street that closed. I couldn’t get a straight answer to see if this was to be permanent or temporary.
We started with something they do quite well–popcorn crabcakes.
Crab cakes re-imagined as tiny bites you can just pop in your mouth. They were great.
Then came the fries–this is a big thing with 310Eatery. Fries with “bacon jam”, whatever that is supposed to be.
The fries weren’t crispy, the bacon “jam” just tasted like bacon, with lots of grease. I thought it was a soggy mess, and a horrible version of poutine. There was an alternative with clam chowder instead of the bacon, but it sounded even less appetizing.
The baby had a hot dog. It comes with an absurdly large bun, and, yes, another ramekin of the bacon jam.
I don’t get the aluminum foil pans for serving dishes. This is very nice building, in a good downtown location, and the presentation is downscale–note that the crabcakes were served on a nice plate with garnish, so there is no consistency in their outlook.
Gail also ordered the hot dog, which comes with all the usual fixings–the one pictured is bare only because it was for the child.
I had the fish tacos, which were quite uninspired:
There just isn’t anything interesting here. Presentation is sloppy, the taco has nothing to recommend it, the tortillas were stale. Bleaaaah.
Becky had a soft shell crab sandwich and felt her bun was way too large for the amount of crab. Meals should be in proper proportion.
I thought I paid the check, but as we got to the door the waitress chased me down–it turns out that the bar is run separately and I had paid the dinner check but not the bar tab. That’s just poor organization/bookkeeping. The customer is not responsible for figuring out their system–they need to get their act together and present one bill.
I loved Eleve. Not at all impressed with Library on Main/310Eatery or whatever this is.