Assembly lines are great vehicles for building cars efficiently, not so much for dining. Oh sure, if you see dinner as something to be endured rather than enjoyed, by all means go to the local branch of your "neighborhood" whatever and pretend you're having a good time. And yes, these days many chains are rather good, which was not necessarily true in days of yore. My lovely wife The Rock Star and I just dote on true neighborhood joints, so when we got the word on a new place called 15th Street Eatery opening up near our casa, we decided to investigate. True, the place has only been open a short time, but so what? I believe that a blogger serves the function of a modern town crier and that one of his principal duties is to get the word out, however that may be. Hopefully, if the experience is good and the post is positive, others will flock to check out the newby as well, before financial and culinary realities combine to put the kibosh on the owners dreams. So it was that we set out to find 15th Street Eatery one recent Sunday for lunch.
In a word, 15th Street Eatery is tiny. Tiny with a capital T. There are exactly seven tables in the storefront interior, plus another half-a-dozen stools at the counter next to where kitchen magician Sharon McGrath performs her cookery. Enticing smells of baking solicit your nose as soon as you enter, for she is a pastry chef as well as chef du cuisine. White wood-panel walls with dried and fresh flowers and coffee paintings for decorations. Cruise on up to the counter to order. If you're a first-timer, it's best to get one of the smallish menus and have a seat while perusing your choices, the better to let more experienced customers order quickly and efficiently. In fact, have a complimentary cup of coffee while you browse. In any case, place your order and prepare to wait. Remember, true goodness takes time and Chef Sharon does everything herself, except for two youngish assistants who take orders and expedite them to the table once they are prepared. Also, she gives out free samples. My bride adores eating breakfast at all hours, so she selected the Heavenly Hots. A short stack of nonuniform, made-from-scratch hotcakes sided with crisp, applewood-smoked bacon and home-fried potatoes and excellent eggs added up to one outstanding (and, for her, overly large) breakfast. That's OK, if you weren't born during the Depression, you know that it's not a crime to leave food on your plate. For myself, I had been craving a BLT, and the aptly-named BBLT (Best Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) more than filled the bill, the crunchy toast, iceburg lettuce, and tomato marrying perfectly with the bacon and Hellmans mayo. (I know it was Hellmans because I saw her dress the sandwich myself; have i mentioned how tiny this place is?) My lunch was accompanied by a cup of earthy mushroom soup and a simple spring mix salad featuring grape tomatoes and "secret recipe" house dressing featuring cilantro and lime vinagrette. We dined heartily yet leisurely, our repast accompanied by glasses of excellent, fresh brewed ice tea. (Be sure and order lemon and extra ice; as it is fresh brewed hot and will melt the ice quickly.) Soon enough, we were quite stuffed, but couldn't resist ordering a piece of the luscious-looking yellow cake with chocolate frosting for future consumption at home. I will be sure to update this post to let you know how good it was, provided I don't have a brain freeze and forget. Website is http://www.15thstreeteatery.com/, but is a work in progress at this point, without menu or hours. Not to worry, the joint is open from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm during the week and from 7 am to 3 pm on weekends. Discover the delights of non-assembly-line dining at 15th Street Eatery yourself, and remember:
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MEDIOCRE FOOD!!!
UPDATE: My wife and I enjoyed our dessert in the cool of the evening. The yellow cake was so moist it was positively dripping and the frosting was fudgetastic. We also solved the age-old problem of how to divide our slice. My cake-loving wife got the larger piece with less icing, while the smaller piece with more icing went to myself, the certified frosting lover. Everyone was satisfied, and we vowed to get another pastry selection soon.