Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Seabiscuit

I watched this movie once.  It was okay.  I'm not much into horses or Tobey Maguire.

But I have to admit, it takes a lot of guts to name a restaurant after that movie, knowing people will be expecting an over-the-top horse racing theme.  For goodness' sake, the tagline at The Seabiscuit Café is: Bet On A Good Time. 

An interior with wrought-iron horses, check.  Larger than life horse racing posters, check.  Huge TV in corner that plays the movie Seabiscuit on a loop, check.  However, what seems like chintzy and over the top is tempered by the classy brick red and black color scheme.  Elegant without being pompous.  And as I entered the eatery last night, there were a lot of kids eating with their family-friendly too, I guess.

But one place the horsey theme gets carried away is on the menu.  Categories like The Winner's Circle, Run for the Roses, Betting on the Favorites - I just didn't get it (although The Starting Gate?  I get that - appetizers).  Being a former English teacher and lover of words, I pay attention to little things like Menu Categories. 

There's a lot to look at on the menu.  I dithered for several moments as I scanned over the choices.  The selection is eclectic...I mean, there's ribs, steak, pasta, burgers...all with their own sweet little twists.  But in the end, when I saw the Great Lakes Whitefish Reuben with Creamy Coleslaw, Swiss Cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, I was done.  Selection made.

I mean, if you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know how much I love my Reuben (cf. here) sandwich.  The best, traditional, Reuben I've ever had was from New Orleans...but the one here at The Seabiscuit is in a category all its own.

That is Russian Rye bread.  That is a lightly breaded and fried whitefish fillet.  That is creamy coleslaw ON the sandwich.  Those are sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo.  Are you hearing the Hallelujah chorus? 

I asked the chef how he'd done the fillet and he told me his secret, with the proviso that I "could take it back to Iowa, but [I'd] better not use it around here."  Deal, chef.

And because you, my readers, would have expected no less, I ordered dessert.  A homemade Apple Carrot Cake with Buttercream Frosting.  It was served warm, making the frosting was that delicious oozy texture.  I paired the cake with a highly acidic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and it cut through that rich butteryness in a way that surprised and pleased me immensely.  I apologize for no pictures of the dessert...I was excited when it came, I pretty much smashed it within minutes.  Sorry, Brent.

It gives me hope...that on an island where the standard breaded cheese sticks, french fries, hamburgers, and chicken fingers run rampant...there are also dishes like the one above.  Differently delicious. 

If you come here to the island, I'll buy you one.

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