Sometimes first impressions are just that…first impressions. If I were to base this review on Blue Cow Kitchen on my first visit to this the restaurant, it might be mediocre at best, but I sure am glad circumstances forced me to go again. So let me start from the beginning…
GLG was very excited to try out Blue Cow Kitchen, as it is brought to us by the same people who created Mendocino Farms (which is a GREAT place to go for a quick, healthy, and delicious meal!). I’ve heard some great things about Blue Cow Kitchen and was eager to try it out.
The décor itself is very fun, with a mix of comfy couches and metal chairs, lots of wood finishes (is this some new restaurant trend no one is telling me about?) and a very warm atmosphere. We were seated indoors, and while there was some natural light that flooded through, it was actually quite dark in the restaurant when we went for lunch time. But that didn’t deter me, as I was focused on a very promising menu.
We started off with the “Grilled Market Corn”, first let me say I appreciate that this was locally grown, gotta love it when we support our local farmers. The corn of course was grilled which gave it a great lightly charred flavor, and was smothered in cotija cheese, chipotle aioli and topped off with some chili powder. It was good. They come in one cob cut into three smaller piece. The flavors worked, especially the cheese/chipotle combo which you can never go wrong with. It reminded me a lot of the corn I used to get in the park that my mom would buy me while we waited for my brother to finish his karate class. I’ll reiterate again, it was good, but it had me missing that corn I used to get and didn’t fully satisfy my pallet.
Next we split our entrée – on the suggestion of our server we tried the “Al Pastor Shrimp Taco’s” and “The Royale Burger”. The shrimp tacos I have to say were actually my favorite part of this whole meal. The flavor of the marinated shrimp and the mojo slaw together was absolutely delightful! My only gripe about this dish was that it was quite messy, but hey, when has good food ever easy to eat? I also appreciated the fact that they didn’t skimp on the shrimp in this dish, I had a good pieces in every bite I took. The shrimp was definitely the star in this as it didn’t get lost in all the other ingredients which included pineapple and pickled red onions. I would absolutely get this again.
Now onto “The Royale Burger”… I told Kathy that I likened this burger to some of the dates I get set up on – Looks great on paper, but the chemistry is just not there. The Royale had a lot going for it I mean, read the description “blend of chuck & brisket burger, American cheese, thick sliced maple glazed bacon, remoulade, sunny egg. brioche bun, served with fries”. Cheese – check, Bacon – check, brioche bun – check, AND and egg on top – DOUBLE CHECK. I wanted to like this burger so much, but sometimes things just don’t work out that way. The burger itself was not bad, it was very juicy and cooked to a perfect medium rare, but where it went wrong I can’t quite point out. At first I thought, maybe the bacon, they were very large cuts of bacon and at times I could taste the char of the bacon over powering the very good burger. Then I thought maybe the brioche bun was too light of a bread to handle all the ingredients. Well maybe it was the egg? No. It’s never the egg’s fault, that’s just silly. So I came to the conclusion that this just wasn’t the burger for me and I had to let I go. Literally. Because I couldn’t bring myself to finish my HALF of the burger.
Let’s jump to more recently… we’re celebrating a fellow colleagues birthday and of course birthday boy gets to pick where we go—low and behold I’m back at Blue Cow Kitchen!
Feeling a little unenthused I decide “let me try something different and give this place another shot”, and boy am I glad I did! We were seated outside this time and I honestly think it makes a world of a difference. You get such a great view of the surrounding buildings and the ambience is just more open and airy and fun.
We started off with the “Pink Eggs and Ham” which if you’ve never had a deviled egg…these should be the only one you ever eat in your life. What sets these apart from other deviled eggs is the fact that they use pickled eggs which gives them that “pink” color. The egg yolks were perfectly fluffy, I think I caught a hint of mustard in them. It was a great blend of tart and sweet, the sweet coming from both the candied jalapeno. Then there was the bacon, the same bacon that disappointed me in the Royale burger, came back and showed me it was boss in these deviled eggs. I was sad I only had one to myself, I could have eaten a whole plate full and that would have sufficed as my meal, but it only got better from there.
I ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich as my entrée, and it was fantastic! I don’t want to say that the Siracha Aioli was the selling point, but it was. It provided the flavor but without the heat and in this case I thought it worked well enough that I didn’t miss the “spicy”. The chicken in this sandwich was perfectly crisp and could handle all the mojo slaw on top of it. This was the same mojo slaw on my messy shrimp tacos from last time, but the mess didn’t translate to this sandwich as the chicken was enough to absorb all the juices making it ever more enjoyable to eat. This place really loves a brioche bun, but it was a great compliment to the sandwich itself. I had to refrain myself from eating the other half—so I went to town on the fires on my plate, which, by the way, are also very addicting (and to their credit were very addicting during my first visit as well).
I was sold! I’d go back here again and again and again. It’s in walking distance from work, and I can already tell you I’ve gone a 3rd time since this post has been published. Lunch, dinner, happy hour, Blue Cow Kitchen and Bar gets my stamp of approval. J