Power Lunch: The Kitchen at 137
Aug 06, 2010 09:50PM
● By Anonymous
What we got: We started out by sharing a plate of hummus and pita bread ($5). Let's get this out of the way - this was the best part of the meal. The pita bread was soft, the hummus was creamy and the olives that dotted the plate were a nice complement. However, ordering an actual lunch was a little bit trickier. James easily asked for a lamb gyro (the restaurant specializes in "global cuisine"); however, when I asked for a crab, cucumber and avocado panini, the waitress informed us they were out of crab. Then I asked for a falafal wrap, which she informed me they were out of as well. Apparently, the restaurant is on the verge of changing their menu and were out of quite a few options. Therefore, I couldn't get my first, second, third or fourth choice.
Moving down the list of what actually was available, I chose a Thai Chicken Wrap with Asian Peanut Sauce. The wrap came as an incredibly large portion (I took half home and ate it for dinner) with veggies, chicken and the peanut sauce on a sundried tomato wrap, with a salad on the side. The wrap was fine for it being my fifth choice on the menu, but was really messy at the end as it needed to be wrapped tighter.
James ordered the traditional lamb gyro and his eyes widened when placed in front of him. It was a heap of Greek; one of the larger gyros he's seen. Standard sliced lamb kabob with mixed greens, diced cucumber and tomato, and tzatziki sauce; all billowing from a warm, soft pita. The portion was massive, but unfortunately did not deliver any wow-factor in the flavor department. In fact, the tzatziki sauce was remarkably thin, almost runny. Traditional tzatziki sauce is thick and sticks to your ribs. This presentation, on the other hand, was blase fare. And the side salad that accompanied the dish was not well thought out. Why would he want more of what's already stuffed into the gyro? It didn't make sense.
What we paid: The meal rang up at $32, including tip, for the hummus, a wrap, a gyro, an iced tea and two Diet Cokes. For the record, refills of soda are not free at The Kitchen, as they come in cans. The waitress and I had a bit of miscommunication over this, which resulted in me inadvertently paying for an extra can. Because the portions were so large that it ended up being two meals, I can't complain about the price of the food.
How long it took: Even though there was just one waitress on duty, we got in and out within 40 minutes. Quite a reasonable time span for a lunch.
The verdict: Based on its online menu, I really wanted to like this restaurant - the menu shows nontraditional flavors, plus vegan and local options. However, because I wasn't order practically anything I wanted to eat, I have to say I probably won't return.
James felt the same way, saying "Overall, Kitchen @ 137 has an uphill climb ahead. Attention to detail is paramount, from waitstaff to what's on the plate, and unfortunately too much--and we mean too much, both in service and food portions--was below par. Kitchen is a relatively young operation that we won't be visiting again, for some time; perhaps, after ownership has righted the ship."