Lunch with Louie at The Brewhouse
Santa Barbara food reviews with Louie the pessimist food critic
June 2, 7:23 PM (PT)
What made me decide on The Brewhouse as the subject of this review is basically two-fold: First, an ardent recommendation from my son Mark, who described the place as a potpourri of gourmet creations so ample and diversified it would dazzle my palate and besides that, the place is cool and loaded with chicks. More than anything, I want to be cool. I was, or shall we say my food order was, described as “awesome”, so “cool” will be a perfect companion to my contemporary collection of accolades.
The second reason I came was the fact that I once saw an advertisement for this place that left me totally amazed by the quantity of dishes they offered, and also at how few barriers they encountered in the production, type and origin of the food they so grandly publicized. From steaks to mixed grills to pastas to enchiladas to encrusted fish to shepherds pies to lamb with rosemary to cheeseburgers and salads. And how about beef stroganoff, and three types of Gorgonzola salads, each one of them different and desserts, some of whom have won awards. They are also members of the Coulis Club, as some of the dishes come with it. What kind of crew do you have to assemble to produce such marvels? How many chefs, sous chefs, salad chefs, etc, etc.? And how about the logistics that are associated with such an endeavor? Mind-boggling!
I had to experience it with my own eyes and taste buds.
Located at 229 West Montecito, the place has kind of a warehouse look to it on the inside, with a few tables scattered outside. The floors are your basic cement and the decor is shall we say, basic “who cares”?
Outside, two dudes were getting ready to go surfing. How cool is that? If I only had the time I would really show these guys how to ride a curl.
Inside – MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM - the smell of Pine Sol before lunch. It tantalizes your smelling senses and stimulates your salivary glands, and as a consequence your appetite becomes ravenous. What’s wrong with you guys? It’s 12 o’clock. Midday. Time for lunch. And somebody decides to mop the restaurant floor with Lysol or one of its close cousins. Is this a way to create a certain Avant-garde atmosphere for your eating patrons? Or is it just a prelude of things to come?
Fighting tears and sneezes, we order from our waitress. We pass on all the international and elaborate dishes and just get two sandwiches; a Grilled Chicken with green roasted peppers and jack cheese, and a Turkey Dip. My dearest son Mark had told me that the turkey is baked on the premises. Hopefully long before the Lysol mopping.
You know something is wrong with your chicken sandwich when you try to lift the top off of your bun and the whole thing comes with it: chicken, peppers and the bottom part of the bun - the whole thing is one entity, it has ceased being a sandwich, and it’s now become gunk. The bun was of the previously frozen variety and was kind of crumbly and a little stale.
The turkey in the Turkey Dip had the texture and taste of a home roasted bird, but for some reason they decided to revive it by grilling it before placing it inside the also mature French roll. Oy vey! Mark, I love you so much and I am willing to come back at night and try some of the beef stroganoff that I haven’t had since New York. Maybe then, we can share some of it with the droves of chicks who will be overflowing the joint.
I understand they brew some of their own beer - the equipment is there and somebody was moving some hoses, so it gives me the impression that it’s operative. That is a great idea - make beer.
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Perusing through a special food and local chefs advertising supplement published by the local newspaper the other day, we came across a picture of chef Alberto Morello, the owner of the wonderful Italian restaurant Olio e Limone. In the picture that accompanies his recipe, he is shown smiling and holding a chicken very lovingly in his left arm. What’s up with that? Who is that chicken anyway? Is it part of the restaurant crew or maybe a customer, or an investor perhaps? Or, oh my, is it now history after being provided with some gastronomical magic by Alberto himself? Please, your admirers want to know what was the chicken’s fate, or hopefully, his present whereabouts. Ciao Alberto.
None at this time
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