Oct 22

The Saltlik

by Wil Knoll · 3 comments

I may not have the most cultivated pallet on the face of the planet. I’m a fan of the simple things, like making hamburger helper and intentionally burning it a bit to get some crunchiness. The trick, you see, is to be distracted at home whenever you are cooking.

I can burn anything.

But I am still qualified to tell when my date is disappointed with a meal. A self described foodie herself, a majority of the discussion about our meal was talking about meals that we had elsewhere. Worse, the steaks we consumed were compared, unfavorably, to a chain steak house with far cheaper décor and prices.

My date took on the Peppercorn New York Striploin and I ordered the Blue Cheese California Cut New York. While both steaks were passable, neither of them stood out for their seasoning or preparation, both being a bit bland and not too tender. The salads that accompanied it were not even “me too” for the refuse-to-use-a-round-plate generation of restaurants that are everywhere now, going with textbook preparation and no personality in presentation or recipe. Not even a funky baked Parmesan cheese thingy made an appearance beside my Caesar on it’s oblong plate.

The standout of the meal was the Baja Shrimp, which were served on top of crunchy tortillas in a coconut cream sauce with peppers and green onions. The appetizer was the only item that brought bright color and flavor to the table, with an avocado salsa that I’m glad I took the initiative to try.

This is not to say that the meal was not good. Just not great for the name and price of the restaurant. The cuts of meat were palatable. The atmosphere is classy/casual, with rich woods, black leather, and fireplaces casting warm light. The staff are cheerful and the location, right on Stephen Ave, is a great starting spot for the night. But Saltlik, with the tagline “A Rare Stakehouse”, served up mediocre fare at an upscale price. The steaks clocked in at over thirty dollars apiece and should really have had us sitting back, patting bellies, and saying “Man, that has to be one of the best steaks I’ve ever had.”

When we sat back, we did talk about the best steaks we ever had. We talked about how much cheaper it was when we had them elsewhere. I hope it was just an off night. But it was better than burned Kraft Dinner (trick is to put it back on heat after you’ve mixed in the cheese sauce and friends).

101 8th Ave SW

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