Sunday, March 21, 2010

Busy Bee

Raleigh is a funny coffee town.  Apparently the lawyers down by the state Capital are not all that hopped up on caffeine.  So that explains John Edwards.  I say they are caffeine deficient because the Capital area is coffee shop deficient.  Oh, they have some.  Or so they think.  What they really have are an odd collection of delis that serve coffee.  And I don't mean delis in a complimentary way.  The kind of deli that restauranteurs open when they can't figure out how to make a real deli work in an overpriced real estate market in an artificially "hot" newly developed downtown "urban dwelling and work-space" place.

The upside of that is cool trade dress.  Busy Bee has a really great floor- old growth yellow pine or cypress?  The whole place is about right for what it is supposed to be.  Urban chic, warm, genuine.  A bit open and stark, but it really is a bar, after all, as we found out.

Whew, that was kind of ranty for one paragraph, wasn't it?  Well that's how I feel when I can't get a good coffee shop experience.  Or good BBQ, but that's another post.

OK, moving on.  We went exploring for a morning choice, and decided this bar/restaurant/coffee shop may be a good bet.  With all kinds of clippings on the wall touting its trendy cuisine, we thought it must be a good choice.  I would have been sure if I visited the website, which is more devoted to promotion than a food ethic.

I had a burger, always looking for that perfect American creation.  I had an Americano. It was OK, a bit cool, and maybe burned.  But OK.  Then my burger came.  A lightly toasted wheat roll was tender- the way I like it, so it isn't any more than a way to hold the burger.  The wheat gives a little sweetness, so it is like an egg bread bun, a real good option.  The meat was really well cooked, medium that is.  It was very, very tasty.  Must be fresh ground.  On top, house made fried onion strings, from yesterday- tough and chewy, but really the texture didn't detract, just the laziness.  Then the tomato- too much of the flavorless stuff- good for moisture, but not flavor.  If the tomato ain't tasty, it might as well be pastry.  Strike one.  Then, shredded white onions- not too many, the flavor was a good balance.  Nice.  But... lettuce- shredded!  Lazy! Overwhelmingly letuce-y in texture, and not even the sizable amount could make it crispy.  Just bad.  OH MY!

A bright spot- house made fries- really.  But they went soggy so quickly, I wonder if they are cooked in batches too big, or if they are not blanched first.  Shame!  And the malt aioli is a creative idea, but was not quite big enough to be better than straight mayo.  Close, good try, no cigar.

Won't go back. recommend you look elsewhere.

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