Friday, July 18, 2008

Restaurant review: Raglan Road

I ventured out for lunch today with coworkers to Kansas City's infamous Power & Light District to enjoy Irish fare. Although the interior was spacious and impressive, that's where the pleasantries end. I ordered the very expensive fish and chips (or according to the menu: Fish &; I'm not sure if that was a typo or not. Our British waiter said the menu had gone through so many iterations to misspellings alone). Okay, so it was $14 fish and chips. I think you can expect to expect some good fish and chips for that price. Accompanying the fish and chips was a pea shot, and that's where this story takes a turn or spill for the worst: a waitress, upon delivering my fancy plate, complete with fish and chips in a wire cone, the shot glass full of pea soup dives off the plate. Or at least I think it did; I can't exactly remember because I was thinking the entire time, "Oh shit. That doesn't look stable." While most of the green goo tipped over onto the plate, the other portion landed on the table, and much to chagrin: my lap. Thank god for Tide pens and the invisible shield protecting the white T-shirt I was wearing.

Of course the waitress was extremely apologetic and had it cleaned up from my plate in no time, mopped up with cloth napkins. Had I been the waitress, I think I would have immediately returned the plate. Instead, she just gave me a new order of a pea shot after wiping my plate clean.

The fish and chips were, well, I get more excited about my cooking than what I ate. Granted, I'm learning I'm a fairly descent cook, so maybe it's not hard to surpass restaurant fare anymore. The fish, while hot, was very bland. I was dipping my bites heavily in the tarter sauce, which was the only good thing on my plate. The chips, or fries, were the thick, chunky kind. Not quite steak fries. They were mushy in the middle—not how a fry is supposed to be at all.

And what about that pea shot? It seriously was a pea shot, complete with the shot glass. I've never had pea soup, and when I had it spilled on me, I smelled the very distinct hint of mint. Not a good sign. I decided that, because the shot had been the cause of so much trouble, I should at least sample it. One tiny sip revealed that it was indeed infused with mint. So I passed it on to Rick, one of my coworkers, who said he absolutely loved pea soup. He downed it, shot-style. At least someone enjoyed it.

After all that, I thought, "Okay, well, that wasn't worth my excitement, but maybe they won't have charged me the full price of the meal after the pea soup fiasco." Wrong. $19 later and a new stain to my skirt, I was ready to leave Raglan Road.

Ambiance: B+
The place is very cavernous, so it was easy to hear my lunch party; I've heard it can get pretty loud in the evenings though. The place is outfitted with heavy wood and leather. I also liked the design treatment of both the coasters and the menu.
Waitstaff: C
In hindsight, the waitress/server, I felt, made a grievous mistake in just mopping up my plate in front of me. I also felt that the price of my food, which landing in my lap, should have been deducted, at least by a few dollars.
Food: C-
The food didn't really promise on an Irish gastronomy experience. Rather, I felt I had gone to a quaint pub with overpriced fare with clever Irish names. In the review of the restaurant, Lauren Chapin summed it up best: Everything needed a bit of salt.

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