Thursday, February 11, 2010

Country Cat Review

I don't really have much to say about Country Cat, although I did think that their Happy Hour was somewhat disappointing. Fortunately, Happy Hour was only from 5-6 p.m., so we started at The Observatory at around 4 p.m. The Observatory was excellent, as usual. Had I only been to Country Cat, I think I would have left hungry, but I had some french fries and wine at The Observatory.

I ordered a Skeet Tea to drink, which was sweet tea infused vodka mixed with lemonade. It was pretty good, but I am not really down with paying $8 for a drink during Happy Hour, especially on the east side. They didn't offer any drink specials that I could see, and their food specials weren't great either.

I ordered the pretzels for $4, which were really good except for the ground mustard that came with them. I hate any kind of mustard but yellow, and this was one of those situations where you think it is going to be a delicious dip and find out unexpectedly that it is the worst dip ever and almost vomit. I did love the pretzels, though, and they would be perfect with a yellow mustard, marinara sauce, ranch sauce, or a broccoli cheese sauce.

I have no complaints about the service and I had a good time, but I agree with my friend that I will not be returning for a Happy Hour here anytime soon.

Food: Meets
Drink: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Does Not Meet


The Country Cat on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Country Cat

7937 SE Stark
Happy Hour: Weeknights 5 - 6PM

Being one of the few restaurants within walking distance from my house, I've been to the Country Cat quite a few times in the last year. I've done drinks, dinner and even just stopped in for a late-night dessert. I've always been impressed with the food and the service. It's a limited menu, like so many restaurants are--with just one vegetarian entree to choose from that seems to change each time I visit--but with items that are all packed with flavor and fresh ingredients.

The Country Cat offers weeknight specials that are likely to keep their customers--especially those in the neighborhood--returning on a weekly basis. The happy hour menu, however, is so very limited that it will not have me retuning. I'll be back, of course. But, I'll be back for a full dinner.

It's not just the menu that is limited during happy hour. At The Country Cat, it seems that happy hour really is just one hour. Starting at five might be suitable for most working people, but for the group of teachers on a Friday afternoon it's just too late. We made it, of course, as it had been our plan...but, we actually started the evening a block down the street at The Observatory. That's one great thing about this neighborhood. It's grown quite a lot (and it still growing) and has many restaurants to choose from, all within a block or two.

With very little to choose from on the happy hour menu (which is posted on the wall, written in chalk just to the right of the bar), I made a selection off the regular menu, too. (The regular menu does offer quite a few sides and starters that, in addition to the happy hour options, gives a customer more cheap eats to choose from.) I ordered the cream of broccoli and roasted garlic soup (at just $6) to accompany the house-made pretzels ($4 for two) from the bar's chalk board menu. The soup was topped with a small piece of toasted bread, sauteed mushrooms and a drizzle of sour cream. The soup had a great feel to it, with a pleasing texture and a smooth, creamy finish. It was, however, a little too salty for my liking. (Perhaps it only seemed to be too much as I was enjoying it along with salty pretzels.)

The pretzels were (along with the sip of the cocktail I SHOULD have ordered) my favorite choice of the evening. They were deliciously chewy. I only wish that they came with a selection of mustards to choose from rather than just the one. The one, of course, being my least favorite type.

Although I wish that I had ordered the cocktail that ended up across the table, I did enjoy my own selection. Muddled cherries and lime, vodka and ginger brew went well together but might have been a better choice in the summertime. I'll remember that, of course, and be back to enjoy it (and the others) again and again.

And, as usual, the service at The Country Cat was fantastic. Our server didn't seem the least bit upset that we weren't all ready to order drinks at the same time. (I'm sure that she was forced to return three times before all of us had made our drink decisions. Extra drink menus at the table would have sped things up a bit.) She was also great about the four of us splitting the check (something that is a nuisance for so many servers).

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets