Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Clyde Common

1014 SW Stark St.
Happy Hour: Weekdays, 3 - 6 PM

Clyde Common has been on my list to try for a very long time. I could easily pull the actual paper I wrote it on out of my desk drawer and you would see that Clyde Common is at the top of the list. So when Spring Break hit (and time finally made itself available), we went there first. Happy Hour starts at three...and we were there just minutes after. I was excited. It seemed to be a very promising place. It, however, was not. It wasn't awful. The server was great, the menu had a lot of vegetarian options, the prices seemed ideal. It just didn't suit me. I don't think I'll be back. Not for happy hour that is. And, as far as the list goes (the other list, that is...the one I keep of all of my favorite, must-return places) Clyde Common is somewhere at the bottom.

Walking into this place, we were greeted with large wooden tables that leave space for strangers. At happy hour or even late-night dining, I'm cool sharing the space with others. But, knowing that there was a family with two small children (and the potential for a lot of awkward first dates), I was a little curious to know how well this seating arrangement has worked at the dinner hour. As time went by and the place started to fill up, most people sat at the bar (another shared space, I suppose, but still).

The happy hour menu was covered with vegetarian options. And, quite a few of their menu items are listed as daily. It's nice to know that they have something new to choose from...even a daily cookie. Plenty of offerings caught my eye (especially the pesto grilled cheese with fontina--which also contained walnuts and was why I didn't order it) and I was able to narrow it down to just two. I ordered the green salad and a plate of fried chickpeas, at $3 each.

The salad wasn't bad. But, it was just lettuce. Giant pieces of lettuce that--if I wasn't afraid to tear it up ahead of time or even make a mess of my face--couldn't be any more cumbersome to eat. The vinaigrette was light and had a fairly good flavor...but, it wasn't special. Even for just three dollars, I was expecting a little more. A tomato, some carrots, just one crouton...anything would have helped improve the rating here.

I was pretty impressed with the fried chickpeas, as was my friend (who was--if you haven't already read her review--equally displeased with this place). There were plenty of them to share and they were easy to eat (like popcorn, really...but I wouldn't suggest eating them by the handful). They had a thin layer of some sort of breading and were dusted with something that appeared to be paprika.

Before ordering anything, I asked the server all sorts of questions. The happy hour menu leads to that I'm sure with all of its daily specials. But, I was asking about the drinks. There were just a few on the happy hour side and none of them really struck me as being the one. She claimed that the charlie horse was pretty popular. It was a mix of vodka, orange, and something that I couldn't quite pronounce (something that she said was made from artichokes). She warned me of the piney flavor but led me to believe that it would be satisfying. At first sip, I knew it wouldn't really do. I finished it...but, I wouldn't think to order a second. The flavors were a little too much for me.

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


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