Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brick American Eatery

Blah. That's the best word to describe the food here. Nothing was particularly terrible, but nothing was very good either. Thank goodness we had a groupon. I would not have been happy about paying full price here. On the positive side, the server and bartender were both friendly and attentive for the most part. But when the kitchen is sending out consistently uninspired food, it's hard to bring the average up very far. 

Brick has a high bar to live up to - inhabiting a location on 17th and Lombard that was most recently the home of Fish, and before that the institution that was Astral Plane. They didn't do much to change the interior when Fish left for a bigger pond. The menu seems to be the only significant difference. There is still a small bar at the entrance, hardwood floors throughout with the dining area divided up into curious little sections, all at different floor heights. 

grilled caesar
The grilled caesar salad, probably the best of the four dishes we tried. A nice hunk of crispy romaine, grilled ever so slightly, drizzled with caesar dressing, parmesean, and croutons that were tasty but no where near bite size. Ever try to cut a crouton? You're lucky if you end up with anything other than a pile of crumbs. The dressing looked and tasted like it came out of a bottle, and the parmesean was of the pre-grated variety. 

short rib mac & cheese

How could Food Baby turn down a dish like this? Slow roasted beef short-rib, piled on top of homemade mac & cheese? Sounded like a dream I once had. Tasted like stringy beef that hadn't been braised long enough over Kraft macaroni and cheese with extra butter added to the sauce. It's not that I was mad, I was just really disappointed. It shoulda/coulda/woulda been so much better. The kitchen really just phoned it in on this one. 

The wifey is on a scallop tear lately. She's been having them all over the city, and these were not in her top 10. Probably not even the top 25. They were cooked decently with good sear on the outside, but the sundried tomato cream sauce with rosemary was completely overpowering. Why is there a tomato cream sauce on scallops? And why was it served mixed up like a salad with the lettuce, beans and beats? Just a bizarre mish-mosh of flavors that do nothing to help each other. Fail. 

flat iron steak, brussel sprouts, shrooms, taters

How can you mess up a steak right? The flat iron was cooked fine, even if it was a bit tough. But there were too many other ingredients on the plate, and the weird juice/sauce that everything was soaking in wasn't helping things. Who's got two thumbs and likes soggy mushrooms? Not this guy. 

There are so many great places to eat in center city - you have to be putting out something that makes your place unique, or at least do the standards well. Brick is doing neither of those right now. Hopefully they can turn it around and get the kitchen together. Until they do, stop for a drink and then go eat elsewhere. 

Food Baby Rating: Miscarriage

Brick American Eatery
1708 lombard Street 
Philadelphia, PA 19146

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