Last Thursday my dear hubby wanted to go to Olive Garden. Yeah, I know. But he had a coupon. We had not stepped foot in the the one on Broad (or any other) for at least 10 years. I humored him and agreed. It was already 7:30 PM on a week night. Little did we know that the place seemed to be as popular as ever. We entered and were immediately greeted by a foyer full of waiting diners as well as a ton of cigarette smoke wafting in from the bar. The hostess informed us that the wait would be 20 minutes. We made a u-turn and never looked back. Served us right.
We made up for it by going to Baker's Crust in Carytown. The non-smoking establishment seated us immediately. We catered to our impulses and ordered the Baker’s Crust Tavern Chips - House-made parmesan-dusted chips, topped with melted white Vermont cheddar and bacon. Served with buttermilk chive dressing. Very yummy. We also indulged in a bottle of 2004 Franciscan Napa Vally Merlot. (Why did we originally want to go to that other place?) For dinner proper I chose the Kickin’ Corn & Crab Chowder - A sweet and creamy chowder that combines tender crab with sweet corn, a splash of brandy and just the right amount of spice to give this unique chowder a spicy kick. Baker's Crust has been serving this chowder for years. I have found it to be always consistent and delicious. My husband selected the Jersey Grinder - Melted provolone, Genoa salami, capicola ham, sweet ham, lettuce, tomato and onion on a warm crusty baguette with oil and vinegar. He was disappointed in this sandwich. He thought the capicola tasted a bit muted and that the baguette overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients. He did enjoy the wine. Since we rewarded ourselves with the Tavern Chips and the Merlot, we decided against dessert. But the crepes were very tempting. Maybe next time.