after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Continental (Old City): Service with a Snooze

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t says: g and I went to Continental yesterday with d and a friend after enduring 7 innings in the rain watching the Phillies. We were wet, we wanted to stay warm, and we wanted to eat near d’s place. The first establishment we visited (Race Street Cafe) was packed – everyone was watching the end of the Phillies game. Been there, done that. We decided to keep moving – so it was suggested we go to Continental. I was definitely a little under-dressed for the place, but I relied on d’s friend’s blazer-with-rolled-up-sleeves and shirt-with-French-words to make up for my ripped sweatshirt and flip-flops. We were successful in gaining entry (no wait!), and, after getting carded, we were seated at a booth …

4/2010, Friday 11pm, Party of 4. The hostess took us to our table and presented us with menus. After a quick scan, I found that even Continental was jumping aboard the Korean taco craze – after Ladder15, I was excited. Then, the waitress came over and, with a blank stare to some point in the horizon, she asked, “Welcome to Continental, have you eaten here before?” She looked very … tired … She explained that they serve food family style and probably said some other things too – I was too distracted by how enervated she sounded. It must have been a rough night.

As we looked at our menus, we decided on the calamari salad, Korean tacos (my choice), and chicken skewers. It must have taken us a while to decide because we were asked if we were ready at least twice before the time we were actually ready … well, either that or she desperately wanted us to get a move on.

The calamari salad was pretty good! Even better than I was expecting. I suppose it’s better described as an “Asian” calamari salad. No, there weren’t any visible sesame seeds or mandarin oranges or those crunch slender things, but there was some definitely soy, ginger, and sesame flavors going on in there – very nice for a pile of lettuce, some cabbage and some calamari. Also the calamari came out crisp and not mushy, so kudos to them! It was a nice sized portion for four of us to share.

The Korean tacos were next. To be honest, g and I don’t really know why they were “Korean”. Obviously, the tortilla wasn’t Korean – tasting distinctly like … a tortilla. The meat was not pork belly or short rib or rib eye … it was pulled pork flavored with a sauce that didn’t really have any resemblance to anything Korean (more like a sweet bbq sauce). There was some pickled cucumber and onion flecks involved, too … but they weren’t Korean either. Don’t get me wrong – it was pretty good (d seemed to enjoy it a lot) – but let’s be real – it’s a pulled pork taco. I’ll have to bring it up at our next Korean meeting.

The chicken skewers came out with peanut sauce. They were fine – nothing that I wouldn’t see at any old catered event that had chicken skewers with peanut sauce. I guess I really don’t have much to say beyond that.

Now, throughout the meal, the waitress did try her best to speed us along. She cleared plates as soon as they were done. She offered to take our salad, but I told her we were still picking at it (which we were – there was still at least 1/8 of the salad left!). And under no circumstance did she show the least bit of enthusiasm. I completely understand if you’re not thrilled with your job, but you kind of get paid to appear thrilled with your job … right?

In any case, I think Continental had a fairly reasonable showing. I’m not sure I’d head back by myself, but if some friends wanted to go, I wouldn’t try desperately to suggest other places. We chose some cheap items from the menu – totaling $32 for the four of us (although it’s not like we were starving to begin with). Aside from the improper use of the adjective “Korean” and the ridiculously uninterested waitress, I’d say: not too shabby, Mr. Starr.

g says: I think I like the one in Center City better. It definitely has better service, better atmosphere, and even better food. Also, I still want to go to center city and sit in a swing chair!

t says: Now who’s being the bad cop?

Written by afterdinnersneeze

17 April 2010 at 3:44pm

Posted in Happenings

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