after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Meritage (Again): Tacos and Dogs

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t says: g desperately wanted to write up our latest Meritage experiences, however, she only got as far as an outline.  I think the outline is funny to read in and of itself.  Thus, without further ado – here are her thoughts (with my edits in brackets).

g says:

– rough week, needed a pick-me-up
– want to try meritage Korean tacos [Meritage’s “special” on Wednesday nights]
– tacos were $3 each, but ladder 15‘s weren’t that big, and we didn’t want to run up a large bill, so we “pregamed” at home with some salad [this ended up being a mistake – more to come]

8/2010, 9pm, party of 2
– same server as last time, who recognized us
– us:  “you told us to come back for the Korean tacos, so here we are”
– him:  “sorry, we’re out”
– t: “you’re joking”
– him: “no, i’m sorry, i’m not – we just got written up in the NY Times and sold out early.  i’m so sorry.”
– us:  “uh-oh, our master plans were foiled” [No, we didn’t actually say this, but we thought it. I contemplated leaving, but g felt that that would be entirely too rude, and informed me that we were staying]

– we ordered four small plates and the non-Korean-taco appetizer “special” between us
– food runner brought us shot glasses of cold honeydew/lemongrass soup “compliments of the chef” [these were delicious – smooth and sweet with a hint of lemongrass – it was like summer dessert in a shot glass. We still don’t know if all patrons got this amuse bouche, or if it was only for special clientele.]

– food runner dropped off plate of 2 Korean tacos, said “compliments of the chef” and dashed off before we could say anything …
– looked at each other, looked around.  I said, “don’t touch them! If these are for someone else, we would look like such jerks eating them after the guy said they were out”
– t caught server’s attention and asked if they were indeed meant for us
– server: “yeah, they must have been held for a bar order but not picked up, so they’re yours.  you have the last order of Korean tacos in the house.”
– didn’t have to tell us twice
– fabulous [really, these were quite good – better than at Ladder15, as the meat was more tender, having been braised.  The kimchi was fresh and zingy.  It’s definitely something I look forward to making at home]
[– also, g and I still disagree on whether the server was telling the truth – if actually they were left over from another order, or if maybe he somehow convinced the kitchen staff that we deserved tacos as we were faithful clients who love their food … or if he said they should fear a poor review on adsz, given that we clearly have the influence to close restaurants]

– gazpacho [g ate every last bit, so I guess it was good – and one of our Southern friends who claimed herself to be a “gazpacho connoisseur” also liked it]
– pulled pork sliders [these were sweeter than the pulled pork sandwich at Cochon, but were solid performers]
– flatbread with curry sauce [once again, this was sweeter than I expected out of a curry, but the chickpeas were a nice consistency, and the bread was delicious]
– chickpea fries [g doesn’t like these, thinking they’re kind of “hoky” – it’s kind of like mashed chickpeas formed into the shape of large french fries and fried – I like ’em!  but really, you need to have ’em with some steak or something]
– special of the evening: duck corndogs – like the best chicken mcnugget and sweet-and-sour-sauce I’ve ever had [I have no idea where g’s been getting her chicken mcnuggets from, because, these are nothing like chicken mcnuggets, with the exception that yes, they’re fried, and yes, they are accompanied by a sauce that is both sour and sweet.  But holy crap.  These were phenomenal.  I’d say they tasted as good as, if not better than than the tacos (and they “win” because I’m pretty sure I can’t yet make this at home)!  The fried shell was light and crispy, and the ground-duck-“hot dog” was amazing.  The Korean sauce had a hint of spice, once again catering to a more “wousy” crowd, but also had a nice tang and sweetness.  This was very nearly KFC-good.  Seriously, this should be their new “it” thing – quickly – before San Francisco steals it (although I’m sure SF already has done it … somewhere).]

t says: So, Meritage is definitely bringing the thunder when it comes to their Korean-inspired dishes.  I think these dishes are great because it’s not like they’re trying to reinvent a classic Korean dish (a la Sampan), which is dangerous if the new creation doesn’t live up to the original; rather, these are introducing Korean flavors into otherwise hackneyed mediums (media?): fried chicken, tacos, corn dogs.  It’s fun!  Of course, these are only available on certain nights, so you’ll have to do your homework and ensure that you go at the right time (and hope that the kitchen doesn’t run out – we’ve called ahead since this experience to ensure they would have enough specials for us).  We have been back for KFC night with some friends (actually, it’s the fourth weekly consecutive visit for g), and it was still quite delicious (although the sauce was a little more goopy this time – probably because we asked for “extra spicy” too far after we ordered it and they probably had to toss it again in more gochujang, which is pasty – if you want it extra spicy, ask for it up front when you order).  There are other non-Korean specials on other nights – maybe we’ll get around to them.  It’s just too hard to rationalize going to Meritage on a night when they’re not doing something Korean …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

17 August 2010 at 8:35am

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