Alchemy

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
fedder
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alchemy

Postby fedder » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:32 pm

i have to say- went to alchemy twice and was not impressed. i was not a regular at wonder's (although i did enjoy beer from their nice selection of taps from time to time) so i didn't have any expectations...
one time i went there and was alone, waiting for 2 friends. i asked for water which the waitstaff brought like 15 mintues later even though it was totally dead. then i asked for a drink list + menu. she didn't come back for the longest time-by the time my friends got there, i said 'let's get outta here!'
next time i went- 2 weeks ago- very slow night, took the waitstaff person forever to bring our drinks. she just stood up by the bar and didn't notice we were repeatedly craning our necks trying to get her attention. in the amount of time it took her to bring our drinks, we could've each consumed 2. several times we actaullyu had to go find her-
the onion rings were good. had the veggie salad which on the menu said it had roasted carrots + spicey walnuts. 3 little slivers of carrot. 3 or fewer pieces of walnut. door county cherry dressing sounded good, but it was sooo underdressed that all you could taste were bitter greens. (by the way i happen to love bitter greens- the dressing would've been a nice complement to them)
we ordered the ho'made lime tortilla chips with pomegranite salsa. the chips had a nice crunch, but not hint of lime, and the salsa had no sign whatsoever of anything remotely pomegranite-y. no seeds, no jiuce. regular old salsa/chips would've been fine but when it says lime/pomegranite etc on the menu it should be in the food.
friends had "stuffed" grilled cheese with broccoli etc was not grilled but toasted and bland and lacking in the mentioned ingredients.
after we ate the waitstaff person took forever to come back to us- it's nice when a service takes away your plates when you're finished so you don't have to stare at all the remnants of the food that you didn't like. (she needs some training)
i am forgiving when i go out to eat- but there was something wrong with virtually everything we ate- and the service was poor. i know they are new=ish-hope they can get it together. i have spoken with friends who have had slightly better experiences there, so maybe there is hope.
oh! the soup there is really good- forgot to mention that! made by neighborhood lady jenny capellaro who makes mother fool's soup.
that is all i have to say...

TheBookPolice
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Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:05 pm

That is all, huh? Too bad you couldn't have been more precise.

As far as the aspects your visits and mine shared, I couldn't disagree with you more. We were handed our menus and served very quickly on what started out as a very slow period. Our drinks came quickly, and there was only a slight delay in getting the check.

The phrase "hint of lime" tells me you might be expecting something a little more overt and, shall we say, manufactured. If they are in fact home-made, then I'm not surprised at all that, paired with any kind of salsa, the lime would be difficult to notice. As for that salsa, while I haven't tried it yet, actual pomegranate flavor is usually pretty subtle too. Seeds in a salsa would be a negative in my book, especially pomegranate seeds.

I'd say give 'em another try, but it doesn't sound like it'd be your kind of place regardless.

fennel
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Postby fennel » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:40 pm

TheBookPolice wrote: If they are in fact home-made, then I'm not surprised at all that, paired with any kind of salsa, the lime would be difficult to notice.

If it were, in fact, home-made, I think the Health Department might take an interest — unless that home kitchen has been inspected and approved. Compared to Ben & Jerry's "Homeade," it's a relatively less egregious fib, but there's no reason they can't be straightforward and label it as made in-house (from scratch, of course).

fedder
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alchemy

Postby fedder » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:48 pm

i am glad you had had a better experience than i did that night. do you mind if i ask what you had? did you like the food? some have said the meat dishes are better options than the veggie

well no actually i was not expecting a super overt lime taste in the homemade tortilla chips= i appreciate something subtle for sure- i tasted the chips all by themselves, without the salsa of course, so i could see what they taste like- no hint of lime- maybe it was a bad night there? i am not in to "manufactured" things at all actually, i do not like or buy processed commercial foodstuffs- i appreciate whole food, local and seasonal foods. that is why i was excited about alchemy and some of the things listed on the menu. (and i do really appreciate the fact that they have vegetarian stuff there and in general like the looks of the menu)
the pomegranite should've "shown up" in some form or another-the seeds are great- have you had them? pomegranate is not subtle- it is very tart- would do well in a salsa actually...
one night a friend went and the salad i had ordered and dissed was actually great- so i think they may not be consistent in the kitchen. likewise, i am sure that not all of the waitstaff are like the one we experienced that night- hence your good service etc.- there might just be one bad egg and it soured my experiences.
also for the record- well you may not pay attention anyway, there's a lot of stuff on these pages that is so subjective and everyone is trying to convince everyone else that they are "right"---everyone is entitled to their opinion-i worked in restaurants for 12 years (please don't take this the wrong way and jump on my back- be patient) and i am not one of those know-it-all annoying people about all this---- when i go out with friends to various places and the service etc isn't great, i am the first one to try to imagine why- like maybe they just got slammed, maybe it is someone's first night, maybe they ran out of something, maybe they are having a bad day----- i am usually really forgiving, knowing how stressful restaurant stuff can be- but all the disappointments that added up that night made me want to write something. if the service had been slow but the food great, i wouldn't go on and on...
it'd be more my kind of place if they paid a little more attention to detail- good restaurants do and this is what could make 'em great.
Last edited by fedder on Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

boston_jeff
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Postby boston_jeff » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:41 pm

rabble wrote:I live in that general area but haven't been out to Schenk's Corners recently.

Can anyone tell me if they still display a "Guinness on Draught" neon sign in the window but have only Guinness in bottles inside?


When I went they did not have Guinness. Not sure if the keg was tapped or if they were out of bottles.

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Postby boston_jeff » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:42 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
Mark Snowden wrote:A menu is "pretentious" because they mix a bit of aioli in the mayonaise

Back to Cuisine 101 for you.

Anyway, the better half and I visited Alchemy tonight, and it was pretty darn good. I had the bison melt, and while it was a little bland, a little industrial, and way too big for the bun, it was a respectable offering. However, the BLFT was outstanding. My lovely dining companion told me that it was the best BLT she'd had since Radical Rye closed. Anywhere. I'd be inclined to agree. The tomatoes were nuclear-hot.

As for the sides, both the green beans and fries were well above average.

Sure, the artwork was mediocre, but it was so sparse that only an anti-change zealot would make such a fuss about it. I was more put off by the extreme warmth in the air, the sticky tabletop, and the illegible beer menu on the wall. But these things are easily changed, and the 7 pieces of crappy artwork are easily ignored. We will most definitely be back, and I'd go so far as to say that we'll be back regularly.


The BLT and the onion rings are the shit fo sho.

Mark Snowden
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Postby Mark Snowden » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:16 pm

boston_jeff wrote:The BLT and the onion rings are the shit fo sho.

Yeah, the o-rings look like a plateful of Krispy Kreme donuts. They use those giant vidalia onions that are so sweet and remind me of WA State.
Not to diss the discerning palate's of some of the previous posters, but I'd point out to any readers that the discussion is about meals that are in the ~$8.00 range. And are accompanied by free live music if you're a late diner. I know that's not everyone's choice for a dining-out experience, but for a night-owl like me, I can overlook some of the other posters' quibbles. The place is establishing a good vibe, and I think it will settle into a nice groove that complements the neighborhood.

TheBookPolice
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Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:11 pm

Jesus fedder, you're just trying too damn hard.

I know pomegranate (two a's, no i's) is good in salsa. I said the SEEDS wouldn't be a welcome addition by my estimation.

My review has been quoted since you posted your second comment, but it's in this thread, so just read back a bit.

But the rest of your comment is so hyphenated I'm not really sure what you're trying to put on the record. Suffice it to say, I disagree with your appraisal of Alchemy, although I don't begrudge you your opinion.

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Postby depinmad » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:28 am

what do you mean when you say fedder is trying too hard?
he gave a detailed description of his experiences and then a detailed rebuttal to your rebuttal, where he disputed your insinuation that pomegranate seeds are unwelcome in a salsa, and that pomegranates have a subtle taste which may be lost in the salsa and that the reason he didn't taste the lime in the chips was because of the salsa.
what are you getting all huffy about?

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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:40 am

I think fedder is being hypercritical regarding a place like Alchemy. As was posted previously,

Mark Snowden wrote:Not to diss the discerning palate's of some of the previous posters, but I'd point out to any readers that the discussion is about meals that are in the ~$8.00 range.

Huffy? Where's the indication I'm getting huffy in any way?

Oh, and fennel, are you serious or just being your usual wacky self? Is "Homeade" what she's serving?

Image

depinmad
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Postby depinmad » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:45 am

"Jesus fedder, you're just trying too damn hard."

that's what we call huffy.

TheBookPolice
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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:14 am

Royal "we." Y'know, the editorial?

Respectfully disagree.

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Re: alchemy

Postby sitnspin » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:02 am

fedder wrote:i have to say- went to alchemy twice and was not impressed.
one time i went there and was alone, waiting for 2 friends. i asked for water which the waitstaff brought like 15 mintues later even though it was totally dead. then i asked for a drink list + menu. she didn't come back for the longest time-
friends had "stuffed" grilled cheese with broccoli etc was not grilled but toasted and bland and lacking in the mentioned ingredients.
after we ate the waitstaff person took forever to come back to us- it's nice when a service takes away your plates when you're finished so you don't have to stare at all the remnants of the food that you didn't like. (she needs some training)
i am forgiving when i go out to eat- but there was something wrong with virtually everything we ate- and the service was poor. i know they are new=ish-hope they can get it together. i have spoken with friends who have had slightly better experiences there, so maybe there is hope.

I've been to Alchemy three times and wholeheartedly agree with everything fedder says. You couldn't be more right on about that lame stuffed grilled cheese, etc... A friend of the family owns it, I hope it comes together soon.

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Alchemy - Save you dough

Postby HBK » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:19 pm

This place is nothing but a disappointment - I cannot remember which of the various Isthmus or WSJ reviewers gave it the raving review - but the issue of the quality of reviewers in this town, I think already exists on another thread.

So we went - Ear Splitting Blue Grass Music greeted us on entry.. Are you even supposed to play Blue Grass at ear splitting levels? One companion mused; does anyone even like Blue Grass? I concede that some people do and that is fine. Just not my thing.

So you look at the Menu - looks OK, perhaps a bit spendy, buy boasting local ingredients, local economy, know the farmer, etc... The food shows up. The portions seemed ridiculously small for the price. Immediately I am thinking, "rip off" (but trying to stay positive). Sample food, no flavor. How such seemingly interesting ingredients were put together in such a manner to be devoid of flavor was somewhat amusing. So again ample food, still thinking "rip off". The bill arrives, now confirmed RIPPED OFF.

I am happy to pay for quality dining experiences with quality ingredients. But the quality was lackluster, the price high, the service OK - and am not a Blue Grass guy. Will not be back – there are plenty of other lackluster places to visit that are not so loud and less expensive.

fennel
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Postby fennel » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:45 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Oh, and fennel, are you serious or just being your usual wacky self? Is "Homeade" what she's serving?
No, I'm just being literal. (Exactly, whose home was it made in?) Ben & Jerry's is factory-made, for example. A restaurant's food may be made in-house, but if it's made in someone's home, the local health department would require that said home be certified for commercial food preparation.


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