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Farmer Brown report

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fine wino Jul 24, 2006 05:29 PM

After a couple basil gimlets at Rye, my date and I decided to try Farmer Brown on a whim. I called around 7:45 to get the address and check to see if we could get a seat and it sounded jamming. They put our name on the list and said it would be a half hour.

Once we arrived and congratulated the host on being so busy, we were told it would still be a half hour. Luckily after about 15 min. we grabbed a seats at the very long bar. We love eating at the bar so that was great for us. The bartender was really into the food and had great energy. I asked about a few things and decided, with his encouragement, on the stuffed trout. My date got the fried chicken and we ordered the wedge salad to share.

The famous mini biscuits and corn muffins arrived but instead of pepper jelly, it was cherry. I had a little and liked it OK but it was really sweet,had a pretty loose consistency and just wasn't what I was craving to whet my appetite. I thought the biscuits were more fluffy than flaky (I prefer the latter but maby that texture is hard to achieve in miniature) but still tasty. The corn muffins had a nice texture and were more sweet than savory.

The band started around 8:30 or 9:00 and the soul and r&b covers were really fun and well performed but, man it was loud. It was cool for us since we've been together for a while but I would not recommend Thursday night for 1st dates or reunions! Live music every Thursday nite.

We waited about 15 minutes or so and the entrees appeared. We asked the bartender about that wedge salad and he appologized saying "it was his fault". It showed up 10 minutes later and we really didn't even want it since we were devouring our entrees. The salad veg: iceberg, thin radish slices and sweet cherry tomatoes were super fresh and the dressing had good flavor. The dressing was a smooth consistancy, rather than chunky. A good basic salad.

On to the meat of the meal...that stuffed trout is a winner. I loved every bite. Pan seared for crispy skin with a nice, thick slice o' bacon on top. The stuffing was lovely: sweet cornbread, ground walnuts, and fresh herbs to include...lavender? The fish was served on a nest of green beans that were crisp and smoky tasting...maybe drizzled with a little of that bacon fat? They were however, a rather drab color despite being crisp because the fish was sauced in a vinegary, spicy sauce that was pretty intense but really balanced the flavors of the fish. I really recommend this dish.

My pal had the fried chicken and also ate the whole thing. He loved the mac and cheese and said the breast meat was tender and not dry at all. I guess they've improved in the fried chix department!

I'm looking forward to going back and trying the pulled pork and the game hen..and some of their summery cocktails. The prices are right, the vibe is good and the food darn tasty.

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  1. Morton the Mousse RE: fine wino Jul 24, 2006 07:34 PM

    Thanks for the report. Glad to hear that the white fried chicken has improved. The trout sounds delicious.
    I never thought I'd complain about a kitchen using cherries, but that's a real bummer about the jelly. The pepper jelly was just incredible. I hope they plan on bringing it back soon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Morton the Mousse
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      fine wino RE: Morton the Mousse Jul 24, 2006 09:57 PM

      I know it re: the cherries. I a Michigan girl and lived in WA for 7 years and I LOVE cherries! I guess I just don't like a sweet prelude to dinner. The spicy pepper jelly is more appealing to me.
      I didn't even peek at the dessert menu because I was full...but maybe they have cherry pie!

    2. Windy RE: fine wino Jul 26, 2006 07:38 PM

      Just a quick note for anyone who's downtown tonight (Wednesday) that a few hounds are meeting for happy hour and snacks from 6 on.

      Come join us if you're in the neighborhood.

      Also nice review by Patricia Unterman in today's Examiner.

      1. c
        chilena_sf RE: fine wino Sep 3, 2006 04:29 PM

        Maybe we caught Farmer Brown on an off night. We practically had our drinks thrown in our faces by the bartender, who was surly, rude and clearly having an off night. We sat at the bar for 15 minutes before we even got someone to look our way. Once she actually decided to acknowledge us, to make our mojitos she threw some mint in a glass and poured the rum on top, there was no muddling to be seen. The food was ok, the trout was a little too spicy and salty for my taste, so spicy that all you could taste was spice. The fried chicken was alright, nothing to write home about. I hate to say it but the highlight of the meal was the sweet tea.

        1. l
          lawrence RE: fine wino Sep 4, 2006 08:02 AM

          i went to farmer brown last month with a large group and overall had a pretty good experience too. the sides, i must say, are amazing -- especially the cornbread stuffing. entree portions are pretty well-sized, but the dishes were on and off.

          i had the trout too where the fish and stuffing were good, but totally overpowered by the spiciness of the sauce. i couldn't taste anything anymore. the green beans were also an extreme drab olive green color. tasted fine, but just didn't look appetizing. they were also drowned in the sauce.

          but it sounds like they're working the kinks out. i look forward to trying it in a couple months again.

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