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Jun 25, 2008 08:50 AM

3 Square Café-Venice

Anybody been here lately?

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  1. I like the pretzel burger, and the avocado fries (in limited amounts) are quite tasty.

    5 Replies
      1. re: alliebear

        Breaded and fried avocado slices.

        1. re: hrhboo

          Thanks. That sounds really good. I'm moving to that area and I was walking around the neighborhood and stopped in 3 Square Cafe for a bite to eat. It was my first time there, and I really enjoyed it.

          I'll have to try the avocado fries next time. I just got the grilled steak and potatoes au gratin. The bread they brought out before the meal was my favorite part of the meal. They cooked my steak perfectly, medium rare. I probably wouldn't order the potatoes again, not that they weren't good. I just went for something safe for my first visit. Now I feel like I can be a bit more adventurous in my selections.

          1. re: alliebear

            If you like the bread they serve when you eat there, then you are in luck: most of it is available right next door in the bakery.

          2. re: hrhboo

            Oh God, Satan must have invented that luscious sounding temptation!

      2. I have been a couple of times recently and was very happy both times. The pretzel burger is always a hit, but I also like the crunch salad and the homemade spaetzle (southern German egg noodles). In fact, on request the chef will make Kaesespaetzle, which is like a German mac and cheese--utterly delicious and authentic (except without the sauteed onions that usually grace the top of the dish). The desserts are always good, too--the last time I was there (about three weeks ago), I had a local peach cobbler, which was outstanding. The wines by the glass, many of which are Austrian (including a Blaufraenkisch [$14], which is difficult to find by the glass or bottle anywhere), are very good, though drinking a few really jack up the bill. Overall I just love the place--what a great addition to the neighborhood!

        1. I go often, mostly for brunch. I am a huge fan of the ham and cheese panini with a fried egg on top. Sounds boring, but it's one of my favorite sandwiches in the city. I also love the apple pancake and the bread/pastry basket with plugra and homemade raspberry jam is delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mollyomormon

            I will drive from the valley just for their apple pancake. Delicious.

          2. I find their lunch/brunch much more satisfying than dinner. Love the crispy poached egg on spinach, and they have a lovely brie and proscuitto plate served with the same bread basket with jam and plugra.

            The macaroni and cheese is quite good, and the schnitzel with lingonberry preserves is excellent. Not at all greasy or overcooked.

            4 Replies
            1. re: hrhboo

              Your drescriptions have my salivary glands in overdrive; thank you! But I have to ask: what is a crispy poached egg?

              1. re: ElsieDee

                It's a soft poached egg, panko crusted and deep-fried. Decadent and delicious!

                1. re: hrhboo

                  Oh, wow. That sounds positively indecent (in the most wonderful way!). How's the spinach prepared? Or does the heat from the egg wilt it?

                  1. re: ElsieDee

                    It's like a very light version of creamed spinach. It's really delicious.

            2. i went for brunch last weekend and had a mixed experience. the bread basket is very good as previously mentioned, especially the pretzel bread and scone. i had the huevos rancheros, as recommended by the server. it was okay, but not something i would seek out in the future. my dining companion ordered the famous pretzel burger, which looked beautiful - large patty, dripping with swiss and caramelized onions. unfortunately, the meat had not been seasoned at all. no salt or pepper to speak of, which just made for a bland burger in the end. the pretzel bun was great, though, as were the almost shoestring-like french fries. dessert was creme brulee which was okay but not great and an amazingly rich dark chocolate cookie from the bakery next door. that was the real winner of the day! the super chocolatey cookie was almost brownie-like in denseness and plated like a real dessert with berries and whipped cream garnish, but still only charged at the bakery price of $2.

              5 Replies
              1. re: trishyb

                Try the Schnitzel next time. It's one of the first things that was offered on the menu since day one. I've never been to Austria but I've heard more than once that 3 Square's version holds up very well. Whatever the case, it's as thin and lean but equally meaty and satisfying. It's fantastic.

                That chocolate cookie is by far my most regular pick from the bakery's case - I had one today no less. Perfecting the art of deception, the crispness formed on the outside of the cookie might fool one into thinking that the entire cookie is crisp through and through. But upon biting into it, that thin veneer collapses into the dense richness of dark chocolate, cocoa and walnuts with just enough flour to hold it all together. More unctuous than a brownie, just left of a capable chunk of chocolate fudge, and like opium to anyone addicted to cocoa. At times I've had it with TJ's cheese-style yogurt, a touch of honey and some berries, while other times it's been on our table with sliced bananas and a little dolce de leche, but my favorite way by far is to have it just warmed through with a cold glass of milk. It seems self-defeating to draw more attention to this muscular mass of chocolate as the bakery seems to typically have a limited number on hand on any given day, but we're all about sharing right?

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  what a great chocolate chip cookie description! i want a cookie now.

                  1. re: Alice

                    It's a hefty chocolate-chocolate chunk fudgey thing that is masquerading as a broad-shouldered megacookie... 3 Square is the Arnold Schwartzenegger of eateries. There's nothing timid or light about most of their offerings. If you expect a squirt of marzipan, you get a dollop of nougat. If you expect a sprinkling of cheese, be ready for glops of melted goo smothering your pretzel bread. Things there can be over the top - but in a good way...

                      1. re: Diana

                        Thank God it has nuts in it. Yum.