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Mar 11, 2012 04:16 PM

Hillside Farmacy Report: Good and Bad

Pardon the new thread, I figured I'd try to get us to 5 posts today :--(

SERVICE: We ate there today at noon with no wait, GOOD. It took about 15 minutes to get water / attention. BAD. Our server, a tall African American male was nice, but literally stood at the cash register and the bar 95% of the time, never to refill waters, once to ask us if our food was good. We weren't in a hurry, just unlucky we got the worst server we've had in ages.

FOOD: The small house made gravlax plate (10 bucks) was lovely enough - 5 medium sized slices of buttery salmon, atop a heaping mound of slaw with a drizzle of local honey. delicious. The salmon really shined. The small bresaola plate was a similarly spartan 5 slices of rolled thin sliced bresaola paired with some pickled onions, tiny orange wedges, hard cheese, herbs and arugula if I recall, and was also very good. The citrus balanced the salty beef and good oil. I don't know too many places that serve bresaola though you can buy it at central market. Pretty solid, no complaints, but again for 10 bucks one might want a tad more. The corned pork belly sandwich. This was a huge disappointment. And it's not because it didn't sound great what with the #77 sauce, the corning, etc.? But again, way too stingy on the good stuff and overpowered with the dense and thick bread. All we could really taste was the bread, and my wife the bread fiend pulled a slab of it away and still couldn't taste anything. Just a few tiny pieces of pork too, and couldn't tell what it tasted like. Scrutinizing the other sandwiches coming out of kitchen, all of them looked way over breaded Like two inch thick slices with thin interiors. 8 to 12 dollars for a sandwich isn't overly expensive, but freaking give me something to eat folks. I was intrigued by the cryptic #77 sauce, but I literally could not taste it at all. Not to mention it was dry. Letdown...

FINGERNAILS: And hey, I'll laugh it up with the pseudohygeinic hipsters when i can, but the nice young lady that brought the bloody mary had fingernail dirt that looked like she dove hand first into a vat of tepid mulch. GROSS. I think my wife vurped.

The Finale: Tortoise wins. And then the check . . . another huge 10 - 15 min. wait for the tortoise of the bunch to come back over and ask if we're finished. Left hungry, 65 dollars down with tip, three smallish offerings, and a bloody mary. Not great.

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  1. Why does the race of the server factor into the equation? I suppose that the "nice young lady" was white. What is the #77 sauce? I haven't been to this place, but it sounds like they are trying to serve decent food. How was the Bloody Mary?

    5 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      Good point, I should have clarified. It doesn't matter unless you want to avoid his tables, which I intended to make clear. All the other servers were busting butt and came in a variety of genders and colors. This guy was truly ridiculous, getting dirty looks from patrons and staff, and even the friggin' accountant of the place started waiting on his section (and us). We thought she was the manager and wanted to talk to her about the bread. The "young lady" with the dirty nails was another server that was picking up his slack on our behalf.

      The bloody mary was hotter than average and in a very refreshing way. I really enjoy Haddington's and SoCo Cafe's versions, and this was on par with theirs. The accountant was curious and concerned it may be too hot for folks. Delish.

      1. re: slowcoooked

        Sounds good - I was craving a BM yesterday, but I'm currently off the sauce as part of my health-kick. It sounds like that server may not be around long enough for most of us to encounter!

        1. re: rudeboy

          I do hate it when health kicks get in the way of good sauce !!!

        2. re: slowcoooked

          Have you had the Bloody at Frank? Don't go there right now (or anywhere near downtown during SXSW if you value your sanity), but once things settle down, Frank makes a pretty darned tasty Bloody. I don't think much of their food, but I might go out of my way to drink my lunch there.

          1. re: addlepated

            Agreed, that is a very good mary at Frank.

      2. sounds like they have kinks to work out and will be a trendy overpriced spot but im willing to go in with a open mind but dirty fingernails are a turnoff when serving food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nytexan

          I don't really think it overpriced if you consider the quality and source of the ingredients.

          1. re: nytexan

            Yes, but I'm sure it's farm fresh, local dirt under those fingernails! Worth every penny.

          2. I appreciate the love for the place and its potential - but here's a worrisome point I think that's valid. You go to LUNCH and spend 65 bucks for two people, you might hope to leave full or at least satisfied. We had two small plates, one drink, and split a couple huge pieces of bread labeled a sandwich, and just didn't feel we got close to a good value. I eat at Uchiko at least once a month and am willing to drop some dimes for good food, and though its expensive it's a great value for what you get. Not so at Hillside, not yet at least. Heck, for another 20 bucks one might consider brunch at Fonda instead and graze for three hours.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slowcoooked

              i can appreciate that sentiment.

              also, many people try a restaurant's lunch menu as a way to gauge value and quality.
              so, if you are dropping $65 and leaving hungry, that's a problem (or would be to me).

              1. re: slowcoooked

                Did that news article say $20 for six raw oysters??