Friday, June 13, 2008

Confounded by Standards

I'm still in Towson and still stuck with the same suburban predicament: where to find something tasty to eat? Luckily, I remembered that Three Chefs was along my drive and swung in for a bite.

There were only two other elderly gentlemen sitting at a table shooting the shit and waiting for their order when I arrived. For me, it was Jambalaya time. The last time I was here, I thought it was pretty good and wanted to see if that was truly the case or just an anomaly.

After a bit of a wait, the Jambalaya arrived fresh and hot. Blazing hot in fact. And the still somewhat al dente rice signaled that perhaps it was actually freshly cooked - a good sign. The flavors were fresh, crisp and spicy. Cumin, pepper and onions with sausage, chicken and shrimp in a tomato based sauce. It was darn tasty and well worth the trip.

I ordered a side of french fries because I couldn't help myself and was taught a lesson. The fries were terrible. Burnt and saturated with fat. Disgusting.

The two gentlemen before me had both ordered the four chicken wing and french fry specials. My guess is that their order wiped out whatever fryer they were using and when my fries hit the oil, it was cold. Insufficiently heated oil fails to develop the crust that seals in the foods' moisture that creates the steaming action that actually cooks fried foods. The fries sucked up all the fat, saturating them and as the oil heated, the fries sealed the oil inside and ended up overcooked until dark brown.

I was confounded but figured this was God's way of punishing me for ordering fries. I really need to stop that.

But I was confounded because the chef took so much time to make the jambalaya but sent out these burnt and lame fries? Why hold some level of quality only to destroy it with a crappily prepared side? Where's their standards? It was disappointing.

Three Chefs
912 Taylor Ave
Towson, MD 21286

1 comment:

Paula said...

Fries as a SIDE with jambalaya? Yep, a crappy pile of brown grease is your punishment for sure. Jambalaya doesn't need a side, except maybe a salad as a cooling agent.

Of course, this reminds me that I haven't made jambalaya in months. SuperFresh actually had some decent chorizo, and the batch I made with it was amazing.

BTW, I did Woodberry last night with a vegetarian friend. The service was somewhat lacking. I'd been building it up, but the meal was spotty. Kitchen pickles were the dregs--onions, a few odd celery slices and olives. The braised chard was a salt slick, but that was okay because I advised Steve to mix it with his bland mushroom pan roast (I expected better depth of flavor). The spinach salad lacked oomph.

That all being said, the housemade potato chips were superb, as was the herb dumplings with spring vegetables. The spinach ricotta flatbread was good. We loved the crackling coffee custard, and the coffee was excellent once it finally arrived.

Have a great trip, and I'll see you at the library when you return. And then a foodie night out?