Barley Swine's chef and owner, Bryce Gilmore, has been a James Beard finalist half a dozen times, and for good reason: This is world-class locavoring with immense attention to taste, presentation, and delivery.
Gus's has a downhome, divey comfort to it: this ain't no fancy pants your-water's-gonna-cost-you-$8.50 kinda place. This also ain't no I'm-gonna-get-a-salad-cause-I'm-trying-lose-weight-and-I'm-worried-about-my-gall-bladder kinda place either. Nearly every damned thing in here is fried, and if it ain't fried, it's swimming in cheese the color of post-nuclear Armageddon.
...based on the peak-time waits and rave reviews, the Frieds have expertly arranged the perfect array of ingredients to create a successful neighborhood destination restaurant.
Holy Roller is comfort food for the formerly-punk/now-aspirational class, serving up biscuits, booze, and attitude. Since we fit that demographic to a (perfectly distressed) T(-shirt), we felt quite at home with rocket salad, biscuits, tasty mixology, a soundtrack of throbbing hardcore, and Saint Iggy anointing us with a scowlful "Good Morning."
The gorgeous koko-like glamour shots of the dishes on their web page don't match the lack of glamour of the space. But when the food arrived, we were quickly reminded of the old adage "you can't judge a cookbook by its cover."
Although we’re not a big fan of national chains, First Watch is bright and cheery, waitstaff similarly so, and the food beautifully presented and prepared.
...sometimes all you need is solidly prepared food that doesn’t cost a car payment to enjoy (which is basically the definitition of a good neighborhood restaurant).