Skip to main content

Decatur: Cakes & Ale

I freely admit that I took a very long time to visit one of the mainstays of Decatur's culinary scene. I have now visited twice. On my first visit, I was desperate for meat and was thrilled with my very tender, very juicy steak. Tonight, I went for the Sunday dinner, a prix fixe presentation of three courses. This dinner is designed for conversation, with long stretches between courses, so go another night if you are in a rush.

The appetizer was shrimp in a red sauce that didn't have a very strong flavor to my tastebuds. The chips were excellent. The avocado was a little more au naturale than usual, which I enjoyed.

I was a little disappointed with the main course. The chef's goal for this dish is to have you build your own taco based on the tortilla. Unfortunately, the texture of the tortilla made it unbendable; it was also not extremely flavorful by itself. The brisket was also a bit of a letdown. Although it was fork-soft, it wasn't very moist. The beans and grain base was a great accompaniment, though, and the squash was outstanding.

The dessert was excellent. This Mexican fried pastry is very light and airy. It was served with a chocolate sauce; the entire arrangement reminded me of a light and airy profiterole. That's a Mandarin orange; I dipped a few slices into the chocolate and ate the rest straight.

Cakes & Ale on Urbanspoon

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ann Arbor MI: West End Grill

Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.

Pressure Cooker Candied Ginger

I made candied ginger a few years ago. It's not something I would do every day but I had a lot of fun doing it. I recently acquired a pressure cooker and it inspired an interesting idea to me: why not make candied ginger in the pressure cooker? It should be very soft and flavorful. Here is the result. I peeled two large ginger roots, cut them into small cubes, and put them in the pressure cooker with heavily sugared water. The traditional method first boils the ginger in plain water to soften it and then again in sugar water to candy it. The resulting candy was very tender but still with the characteristic ginger texture. It was also sweet without being overpowering. The traditional method leaves a lot of sugar crystallized around the ginger. The pressure cooker gives a much more subtle result. The ginger stays moist even after it cools but you can dry it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. That inspired me to dip it in chocolate. While I was in the b

Miami: Shorty's BBQ

The Widens introduced me to another Miami favorite, Shorty's BBQ. We had three different meats: brisket, ribs, and chicken. All were excellent. I would say the brisket was my favorite, which was was fork tender and moist. Shorty's is best known around town for its piquant sauce. In the photo, the top sauce is a standard red, sweet BBQ sauce.  The bottom container holds Shorty's special BBQ sauce.  It was great---the highlighted spice is, I believe, cumin.  The sauce is of a lighter color than the sweet sauce, so there are other things going on as well; I suspect it has less sugar. I love cumin because it tweaks the palate in a different way than many spices.  I loved this sauce so much I ate it by the spoonful.  Bill and I agreed that this sauce is reminscent of the sauce from Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City.