Looks Can Be Deceiving

IMG_6818Whether it’s a misleading title on an article, a deceiving label on a product, we’ve all been deceived by looks before; I’ve just experienced deception countless times when it comes to food.  It hit me when I visited a newly-opened spot in Fountain Valley named Slice Deli and Cakery.  My sister, Julie, and brother-in-law, Alan accompanied me to this foodie adventure.   As we pulled up to the lot, I saw a cute patio booth, with Christmas lights scalloped across the front of the restaurant.  “What a hipster looking place!” I thought to myself.  We walked in and were kindly greeted by a cute petite lady and a hipster-looking guy who seemed to be the owner or manager.  To the left of the front door was a sleek, black bar with trendy tap handles.  We were kindly ushered to a table and handed lunch menus.  I loved the decor of the entire restaurant.  With eye-pleasing vinyl wall art, a neon glowing cow sign, dark rustic wood tables, and bearded workers, Slice Deli and Cakery gave off a hipster atmosphere I’ve once felt in my beloved home away from home, Portland.  My first thoughts were, “Wow! What a great small menu!  Clever sandwich names!  I don’t even know what these ingredients are but they sound trendy!  A waiter kindly approached us and we asked her what she recommended on the menu.  She went on about how everything on the menu was “amazing.”  Amazing was repeated multiple times throughout our conversation, but it just seemed unknowledgeable to me.  “Amazing,” you say, but you have no way to back up your statement? Hmm…  My brother, Alan ordered the Croque Madame, which was a croque with a four cheese blend, double smoked ham and French mornay sauce, along with a side of house chips.IMG_6821  My sister and I shared the “Pastrami-Mami” which contained “signature marbled rye, house-cured and smoked brisket, greek yogurt coleslaw, havarti, house pickles, chocolate stout,” along with a German potato salad side.  Our sandwiches came out, and looked pretty “bomb.” IMG_6820 I took a bite out of my sandwich and sudden feelings of happiness, sadness, and confusion hit me, all at once.  To start off, the pastrami itself was amazing.  What threw me off was the overwhelming pungent taste of horseradish.  I looked at the sandwich and it was fully packed with mustard seeds and chocolate stout.  Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast, and doesn’t go along with chocolate great.  The overpowering horseradish was so great, it forced me to completely stop eating the sandwich.  (I did of course pick out all of the pastrami and ate it alone.)  The German potato salad side was subpar, it tasted like something I could get out of a market.  As for the “Croque Madame,” it was better than the “Pastrami-Mami” but there was nothing special about it.  It tasted like a ham and cheese sandwich with egg.  The thing that bothered all of us the most was that the fried egg came overdone, and the yolk was cooked to a solid.  I came into the restaurant with high expectations but came out disappointed, sad, and my breath reeked of mustard.  I am currently not a fan of Slice Deli and Cakery’s sandwiches, but perhaps I will come back because I have heard good comments on their cake slices.

After eating at this restaurant, I noticed that a lot of new restaurants create food items that sound trendy, but don’t compliment each other whatsoever.  An example would be the chocolate stout in the “Pastrami-Mami” sandwich; I believe that the chocolate stout overpowered the entire sandwich.  Another example would be the raspberry-flavored bun burger.  I have not tried the place to have an opinion, but from my previous knowledge on the taste raspberry and burgers, sour and savory do not go together.  Another thing I’ve noticed lately is that a lot of new restaurants are opening up with stunning, trendy decor but the food they serve is mediocre.  They include hipster factors like grunge brick walls, vinyl wall art, cactus terrariums, etc.  to give off a great vibe, but don’t focus on their food.  This doesn’t apply to all places, but I’ve seen it quite frequently.  Something that I have learned from my foodie adventures is that hypes are real thing, and most of the time they don’t live up to their name.  If you plan to check out a hyped food spot, I recommend checking out their Yelp reviews and asking around to seek opinions.

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