Friday, April 22, 2011

Taste Cafe and Marketplace

We have read countless blogs, reviews, and comments from readers about the great things going on at Taste in SoBro. The opportunity presented itself so we went for it and decided to do lunch today---poor Oz-man had to make up a snow-day at school. :(

As soon as we entered the door around 12:30 on a friday afternoon, we saw there was a sizeable line. We looked around a bit and saw that seating was tight too. Was this a mistake? Not to worry, the line moved at a steady pace and out of nowhere a table opened up right when we needed it! Yay!

But first, the menu. This is an order at the counter set-up, with lovely glass cases showing patrons the intriguing lunchtime possibilities. There are wall menus, but the fine print makes them nearly impossible to read -- so thank goodness for the normal sized menus to peruse while you wait in line. Several things sounded good in the gourmet sandwich department; the albacore tuna nicoise, the curried chicken salad, the italian grinder, and the erin to name a few. Then others looked very good; the multitude of fresh sides, greek orzo and roasted beet salads, vine ripe tomatoes, tortelinni and OMG the desserts!!!

We had heard good things about the pommes frites, so that was a no brainer. But after much deliberation, Fred went with the Erin and Libby the italian grinder...and a slice of chocolate sponge cake with mocha butter cream frosting!!! Terrible, I know.

As we waited at our well placed plate-watching table, an incredible looking egg sandwich walked by twice and a couple of salads that didn't look too shabby either. It wasn't long before the frites arrived...Woah! A familiar looking cone of frites, good-sized portion to share, sprinkled with generous amounts of basil and seasoning accompanied by a light green basil-aioli....oooooo. We showed no mercy. Greedy bite after bite slathered in garlicy (and basily) goodness didn't stand a chance. These were serious business that put a couple of Broadripple favs to the test. Look out, Brugge, Canal Bistro, and Boogie, Taste's got your number!

So, naturally this made for some serious anticipation concerning sandwiches and cake. I mean, where do we go from here? Two lovely diagonally sliced french baguettes revealed a little of the glory within. Libby found her first bite of the grinder a real explosion of olive tapenade --a great thing at first, but quickly became a bit overwhelming in the salt department. The meats were of good quality, but the sheer amount of olive overpowered the cheese and even the meat. About half as much would have been a whole lot better.

Fred, on the other hand, made his "O" face of approval. Even though he forgot to nix the onion, he was in utter heaven. Erin was sheer creamy genius. An all veggie sammy, this creation included asparagus, sprout, red onion, provolone, swiss, more of that orgasmic aioli, and dijon dill sauce. The dill sauce and asparagus were really the stars. Creamy, easy, and the asparagus actually gave it the right amount of 'meatiness' with a little bite. *sigh* NEXT!

Ah, yes. The cake. Dessert at lunch. Who would do such a thing? Libby. Every time, given the opportunity. This was better than expected. Better than it even looked if that was possible. The decorative strawberry on top was nice and all, but please! A mere distraction! This cake was somehow light in texture, but carried a flavor punch that sent one reeling. That hint of mocha was beautiful. The icing SWEET and creamy. Dreamy. The perfect ending to a very lovely lunch. Taste can bake too. Damn.

Wrap Up
Price-$$, You can eat cheap if you want, but why would you?!
Atmosphere****, Beautiful, contemporary decor. No ugly soda fountain to be found. Instead, tasty looking homemade flavored waters. Come get your snob on!
Service**, Friendly & accommodating. But honestly they needed one more person cleaning tables. Can't call it a bus-boy, perhaps a Table Presentation Coordinator?

Fred- A-, I've never before had such a flavorful vegetarian sandwich. And I can even lie to myself and believe it was good for me! If it weren't for the overpowering tapenade on the grinder, this would have been in A or A+ territory. In my book, those frites are tied with Canal Bistro for 2nd best in Indy. A couple more dipping options and they'd surpass Brugge for the top spot!
Libby-B+, Yes, you can have too much of a good thing -- tapenade . Why are all the good frites in Broadripple? Share the love, people! And the baked goods? Forgetaboutit. Next stop? Brunch for one of those flirtatious egg sandwiches or perhaps truffle frites and aioli from the Aftertaste menu! Bring it.
Ozzy- N/A, Snow makeup day at school. Sorry Oz man. You would have loved the frites!
Estelle- C, Felt a little out of place. Babies are SO last season! Were high-chairs available? On our way out, we found them. Hidden behind the front door. :/

Taste Cafe and Marketplace on Urbanspoon


Russ said...

We go there with our kids all the time for breakfast and you'll certainly see the high chairs in use then. The quiches and frittatas are fantastic. IMO, the best restaurant in the city.

Libby said...

SO glad to hear that! We are hoping to make it for brunch soon and it's nice to know we won't be "those people." ;)

Erin said...

Yay! I am kind of obsessed with Taste since my first outing there a couple weeks ago. Still haven't had dessert...must be getting around to that soon. I tried the truffle frites...simply delish also.