Its' quaint. It's unique. It's a remodeled home. But is it any good? Let's jump right into it.
it's a house. it's a shop. it's food.
Ahhhhhhh! I really wanted to like this place. I mean look how pretty it is.
Velvet benches lining the wall. Brick interior. Beautiful tables and pillows for support. It was made to be comfortable. This review actually makes me sad because I need it to be good (it's walking distance from where I'm at). I'll start with what I didn't like.
Service. I was sat after my reservation. No problem, I am okay with that, as long as you follow it up with spectacular service. It's what the best restaurants in the world do if they ever run late (it's not common though). We were seated and went about 10 minutes just looking at the menu when I realized that no one has come to us. I waved over to a server and asked her to bring over some water for us. She obliged. But then, another 10 minutes go by until someone shows up to the table to see what we would like. I mean, look at this place. It ain't big. I'm the guy with the camera taking pictures everywhere. It's quite obvious.
We finally order the dishes and the individual components suffered. In this review, I will be talking about two dishes in the brunch menu. Please note that this review in no way reflects their dinner menu. I will be back another time for dinner. Just most likely not brunch. So okay, the food.
For those of you who do not know what Chilaquiles are, they are typically served for breakfast and are chips, doused with green or red salsa, then simmered until just softening to create this soft, with a touch of crisp texture. These were just fried nachos with green salsa on top. The egg yolk provided some more liquid but the chips never got soft enough. It was like you poured some salsa on top of your chips and decided that that was chilaquiles. No. Those are Nachos.
Second - the chicharones were not good. It did not add any depth to the flavor. I am a HUGE believer that everything should blend together but that just stood out. Each dish curated during my experience with Jose Andres reflects that thought. You could eat everything together and have a uniformed experience. This did not go that way. The chunks of the chicharon could not be served with the chips, so I just bit into it by itself. No good. I think it would be better if it was cracked evenly over the SOFT chips so that the SOFT chips could have that crunch texture.
Third - texture. texture. texture. It was all crunchy. The entirety of it. I should have asked for a bucket of the green salsa (I'll get to that in a bit) so it could be real chilaquiles. If the egg wasn't in the picture, this would have been even more tragic.
Fourth - the meat. okay, when the name of the dish is Short Rib Chilaquiles, I expect the Short Rib to be the main show of the dish. Can someone point out where the short rib is at? Its under the egg. And guess what? It's like three bites worth. Literally. If I knew no better, I would think we are in war times and they are out here rationing my short rib.
Fifth - Price. Here's my rant. $14 for a dish that I could have made at home for $3. That's straight thievery! Chips, cilantro, 1 egg, chicharrones (pig skin is CHEAP), green salsa (I'll get to it guys!), and a morsel of short rib. Shame.
I'm not going to even cover this next dish in depth. Avocado Toast. Bread, mixed greens, avocado, apple and an egg. $8. Bland.
I really wanted to love this place. From the decor to the lighting is spot on. I just feel like the food missed the mark. If you can do better Fort Louise, let me know and I'll be back.
I said I would talk about the green salsa. It was fantastic.... and I think that is what makes me even more sad. They could somehow conjore up a quality salsa but the rest they fell flat on their face. I mean, the avocado toast was so bland, my sister ordered a side of the green salsa for it.
I would be at fault if I did not mention this - in my brothers dish, he found some cracked eggshells. Not one piece, like 7 of them. He mentioned it to the staff and they promptly replaced it. They then went an extra-mile and even comped the dish. I do applaud that policy.
I want to like places like these. They are a symbol of a creativity. I sure hope dinner is a better experience. As for now, avoid the Chilaquiles. Maybe the rest of the menu is good but they did say the chilaquiles were the most popular.
Location: 1304 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37216