Friday, January 23, 2009

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar

Although we had to wait for a seat in the packed cafeteria it was worth it to try out the new spot on Capitol Hill called Oddfellows Cafe & Bar. The owner, Linda Derschang, also operates Linda's, Viceroy and Smith. I guess this place is still considered new even though it has been on 10th for over a month. I was there for dinner, but I couldn't help but be thankful that they also offer an early breakfast menu starting at 7am. We need more casual breakfast spots on the hill much more than another 21 dollar burger.

When you walk in, you immediately realize you are about to be seated in a dining room filled with a lot of cafeteria style tables on a small benches really close to other people. However, when we sat down I didn't seem to care we were sharing a table with someone....thank god, they don't pull that shit where they sit a random person across from you. I cannot stand that crap, its like eating in the dining cart on the Amtrak train. No thanks. The decor is very Capitol Hill, whatever that means...lots of random nods to the past including a large vintage war photography and a huge American flag. It definitely felt a little Men's or Eagles Club. The exposed wood, brick and white paint next to the large open windows made the room feel huge but it was also very warm. The bar area seemed awkward because it didnt allow for people to be corralled so they were just standing along the front of the restaurant waiting to be seated.

We started off with a few drinks. My brother was the only one who went with something off their specialty cocktail list which contained about 5 drinks. He was surprised at the pink color and the old wine glass it was served in. This was basically an 8 dollar gin and juice. I knew I should have written this down because just like a lot of Capitol Hill spots they have a pointless website with no information about the menu just the address and hours. Hopefully they will update it soon, so I can figure out what to have for breakfast on my way to work.

Very similar to other dining experiences with my brother he ordered a lot of things to get a good idea of what the menu had to offer and if it was going to be a place he would return too. So we ordered all the sides including Crispy Pork Nuggets, Fries (with special sauce) and Mac and Cheese.

Hands down those pork nuggets were amazing. I mean deep fried pork? That has got to be a winner. Come to find out the side came with 8 nuggets, b. and I both only got one each before my bro and L. ate them all up. Jerks. The fries were thick cut and salty, not too greasy and pretty hot. The special sauce was like a sweet marinara, not bad. The biggest disappointment was the Mac and Cheese. I swear...what is the problem with restaurants and their sorry attempts at Mac and Cheese! I know I am capable of making it and it isn't hard at all. Use more cheese and better quality and I think you can make it work. Stop serving luke warm, dry pasta with basically a white non tasting sauce. Gross. I am done ordering it out. That was it.

For dinner we all ordered an item but shared them all with the table. I wanted to try the chicken salad sandwich with tarragon, b. went with the grilled onion and gruyere panino, L. tried the rotisserie chicken and my brother went with the braised pork shank.

Everyone raved about the chicken salad sandwich. My biggest problem with it was the hard panini bread it was served open on. I had to cut it up to eat it and I needed a steak knife to get through it. It became quite messy but it was very good tasting, very flavorful and the tarragon was perfect.

b's sandwich was not very good, it looked like they over oiled it and put it in a sandwich press complete with ridges on the soaking weak bread. It was just boring and overpriced for a shitty grilled cheese. If you want a good grilled cheese with onions go to Smith.

L.'s chicken and greens were tasty. Just a simple baked half chicken dish along with mashed potatoes and decent flavors. Kind of boring.

Ending out the entrees was my brother with the pork. It was so tender it fell off the bone, this tasted quite good and you could tell they put a lot of love into it. The creamed cabbage mixed up with crispy bacon on the side was nice but the lentils under the pork were killing the dish, they were amazing and full of pork juice.

The service needs some help because we waited really long for food and had a hard time tracking anyone down for additional drinks. Several servers graced our table, one who took the order, one who brought the food and one who brought the water. It was confusing. They were all very nice however, I think they just need to get it together while they move through the newness of the restaurant. I will go back and try other things including breakfast and lunch. You might be interested in checking out their salads, shepard's pie, beef stew, blt and so on...just be prepared to pay around 8 dollars for sandwiches without the 6 dollar side. Or go for the 14 dollar full entree.

1525 10th Ave
(between Pike St & Pine St)
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 325-0807

Mon-Thu. 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat. 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Sun. 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Oddfellows Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon


TekkaDon Juan said...

i've heard pretty similar things from other people about this place. i always approach linda derschang's places with a bit of skepticism, and oddfellows is no exception. that grilled cheese looks horrific, and the one at smith is okay, but def better than that mess. the main problem i have with smith's g.c. is that it's super greasy.

and mac and cheese....oh man. was it as bad as the high dive's flour sauce and noodle combo?

Suge White said...

I don't think I would go to any of her places to eat unless there was a group of friends going and it was general consensus/convenience sort of deal. It's always a little over priced and a little underwhelming.

Anonymous said...

I agree with suge about lindas joints, the food is average and it seems as if everyone around you has no fuckin clue. I will drink the shit out of some schlitz at smith though.
Does that just discredit the fact that I know what good food is...?