Saturday, June 22, 2013

Troy, MI - Capital Grille; Thank you Yelp Elite Squad for having this event at Capital Grille. It was a well attended event and a perfect opportunity to sample their food.

First to come around was the Tenderloin Brioche. They could have brought this around all night and I would have shoved every one of these into my mouth without sharing. Yelpers would have known me to be the rude, nonsharing, elite squad member. The tenderloin was perfectly cooked, wonderfully tender, and seasoned with only the necessities to not mask any flavor. It was a fantastic balance between the flavors.

The Mushroom Bisque arrived next and this was a wonderful compliment to the tenderloin brioche. It was deliciously think, and creamy with this fantastic small chunky earthy mushroom flavor.

The Steak Tartar Crustini arrived which were good and I was happy to try them, but they didn't deliver the same type of flavor profile the other two accomplished. It was more one note flavored leaving you wondering if it were any good.

Crab burger was next and visually its appealing. This slider looking burger has that appeal not from a burger patty, but that large thick chunk of crab meat sticking out. It was a good selection of meat for the presentation. It taste as good as it looks. The delicious crab meat, soft and buttery, on this nice slider toasted bun.

These small bites have convinced me to come back for a larger meal.
Franklin, MI - Franklin Grill; After driving past this place several times while going through the cute tiny downtown of Franklin, it was time to try it. They have have nice patio in the back to enjoy the afternoon or evening outside.

I tried their Salmon Salad, since I was in the mood for a dish on the lighter side. It had fresh greens and surprised by the inclusion of asparagus. It gave it a nice touch in flavor and crunch.

I usually order the dressing on the side, but neglected to ask. I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to find they only placed a nice thin drizzle of dressing. The lettuce was not swimming in it. The dressing had a nice flavor and the salad also included roasted walnuts for that crunchy texture.

The disappointing element was the fish-stick looking pieces of salmon. The way its cut, I would swear they were fish-sticks. Fine, as long as it taste better than my childhood fish-sticks. Well, if the salmon were seasoned, I would accept its poor looks. It just wasn't flavorful. It was bland fishy salmon flavor. Thank goodness for the tasty dressing to help the fish, it couldn't stand alone.

The salmon would have received two stars independently, but the rest of the elements helped it barely reach three stars.
San Diego, CA - Cafe 21; My eyes are in love. The dish arrived and it was beautiful and creative. A work of art. That was the climax unfortunately.

The Shrimp Corn Cake with Poached Egg and Cilantro Cream Sauce arrived. The contrast in colors were dazzling and not over whelming. I took a minute to look at the carefully constructed dish to allow my eyes to become smitten.

My taste buds were not equally impressed. With the colors delivered to my delight, the flavor fell flat. Nothing worse than a bland dish. Nothing popped, nothing stood out. The corn cakes did have a nice harder sauteed outer shell, soft on the inside with a soft muted crab flavor. It either needed more crab to elevate the flavor or less corn which muted the crab. The eggs were poached well with beautiful runny yokes. I love cilantro, pack it in. It has a wonderful herbaceous flavor, why hide it in the background. The color of the cream sauce and even seeing little pieces of cilantro in it that survived the puree process, still, barely any flavor of cilantro. How disappointing.

The staff was really nice and welcoming and they have a nice patio to enjoy outside people watching while eating.