Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pure & Simple - Trip #2

After doing grocery shopping & errands and then making pie, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookies on Saturday, the last thing we wanted to do was cook dinner. But we also didn't feel like driving very far. So that left us with picking a place in Robinson. Our usual choice is Bocktown, but we were just there 2 weeks ago. So we decided to try Pure & Simple Bistro again.

I don't know what the heck was going on Saturday evening around 6:30, but there was actually lots of parking at Settlers Ridge! We were seated right away and started debating dinner choices. We tried some new dishes, and we ordered some that we ordered last time. Like the Chicken Noodle Soup:
I still think SP is crazy for wanting hot soup on a super humid 90+ degree day but... he really likes soup, and he again enjoyed this version of chicken noodle soup which has a dark broth and penne for the noodle.

We tried a different appetizer this time. Instead of the Fried Green Tomatoes we tried the Shrimp & Grit Fritters.
These were really tasty. There were 4 large fritters and they came with a sweet chili dipping sauce. To my surprise, I really enjoyed the dipping sauce.
They were super creamy, everything well pureed, then fried and served piping hot. Yum!

SP chose the salad with his entree. As before, it came with the house balsamic dressing.
SP again ordered the Eggplant & Mushroom Napoleon:
It was again tasty.

I chose the Louisiana Tempura Shrimp with cauliflower puree and apricot sauce:
There were 5 large shrimp. They were quite tasty. Not tough/overcooked. The cauliflower puree was a little chunkier than I expected, but still tasty. The apricot sauce was good, too, but I didn't really need it since I tend to not dunk my shrimp in sauces.

Instead of a side salad, I chose the vegetable of the day, which was zucchini. It was sauteed and there was parmesan sprinkled on top.
We enjoyed our food again, and we like the calm, relaxing atmosphere. Service was a little slow. Not so much our server, but apparently there was some sort of issue in the kitchen with people calling off/not being fully staffed and it took a while for our food to come out. We didn't really mind this time because we were a little tired from everything we'd been doing at home, so it was nice to have a dinner break take longer than expected, but I can understand why diners who wanted to catch a movie after dinner were a little unhappy. The owner and the chef both came around to apologize and explain to diners, which was nice.

Pure & Simple does have a new chef and he told us that on Tuesday (September 6) they were going to roll out a new menu that would have many of the same dinner options but also include lunch options, like sandwiches, for dinner as well. So one menu for all day. I think that will help them get more foot traffic since sandwiches are generally priced lower than entrees and some movie goers might not want to spend quite that much ($16~$22) on an entree. I think also they could benefit from advertising their BYOB policy a bit more. This was our second trip and second time that someone stopped in to inquire about whether or not they serve alcohol. There is a wine store next door where one could go buy some wine for dinner, but... knowing in advance would be nicer. I'd like to remember to take a bottle of wine the next time we go. Maybe they could post their menu and a sign about their BYOB policy on the front doors or near the side door so people walking by could easily stop and see what they have to offer?

We still like Pure & Simple a lot and hope they stick around. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- in the land of chain restaurants, it's nice to have a tasty independent option.

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