"The Eagle Is Grounded"

by Dark Starr

So, you 've probably heard about this new restaurant that opened up on State Street in a formerly Cheesy location.  You know, it's the one with the big stone birds outside. Yes, the guy that owns this one had a tribute to the jungle down on Auburn Street years back. Isn't that right, Jim? He's teamed up with some guys from a famous hotel/restaurant on the Rock River on Riverside. So we made a visit to this place, because I have a thing for Cajun food and they have some of it. My lovely lady likes French food and they also advertised some of that. So how is the joint? Well, it's not the worst place I've eaten, but it's not far from it.

So, you might have read what the venerable Rockford paper had to say about this place. They kept raving about how inexpensive it was. Well, for one thing, their concept of inexpensive must be skewed. For another thing, you have to take into account the quality of food --in this case, weak at best--when deciding if something's a good value or not. And believe me, it ain't. They kept talking about how very few things on the menu were more than ten bucks. Well, we ordered something called "Crab Spring Rolls" for an appetizer and guess what? They were less than ten bucks...a freaking penny less! Wouldn't have been a big deal except that they were tiny.  Imagine the smallest taquito you've ever had...and then shrink it (in diameter) by half.  Two of those things for 10 bucks...oh, sorry, $9.99. Give me a break! This was the best thing we had for the entire meal in terms of quality, but talk about overpriced...sheesh!

So, before the entrees came, I had a soup --it was a chicken and sausage gumbo. I love gumbo. In fairness, this one would have been good if they had put less salt in the damned thing. I mean, I like salty stuff but I think they intended it to help sell more frigging drinks because this thing was about as salty as the ocean. I got through it because I like gumbo, but damn!!

So, for our main dishes I got a New Orleans Oyster Loaf --- guess what --another penny under ten bucks for a sandwich! It wasn't even a good sandwitch. The oysters weren't bad, but there were not nearly enough. So what you wound up with was two big pieces of bread with a few oysters strewn here and there. That ain't ten dollars as far as I'm concerned.

My lady got the  "famous chicken crepe".  Well, we both tried it and I'm not surprised it's famous. I say that because most "famous" foods on the market are typically fast foods--and this was about that quality.  The crepe itself was OK but the sauce tasted like Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup...which it probably was. The thing was edible, but not much more. And pay attention, Rockford paper...it was $10.99.  In case you aren't a math whiz, that's more than ten bucks. I don't know what kind of drugs they were on when they went to this place because they said only the steaks were more than ten. Well, just about anything with shrimp came in above ten dollars and so did this weak as hell crepe. Even some of their salads were over ten bucks. So, to give the paper the benefit of a doubt, maybe they got a different menu than the rest of the world gets. Either that, or they are idiots. I'll bank on the different menu option. (Not me!--Malevolent Mality)

In any event, her entree came with a side and she got their "famous creamed spinach". Man, avoid anything these people call "famous"! I think the extra salt in the soup must have been intended for the spinach, because it was incredibly bland. In fact, even after adding some salt, it wasn't edible. Well, if you like eating watery paste, it would be, but that's not our thing.

So, we also got the strawberry short cake for dessert. They say it's sugared but I sure couldn't tell. I figured it was a tribute to the old Puritan type of dessert where it wasn't sweet. Because believe me, it was dry and not sweet. So in total with drinks, taxes and tips, we were in for about $50.00 plus for lunch and it was lousy. I'd avoid this place like the plague. It's incredibly weak food at premium prices.