crow bar Hostess: "Well, we are only serving lunch for another ten minutes. I just want to let you know so you can hurry and order."
As we were walking towards our table, she reinerates the fact that the kitchen will be closing very shortly, and the chef was very clear about that to her. Gosh, I feel welcome. I guess they aren't too "starving" for business...
I don't normally drink during lunch, but I felt that I must try their "Crow-jito." Cute name, don't you think? This was their entry in the OC Summer Drink Contest last year (I can't remember the exact title of the competition), but I can see why it didn't win. I like mojitos, maybe even a little too much - right, Keri - but this was just too lemony. Momma said it looked pretty though, and I guess that's part of the battle. I would not pay $15 for this drink again.
Meanwhile, we hurried through the menu. I'm already pretty sure that I want a hamburger though. I get the crow bar email updates, and they seem to be proud of their burgers. In fact, they have "Crow Burger Mondays" every Monday night all summer long where they add several other burgers to their regular burger menu. Think Rueben Burger, Californian Burger, Cubano Burger, Pizzaiola Burger, and even a veggie Portabella Mushroom Burger. I have to admit, these sound pretty good. If you go on a Monday, I want to know which one of these you like the best!
Before the our burgers, I wanted some kind of appetizer. I picked one that was "Momma-friendly," the croquettas. These are basically glorified tater tots, but seriously, who doesn't like tater tots? These bundles of potato joy were filled with serrano ham and manchego cheese and served with a mild roasted red pepper allioli. Three come in each serving, and that makes them about $2 each.
With good timing, our burgers arrive. The plates look good. I ordered the "Crow Burger," which is a meat patty on ciabatta bread topped with tallegio and gorgonzola cheese and roasted red pepper marmalade. I was not blown away. I hope I'm wrong about this, but I think the meat patties were previously frozen. They were just a little too perfectly formed and a little too perfectly flat. The meat didn't even make it to the edge of the ciabatta bun. I'm crossing my fingers that the Monday night burger specials add some zing to the regular choices.
Momma ordered the classic burger. She ordered hers with just meat, cheese, and mayo, and it came on a ketchup infused bun. Sounds fancy, but she said it tasted like regular ole bun. It looked great even though she wasn't terribly impressed. The presentation at the crow bar and kitchen seems to always be right on though.
Momma's burger came with their regular shoestring potato fries, and I ordered the duck fat fries with truffle allioli. It was fun to taste test the difference between the two fries. They looked exactly the same, but the shoestring fries were fried in canola oil, and the duck fat fries were fried in - you guessed it! - duck fat. Momma couldn't taste a difference, and the difference was subtle, but I think the duck fat fries win.
I also ordered the vidalia onion rings with buttermilk dressing. This was my favorite side of all. Big, thick slices of vidalia onion in a batter that had a little bit of a peppery kick. I ate so many of these that I could only eat half of my burger.
Redemption time: dessert! I love the dessert menu at the crow bar. The chef puts a modern twist on desserts you loved when you were a kid: homemade ding dogs, pop tarts, and drumstixx. I'm aways really tempted to get one of these, but the Irish Car "Bombe" is my favorite. It's vanilla ice cream scoop on a chocolate cookie crust bottom, rolled in toffee bits, and served with a Jameson whiskey creme anglaise. Even Momma liked it, and she was skeptical.
Momma ordered the S'mores Sundae, but this sundae doesn't include ice cream. A toasted marshmallow semifreddo is served in its place. Why, of course! S'mores wouldn't be complete without your house made graham cracker and belgian chocolate sauce. The sundae looked really good and tasted really good too.
While the main courses have never been something to write home about, the desserts are special. Next time I'll probably save myself the trouble, and head down to the crow bar and kitchen for drinks and dessert. They are open late!
...and those are my Notes from the Napkin!
the crow bar and kitchen
2325 e. coast hwy
corona del mar, california 92625