The Reader has three reviews this week! Three! We are so excited we can barely keep ourselves seated to type this up.
• Mike Sula visits The Bristol, where he finds himself helpless in the face of Scotch Olives (olives encased in pork sausage, then deep-fried) and applauds the restaurant’s dedication to serving “the fifth quarter and other uncommon proteins” (band name!). For all its various successes, there are areas in which the kitchen shows incongruous timidity in flavoring the food. Still, it’s a strong enough showing that Sula wants to see a gastropub like it on every corner, or at least in every neighborhood.
• 90 Miles Cuban Cafe has gotten a whole lot of media attention, and the Reader’s no exception. Sula shows up to the inconsistent performer (Dolinsky finds their cubano out-of-whack, Shouse , Nagrant thought everything was undersalted) and does it a solid: The sandwich-heavy menu holds up to scrutiny, especially the less-ubiquitous-than-the-cubano offerings like guava and cheese or lechon with plantains. The sandwiches are a little overstuffed, though — a good thing when you want a seven-inch-tall pastrami on rye, not such a good thing when you want a harmonious, subtle balance of lechon, pickles, and melted cheese.
• Anne Spiselman visits Jaipur. No, not the city — the Indian restaurant on Clybourn. You’d think that being across the street from high-profile Indian restaurant Veerasway would help them out (the Diamond District Principle — similar business cluster together, increasing quality and sales for everyone), but they fall woefully flat. Yawn-worthy entrees, underspiced and unevenly cooked, combine with subpar service for an overall cruddy experience. Good naan, but what’s the point after everything else?
[Photo: Meat encased in carbohydrates at 90 miles (bottom to top: yucca frita, cubano, ropa vieja sandwich) via LTHForum]