We walked past a taco joint and looked at the menu, but I haven't had good luck with tacos here yet, and I was really hungry, not in the mood to take a chance on something. There was a burger place that looked promising, but we'd already purchased ingredients to make burgers for dinner. I had an idea for a place I'd been meaning to try, and we were ambling down the street.
Then we passed Strong Place. I had not heard of it but I noticed, through the long bar, a back patio. I looked at the menu in the window: pulled pork sliders. I heard a familiar series of notes in the air; it took me a second to recognize Van Morrison's "Celtic New Year."
Patio. Pulled pork. Van Morrison.
"Let's eat here," I said.
"Should I get the A.B.L.T. or the spicy egg tacos?" Elizabeth asked me.
"Get the spicy egg tacos," I said. (Because I wanted to try those.)
However, there is still almost no food I love more than properly-cooked fries, be they twice-cooked Belgian spuds or hand-cut, spiced potatoes. When I saw the "Seasoned Rosemary Fries" on the Strong Place menu, something about them called out to me.
I knew I'd made the right call as soon as they were set down in front of us. Hot and fragrant with rosemary and the two or three cloves of roasted garlic I found buried inside the order, these looked as appetizing as any fries I have had in years. And they tasted even better. Not overly salty, just crispy on the outside and soft inside. A small plastic container accompanied the fries and I inquired as to what it was.
"Our house-made roasted sundried tomato ketchup," the waitress informed me.
It was fantastic. One of the best ketchups I've ever had. I could have squeezed the bottle directly into my mouth.
Elizabeth couldn't eat the last wedge of her third taco so she gave it to me. I put some of the ketchup on it. It was much better this way.
The pork itself was quite tasty, or rather the pork in sauce was tasty, as there was plenty of sauce while the porcine portions were rather meager. The buns were soft and the pickles were crisp. Like the egg tacos, the sliders were good, definitely better than average... but fell short of being great.
This was a wonderful place to have lunch on a lazy weekend day, and I would love to return on another similar uncrowded occasion. I'm not sure how much I'd like it during a busy evening, but I imagine I will find out eventually: the dinner menu has mini lobster tacos that Elizabeth wants to try. Strong Place's dinner menu doesn't call out to me like their brunch menu, but another order of those fries, a plate of the house-made pickles and a couple of beers and I'll be just fine.